Updated: May 21
Retired Two-Time Super Bowl Champion, CEO,
and Inspiring Trailblazer
Determination to Learn From Adversity Fosters Deep Rooted Resilience and Profound Growth
For his sense of self-discipline, Jarvis Green thanks his parents. For perseverance, he credits his high school coach. And for the physical endurance that has helped him to become a world-class professional athlete, he acknowledges the influence of his twin brother Jason.
It’s not that Jason encouraged or inspired him to be a runner. It’s that when the two boys would fight as teens, Jarvis discovered that running was a good way to let off steam. Eventually he was jogging five miles a day.”I truly think one reason I reached the point I did in the pros is that I just started jogging to the point where my endurance level was so high it showed on the football field. And that ability separated me from the other players on the football team.
As a young boy, Jarvis was picked on at school. He fought back, and that caused trouble at home. When he was on the verge of being expelled from school for fighting, his parents held up the threat of being placed in a juvenile home. That scared him enough to swear off fighting for good. “We all face times when we have to make decisions. It doesn’t matter if you’re an adult or a little kid; we all have times when we have to look at what we know about right and wrong and make a decision.”
Until middle school, his mother kept him out of organized sports. When he finally had the chance to take the field in seventh grade, the opportunity almost fell through his fingers. “I was out there doing a drill and I started complaining, saying the other guys hit too hard, this and that. I said, I quit. But my coach — Coach Ronnie Rabilis — rest his soul, he ran after me and said, ‘I coached your brothers and I’m not going to let you off this easy,’ and he got me back out there. From that day on I was positive about the sport and just about a lot of things, about not giving up, because it was so easy to give up.”
His parents divorced when he was in high school, and his mother began to face serious financial struggles. It was a big burden for a young man to carry. “My junior and senior year of high school, I was picking up jobs to keep the lights on and keep water running, helping my mom, and becoming a man overnight. I remember leaving practice, going to work and working 20 to 25 hours a week trying to bring home $100. What I brought home, I would give to my mom to put toward the bills. I did that for my entire senior year.”
His first years at Louisiana State University weren’t much easier. As a major in construction engineering, he saw his grades occasionally dip dangerously low. He sustained serious back injuries in a car accident his freshman year but refused to give up football and played much of his college career with fractures in his back. “I don’t know how I played. It was a stronger power, it wasn’t just me. God was helping me through it.”
Through it all, he was learning tenacity and family loyalty. And he never lost sight of graduating from college as his top priority even though he was starting to get glimmers of hope that a pro career with the NFL might lie ahead. “I started off pretty fast my first year, made a lot of plays, got a lot of honors, and that’s when I started thinking about it, but it wasn’t the most important thing. The most important thing in my head was getting a degree.” He still remembers the elation he felt at his graduation ceremony – and the tears he shed.
Being drafted his first season in the fourth round to the Patriots was another wonderful moment. He stayed with the Patriots for the next seven years and went to three Super Bowls, the last of which ended in a shocking last-minute loss. Looking back, Jarvis says, “Everybody goes through adversity in life. That loss was something that we had to overcome. We had to learn that you can’t win them all; you’re not always going to get what you want in life. Some things are pre-destined.”
Jarvis works hard at everything he does. He is a dedicated father of three. He loves to spread his message of using adversity for what it can teach us, and is looking for new ways to help his community. Being raised by a devoted single mother, gave Jarvis the passion to support single working mothers in disadvantaged, low-income areas.
Jarvis’ work ethic and generosity helped shape him into a successful businessman. In 2012, Jarvis agreed to return a favor and support his friend, Diep Tran. Dieo owned the New Orleans Shrimphouse and needed Jarvis’ help. In the beginning Jarvis did everything from sweeping the floor to driving a truck across country. Jarvis quickly became passionate about the potential for the New Orleans Shrimphouse, and he was promoted to VP of sales.
Since his time at the New Orleans Shrimphouse, Jarvis has become a leader in educating people about the health benefits of a diet rich in protein by using fresh foods and natural ingredients.
With the experience, wisdom, and knowledge he gained from the New Orleans Shrimphouse, in early 2015 Jarvis created Oceans 97 Inc. Oceans 97 is a successful National Minority Owned Company.
