From National Football Post
1. Drinking then driving: One of the first things most rookies do, even before signing a contract, is to purchase a dream car. Once he buys it, he wants to drive it everywhere, he doesn't want to part with it and definitely doesn't want anyone else to drive it. And he certainly doesn't want to leave it parked overnight outside the club, bar or restaurant he just left after having a few drinks. So what does he do? He drives it anyway while most likely over the legal limit for alcohol consumption. Most studies show a driver stopped for a suspected DUI gets behind the wheel 87 times prior to his arrest. However, let's not forget he's about 22 years old and many of his peers are doing the same thing. I know I did at that age!
With so much to lose and being warned by everyone, why do they still do it? Here's why: They don't want to part with the car; they're riding a wave of an invincibility complex; enablers are all around, including police officers who let many pros off when caught, so they are encouraged to do it again; the thought of taking a cab is a new concept; their friends who are usually with them are drinking even more and won't volunteer to be the designated driver.
My clients have had their share of DUIs. One client was downtown in a big city and tried for 90 minutes to get a hotel room, but they were all sold out. After trying and drinking water for about three hours, he thought it was okay to drive. He went one block and got popped registering a .11, just barely over the legal limit.
Many NFL teams offer a "don't ask, don't tell" car service, but many players don't trust it.
Solution: Simple, have your friends or teammate rotate as the designated driver or hire a car service and take cabs. It's a lot more fun and a lot less expensive than a DUI.
2. Buying a house too soon: In 25 years as an agent, I haven't seen a lot of players make money on residential real estate. However if a young man is constantly told that he is throwing his money away on rent and buying a house is a huge tax advantage, he will eventually do it. The problem is that most players buy too soon, too big and without thinking of resale first. Secondly, they load it up with all the extras that they will never recoup in resale. While some markets are ripe for purchasing, others make more sense to rent unless you are starting a family, have a long-term, guaranteed contract and you want to stay there year-round.
I tell my clients to rent for a year or two and get to know the local communities first before buying. And whatever you buy, plan on selling it in five years or less.
Solution: Be patient, be opportunistic and treat your purchase as an investment as well as a home; don't get too leveraged in case your career ends abruptly; and buy from another player who has to sell -- I'm sure you will get a great deal.
3. Will not set and adhere to a strict budget: I truly believe that setting a realistic hard ceiling budget is the best way for players to save money and live below their means. Many financial consultants try to do this with their clients. But it seems that something always comes up, and the budget is consistently exceeded. Once the spending dam breaks, it's hard to stop the bleeding.
Solution: Set a budget and stick to it. A player should limit his own access to all his accounts and try to use one that resets each month to the budgeted amount. Use a debit card (never credit) against the same account and have monthly living expenses come from that account as well. I encourage players to pay their own bills. Using a bill paying service is convenient, but when doing so players lose track of what they are spending -- so they keep spending.
4. Will eat too much bad/fast food: Convenience will rule the day when it comes to eating properly. Teams like the New York Jets provide several meals a day for players with many healthy options. However for those teams that don't provide meals, a fast food restaurant will provide 75% of all players' meals. Poor eating leads to poor recovery and low energy. Big guys get bigger, and the others get tired. I can't tell you how many times my clients have called me while at the drive-thru window.
Many guys don't know how to cook, and when they are hungry they want to eat immediately. Personal chefs are very expensive, and guys have a hard time justifying the cost. I have found that many nutritionists are over the top and don't offer realistic menus.
Former Green Bay Packers CB Al Harris hired one of his best friends to live with him during the season and prepare all his meals with great care. Al is obsessed with his nutrition and had all his meals strategically planned around his workouts, practices and games so he would always peak when he needed to. He swears it helped make the difference in playing for 14 years and always held his body fat under 4%.
Solution: Most local restaurants will cook meals to order, especially for an NFL player. You just have to ask. There are also food services who specialize in preparing and shipping meals for athletes. Stock the fridge once a week. And consider cooking lessons ... women dig a man who can cook.
5. Won't do enough to manage their body: A conundrum for most rookies is that they are told (usually in an informal manner) to stay out of the training room. However they are probably pretty beat up and don't know what to do about it. Head coaches hate seeing guys in the training room. Young players also have pride in being stoic and wearing their injuries as a badge of honor. In addition, after a long day at practice -- especially during camp and on Wednesday and Thursday during the season -- they are tired and just want to eat and go home. So the typical routine is to get out of the facility as soon as they can, eat and get home to their favorite chair and watch TV. This is when even more stiffness and lactic acids build up in the body.
I had one rookie recently -- he was playing a lot -- who was battling stingers he received on special teams during the game. He would tell me about it but would not tell the trainers or coaches because he feared getting released if he did. He would load up on painkillers and anti-inflammatories to get through the week. I eventually arranged for him to get treatment away from the team.
Solution: Hit the cold plunge every day -- it will do wonders for recovery. Spend some extra time stretching after practice (some vets will pay trainers under the table to help them). Buddy up with another rookie as a stretching/recovery partner and get a consistent routine before and after practice. Spend money on massage therapy and perhaps even an acupuncturist. LaDainian Tomlinson would even travel with his own body specialist when he was fighting injuries. And take yoga! It's all tax deductible.
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06-09-2012, 01:33 PM #1
NFP: Five mistakes most NFL rookies will make
06-09-2012, 03:10 PM #2Senior Member Achievements:
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- Aug 2011
- San Jose, Costa Rica
That is pretty spot on. #5 shows that NFL teams are pretty stupid though. You got money invested in these guys and you don't want to help them take care of their bodies. That one is pretty fucking stupid if you ask me. Interesting article though, thanks for sharing Frankie.