If you’re like us, you’re gearing up for the big game this Sunday (Go Eagles!) And, even if football’s not your thing, you’ll still watch the commercials. Why? Because it’s the biggest game of the year. It’s the SUPER BOWL!
In honor of #SuperBowlLII, we want to share with you some of our favorite football greats who have gone on to become motivational speakers. Because of the nature of their professions and the attention accompanying it, these speakers have often had to learn how to navigate life under the lens of a public microscope. They share the inner weavings on how to face adversity and perform under pressure, how to handle the highs and lows of successes and failures, and how to implement appropriate training to accommodate specific goals, creating an environment of understanding between the speaker and the audience.
Hard work and perseverance paid off in spite of David Akers being cut three times before defining his career with the Philadelphia Eagles. Twelve seasons later—four times the length of an average NFL career—Akers had played in more games in an Eagles uniform than anyone ever and had become the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. He was named to the Eagles 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, was voted to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 2000s, and set the NFL mark for most points scored in a decade. As a motivational speaker, David Akers talks about how his faith and hard work helped him to achieve those goals under the pressure of being a public figure.
As an expert motivator, NFL coach, and strategist, for more than 30 years Brian Billick has demonstrated an exceptional ability to take individual players to their highest potential while keeping his teams unified and focused. Currently an analyst for FOX TV Sports and a contributor to the NFL Network, Billick shares his methods for bringing teams together to focus on achieving common goals. Motivational speaker and author of several books including More Than A Game: The Glorious Present and Uncertain Future of the NFL which in part looks at ongoing labor issues in professional football, Billick’s engaging presentations challenge us all to strive for a “we” environment that holds everyone on a team accountable in the pursuit of victory.
Eric Boles is a highly acclaimed keynote speaker, consultant and executive coach. Eric addresses thousands of men and women each year – on the subjects of leadership, team dynamics and peak performance. Prior to becoming an authority on teamwork, leadership and personal development, Eric learned many principles of team dynamics, leadership and peak performance from his experiences in the National Football League (NFL) with the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers.
Ron “Jaws” Jaworski
Ron Jaworski, one of pro football’s most resilient quarterbacks ever, played seventeen years in the NFL with the Los Angeles Rams (1973-76), Philadelphia Eagles (1977-86), Miami Dolphins (1987-88) and Kansas City Chiefs (1989). Due to his strong arm and enthusiastic leadership, he led the Eagles to the NFC playoffs four times. If your group needs motivation, Ron is your man! Ron has been inspiring and motivating people for over 25 years. Since retiring from the NFL,’ Jaws’ continued to influence those around him to be the best; whether in the business world or on the set at ESPN. Ron flies around the country delivering motivational speeches for Fortune 500 companies, associations, fund-raisers and schools.
Jimmy Johnson is one of only five head coaches in NFL history to lead a team to back-to-back Super Bowl wins, and in three of his final four years with the Cowboys, he was named NFL Coach of the Year by a national media outlet. Johnson shares with audiences everywhere how teamwork can build the fundamentals for success and achieving your dreams. At a recent event with Jimmy Johnson, our clients said, “Coach Johnson was a big hit with our crowd! He was personable, funny, and our attendees enjoyed his presentation very much.”
In 1976, Vince Papale was an ordinary guy who, against all odds, took his shot at every fan’s fantasy of going from the grandstands to the gridiron. It has been described that Papale’s odds of achieving his wildest lifelong dream of playing for the Eagles as “one in a gazillion! Today, the ultimate underdog continues to thrill audiences with his energy and humor. He continues to respond to the need for a motivating hero who knows what it’s like to battle and overcome adversity.
Emmy winner and Super Bowl ChampionMichael Strahanis a co-host for leading morning program, “Good Morning America”. Strahan led the New York Giants to a dramatic Super Bowl victory over the previously undefeated New England Patriots in 2007. In 2001, Strahan completed what is widely considered to be one of the greatest seasons ever for a defensive player, breaking the 18-year-old NFL single season sack record with 22.5 sacks. His record still stands today. Strahan just released: “Wake Up Happy: The Dream Big, Win Big Guide to Transforming Your Life,” which will includes personal stories and motivational advice to inspire readers to turn up the heat and go from good to great in pursuit of their personal ambitions.
Hines Wardis perhaps the greatest wide receiver in Steelers’ history and certainly the best blocking wide receiver in NFL history. He is a two-time Super Bowl champion; the MVP of Super Bowl XL; a four-time pro bowler; the all-time team leader in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns; the only receiver in Steelers history to surpass 1,000 receiving yards for four straight seasons; was named to the Steelers’ 75th Season All-Time Team; and owns every receiving record in franchise history. Passionate about speaking out against mixed-race discrimination, Hines Ward discusses his multi-racial upbringing as well as his current efforts with audiences around the country. He also speaks about his seasoned football career—in which he had to overcome various injuries— and his work with various charitable organizations.
Herschel Walker retired from the NFL in 1997 as one of the league’s top running backs, gaining more yards than anyone in professional football history at the time, counting his seasons in both the NFL and USFL. Herschel Walker is the author of Breaking Free, a memoir in which he shares the inspiring story of his life and diagnosis with dissociative identity disorder — from the joys and hardships of childhood, to his explosive impact on college football, to his remarkable professional career. He gives voice and hope to those suffering from DID. Herschel shows how this disorder played an integral role in his accomplishments and how he has learned to live with it today. His compelling account testifies to the strength of the human spirit and its ability to overcome any challenge.
The first female coach in NFL history, Dr. Jen Welter serves as a powerful role model and an inspiring reminder that barriers are meant to be broken. With a career studded with a number of firsts, Dr. Welter made history when she coached the Arizona Cardinals’ inside linebackers for their 2015 training camp. Dr. Welter inspires and enlightens audiences with insight on breaking barriers, authentic leadership, achieving what others say is impossible and the true value of diverse teams. Participants take away a renewed sense of empowerment to aim high and realize any goal, and encouraged to know that hard work, perseverance and teamwork can get you to the end zone.
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