Networking is your most powerful tool for growth.
Putting yourself out there, meeting new people, and taking advantage of your opportunities can lead to the most unexpected of possibilities. And as we all know, when we create possibilities for ourselves, they extend to those closest to us as well.
Last Monday, was the Anthony Calhoun Golf Outing where he raised 170k for teachers treasures. He’s a man with a truly socially conscious mind, and I’m blessed to know such a giving man. Anyways, while hopping in my cart before the scramble, I overheard some talk about a football camp at Ball State. It immediate peaked my interest because for the past 4 years my 3 nephews, who live in my hometown of Glassboro, spend time at our house for about a month every summer and I try to expose them to as many different opportunities as possible in that time.
My Nephews: The Original #CrazyBracketts
Each of my nephews watched my career on the field from their own vantage point. My career partly normalized the sport of football & playing in the NFL because to them, Uncle Gary made it look so easy. It I always stress the importance of hard work and how motivated one has to be to play at that level. But, the Ball State Camp would be the perfect opportunity to SHOW them how hard their peers are working.
There was some finessing to do because I had a meeting In Martinsville at 11am, while the camp started at 12. With the help of Team Brackett, we figured out a way to get them to camp, but I wanted them to see their performance at a D1 camp up close & personal. After my meeting, I drove clear across Indiana to Muncie to check them out.
Football Camps & NFL Dreams
The camp was pristine from an execution standpoint. It gave young players the kinds a glimpse of the work ethic it takes to get to the next level. For my nephews, it gave them a better picture of what it’s going to take for them to become the next “Uncle Gary” & play in the NFL. It opened their eyes, like my first camp did for me. There the realization that as a competitor, you are not competing against your own individual squad, the kids in your conference, or even the kids in your state came abput. The entire nation is working for the same thing. Only so many scholarships can be awarded every season in college football, and some young men are hungry. You’ve got to be hungrier. Every single day. It’s a lesson I carry with me every day of my life, and to bring my nephews to that realization was both nostalgic & heart-warming.
In the car ride home while recapping the on-goings of the camp, I asked them if they still felt they had a chance of going D-1 and playing at the next level. They looked at each other for a second and said “Yes” in unison. They all agreed, however, that they would have to step their games up to get the job done. The next day, they got up and challenged me to work them out for the day. That has turned into workouts in the form hill work, pool work, and weights. We’ve been at it every day since camp, and it looks like the camp has really sparked a flame of determination in each one of my nephews. I couldn’t be more proud or excited for these young men.
As my father use to always say when I was a youth: “If it is to be, it is up to ME.” I stress to my nephews the importance of their own individual grind to make it. It’s what has helped me get to everywhere I have been in life, and is what I will continue to lean on in this game of life. Determination is everything. I’m just blessed to have the opportunity to guide my nephews the way Dad guided me.
“Each one reach one, each one teach one.”
I’m GB, and I hope we ALL make it.