The Insightful Player® initiative was founded on a fundamental and abiding belief that professional athletes, such as NFL players, stand atop a unique platform from which to inspire today’s youth to greatness – through their own powerful example.
The major sports leagues, especially the NFL, may very well have the largest stage in the world – and yet those of us committing to lifting today’s youth beyond a prevailing sense of hopelessness have yet to figure out how to leverage that visibility.
We are all inundated with stories of doom, gloom and empty sensationalism. Young people face challenges, temptations and distractions that at times seem insurmountable, especially against a backdrop of a generally faltering society. Economic times are tough, educational institutions are overextended, and it can be very hard for today’s youth to know where to look for a good example.
But the NFL is full of men who have overcome seemingly impossible obstacles. These obstacles range from financial hardship to broken homes to poor education to physical injury to addictive behaviors to societal bias based on their race or background. The Insightful Player® initiative operates on the belief that pushing those stories out to the public is a way of empowering our youth: empowering them to see beyond their current circumstances and around the corner into the possibility of greatness.
Many NFL players have an intense wish to have a bigger impact on the world, especially where kids are concerned. They want to reach out to their communities and beyond. They want their own ethical practices and principles to reach a wider audience.
And the Insightful Player® movement wants to help them reach that audience, especially kids.
In a nutshell, the Insightful Player® program looks for ways to empower youth to improve their lives today and work toward a better tomorrow. We do that by creating an army of caring adults who will support our youth by showering them with an abundance of love, respect, support, tools and resources to build enlightened leaders of tomorrow.
As a Master Certified personal coach with a lifelong involvement in football — my father was a high school coach, my brothers were all team members, and I was a fan and cheerleader — I spent years looking for a way to create an action plan that combines two of my most dearly held principles:
- Humanity is at a crossroads of transformation and obliteration, and it is by inspiring our youth and giving them a sense of hope and belief in themselves that we have our best chance at a positive outcome.
- Professional athletes, including NFL players, hold enormous stores of wisdom and insight — gained through personal experience at home and on the field — which can be deployed to help our youth find the path to success.
When I hit on the idea of the Insightful Player® campaign, I realized THIS is how I could promote both of those principles. Since beginning the program, I’ve met NFL players who are willing and eager to reach out to our youth and help guide them. These are men who are contributing not only to their teams and their own personal development but to their communities and, in many cases, to the world at large. They have started foundations, crusaded for charities, given speeches, acted as mentors, and found dozens of other ways to use their status to make an impact on the world far beyond the field.