Within a few years, Oceans 97 experienced rapid growth that included the distribution of their products across the United States. In July 2017, Oceans 97 launched a retail line of value-added shrimp and sauces that debuted on QVC. Their value-added domestic ready to cook shrimp was in 730 retail stores from the Mid-Atlantic to Maine. Oceans 97 has worked with Giant chains that include, Stop and Shop, Giant Food, and whole Foods.
However, it hasn’t been all roses. Jarvis lost a major distributor, others backed out of their commitments to him, and his business came to a screeching halt. He wasn’t able to close a good business deal for two years. Many well-meaning people he was close to, suggested he let go of his business and find a “real job.” Others judged him harshly when he refused to give up the business, he worked so hard to create. He did a lot of soul searching. He was down on his knees, but he refused to give up.
He looked back at all the obstacles he overcame and mistakes he had made throughout his entire life. He went on a mission to glean the wisdom gained and the lessons learned from all these experiences.
He discovered he trusted people too easily, he didn’t pay enough attention to his intuition, he let others take advantage of him, he moved too fast, and he worked way too hard to please others. In addition, Jarvis realized it was imperative that he develop a greater respect and understanding of finances. Diving into this deep inner work really paid off.
He began to pray more again, trusted his intuition and, he slowed down. This really helped him be more present and made better decisions. Typical of Jarvis, he became grateful for the setback because he became more present, and this helped him make better decisions. He also drastically cut expenses and he even gave up his car. Because he was so dedicated to his growth, things turned around. Deals began to fall from the sky. He was on cloud nine. But this didn’t last very long, because the pandemic hit.
Instead of stressing out, Jarvis stepped into his resourcefulness. He asked himself, how can I turn this setback into an opportunity? He noticed his concern for humanity monopolized his thoughts. Since he worked so hard in trusting his intuition, he took his grave concern for humanity seriously. He began asking himself, how can I help others and help me and my family as well? An “illogical” thought began to gnaw at him day in and day out. Finally, he gave in and he took a 180-degree turn. Because the supply of PPE (masks, gloves, sanitizer, etc.) was depleted, he decided to do something about it. He went on a research rampage and found a way to dramatically increase the supply of PPE here in the United States. He dove into this effort full tilt. He found suppliers in other parts of the world and was thrilled to contribute to institutions, companies, and healthcare organizations. To Jarvis’ surprise, 2020 was not only the best year ever had, but he also saved a lot of lives.
Now he is rebuilding his Shrimp business and he is attracting a lot of business. Jarvis is also attracting a lot of speaking opportunities to help others become more resilient, develop resourcefulness, and believe more in the best of who they are.
Proving himself able time and again to counter physical, spiritual and emotional setbacks with perseverance and a belief in the power of good decision-making, Jarvis Green has the true spirit of an Insightful Player® team member.
Instant replay of Jarvis’s Guiding Principles:
1. A good education with a priority on graduating from college is the single most important determinant to success of any kind.
2. Everyone, no matter how easy or difficult their life is, faces decisions. Making the right decisions can mean the difference between reaching your goals and falling short.
3. Tell the truth. When you make a mistake, own up to it.
4. Be a team player. Distinguish yourself not with self-promotion but with your loyalty and support of others.
5. Learn to trust other people and be someone others can trust. Hold yourself and others accountable for actions.
6. Treat parents, coaches, teachers, and other adults with unflagging respect.
7. Learn to find the message in moments of adversity. Figure out what you can learn from a problematic situation.
8. There are times when losing is not a sign you haven’t worked hard enough. Sometimes you lose the game no matter how hard you play.
9. Be a positive role model committed to changing the world for the better.
The Insightful Player® series is brought to you by Coach Chrissy Carew, Hall of Fame Master Certified and Board Certified Personal and Business Coach and Author of INSIGHTFUL PLAYER: Football Pros Lead A Bold Movement of Hope. Chrissy has been deeply inspired by her father, the late Coach Walter Carew, Sr. Her father is in several Halls of Fame as a high school football coach and baseball coach (as well as high school and college athlete). He used sports to help kids build strong character and teach them valuable life skills. Insightful Player® was created to transform culture to an inclusive, kinder, and more loving place by inspiring youth. To contact
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Jarvis Green is a valued member of the Insightful Player® team. To be named to this team, one must be a person of integrity, such as a current or former NFL player, who shares their personal message of hope for the sole purpose of lifting the spirits of all, especially children.