You have a very real issue of needing to hyper-focus during the season. Truth.
You’re not a normal 9–5/ 5 day a week/ 52 weeks a year Dad. You are not a salesman. You’re not hourly labor, you’re not management. You are talent. You are talent in a league where EVERYONE has talent. And I assume a very real reality is that talent alone does not win in this league, Right?
So you need time and dedication in the film room and weight room. You need hours, and hours, and hours of improving technique and preparation to get the edge on the next guy. I get it. And your right.
You’ve got to be all in. To be hyper-focused. You have to push out all the distractions. Wives and kids are a distraction. Don’t crucify me because it's true and you know it. I just have the stones to say it. My wife and my kids have held me back in my business career. I’m not mad about it. It’s just true.
Now I’m going to rephrase that with a little less drama and more context because it sounds terrible. I made the choice to sacrifice business growth and financial benefit so I could spend more time with my wife and with my kids. My Choice…..And I’m happy. I have zero regrets.
And on a very real level, they are my motivation. So as much as I can put blame on them…I also flip the script and realize they are my driving force. The very people that make me happy in my life as a whole. The people I want to impress and provide for. They are my everything.
Now I live in the business world. My career is going to be 80 years. You’re in the NFL. Not for Long. BEST case 20+ years like TB12. Who I am convinced will never retire. I genuinely with the bottom of my heart believe he will play as an old man and an Aaron Donald type player is going to blindside him and POOF. He’ll just explode into a big cloud of dust. Instant cremation.
What’s the average? 3 years? Some of you have a handful of games? Practice squad? 7 years?
You have a short window. Luckily, it’s a lucrative window.
With that note
A good dad manages his finances well and thinks about the future.
There are a ton of good smart financial resources available to you so I’ll keep this part brief.
1.) Live on way less than you make. Like way way less. Let’s be clear. I (and the rest of the world) will call you stupid if you spend all your money.
2.) Make wise investments so you don’t end up broke. By the way. If you have yourself “a guy’ that handles your money. You going to be broke. YOU make your investment decision. Do it in the offseason preferably so it's not a distraction. Your financial advisor works for you. They give you options and their opinion. YOU make the decision. Do not give them full control.
3.) You’re busting your tail and making bank. The money that gets put in your bank should grow. Not shrink. It should give you future security. Do not count on future paychecks. Good players get cut all the time. Guys who thought they had years more to make money were done.
Alright, we got sidetracked there. Back to mom and kids holding us back. It true. When you’re in a fight with your wife it’s hard to focus. Drama, fighting, arguments, planning, negotiating, sickness, babies, lack of sleep, lack of alone time, these things are all distractions.
They are also worth it. I wouldn’t change it for the whole wide world. I really don’t want to scare away the guys who aren’t yet married or fathers. I fully believe in and recommend marriage and kids.
Nothing makes me happier than sitting back and reflecting on memories of the family. It’s just real joy and contentment. Really you’re family genuinely helps you become the best version of you whether thru inspiration, motivation, or just plain transparent honesty. These people know us better than the rest of the world ever will.
So we have these realities: This is essentially a quick summary for the ones that dozed off.
1.) Wife & Kids can hold us back.
2.) Wife & Kids are great
3.) Wife & Kids make us better
4.) Wife & Kids can distract us
5.) We need to hyper-focus because we are in an ultra-competitive career with a very short window of opportunity.
Well, that’s conflicting. I'll circle back.
1.) Be a great Husband
2.) Be a great Dad
3.) Be a great Player
Those are my priorities. If your faith-based God is always number 1. If you’re not, then He’s still number one you just don’t know it yet.
1.) Relationship with mom is incredibly important. In fact, Me the dad guy argues that being a good husband is 100% tied to being a good Dad. Raising kids in a home filled with stability and love is way more successful than a home with constant fighting, drama, divorce, custody battles, stepparents. Because those are all statistical indicators of kids having some serious life problems as they get older. That’s an indicator not a guarantee. We’re talking data points here. Mom and dad having a good marriage directly correlates to your ability to be a good dad. Protect that relationship with mom. Take care of it. Give it priority. It’s important for her and your kids. Mom and dad being happily married gives your kids a huge advantage in life. And long term makes YOU happier.
2.) Be a great dad. That means guiding your kids through life with the end goal of being fully competent, moral, productive adults that will never move back in with me. It means loving them and being loved by them. It means having a deep connection with them. It involves honesty and trust. It means protecting them from harm ( physical, mental, emotional, spiritual harm.)It means providing or them. At the very least he necessities for life, Food, shelter, safety, and beyond that education and opportunity, independence,…
3.) Be a great player. You guys are here not only because you have the talent & good DNA, but because you bust your tail working for it. You made the most or are making the most of an opportunity. Good for you. Continue doing what we need to do to cement a spot on the roster and hopefully build a legacy. You should absolutely put the effort in to achieve greatness during this narrow window.
Now how do you practically do this? How do you balance it?
Believe me, I’ve tried it all. I wanted to find balance in my day and have a perfect life. I was trying to hit all those goals everyone wants.
-Take Care of my Body
-Improve my relationship with God
-Spend time with my family
-Have a social life with friends
-Be excellent in my career
-Handle my money right
I wanted it all. Who doesn’t?
I’m telling you I was waking up earlier, going to bed later. Cutting out tv. And still, I could never give everything the time and effort I needed to make real progress in each aspect.
In the NFL you cannot have balance in your day, week, or even your month. It’s not going to happen. Not well at least. Your balance is going to be over the course of a year. Big picture. Cause That’s the only way you stay sane and give everything the attention it needs.
NFL Season hyper-focus on the career. On your body.
Offseason hyper-focus on family, focus on God, get your financial house in order and planned, read a book, see friends, relax.
I don’t want any dads feeling guilt about not being as present or as available during the season. Because off-season you get to be super dad. Super husband. You’ve got a short window to not only make bank but carve out a legacy. Just realize you have to triple down on home life in the offseason. On bye weeks. Off days. Triple the dad greatness. This isn’t a pass on having a family altogether. This is just a mutual understanding within the family. Mutual understanding.
4–5 months out of the year Dads got his head down at work. Then the other 7–8 months out of the year, let's freaking go. Now that is a real long conversation to have with your wife and kids (age-appropriate).
let’s be clear. This doesn’t work unless you're all on the same page.
You actually sat down and had a very long conversation about this. Mutual understanding. Talk about the realities of what this means., right? And if you have a long career, I assume gets easier. Rookie season and year 2 are probably a whole different level than year 6 or 7 or 8 under a nice new fat contract, right?
Veterans have that as an advantage. They understand the game better, they know the system and their opponent better than rookies. On the flip side, I’m assuming contract years or having some young gun replacement drafted — those are real reasons to have to double down on your career focus.
But guys I want to you know. Me a normal guy business owner. This is how I naturally worked. In smaller cycles, I built all my businesses from scratch, with zero customers, as a solo entrepreneur. No investors, no loans, no inheritance, just good old-fashioned hard work and wits.
In the beginning of every start-up Dad was barely home. I had to do everything and some in the business. Then once things were going smooth Dad was home breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sometimes things would get difficult, and I would put my head down and double down at the office, which meant being gone when the kids woke up, coming home after they were asleep, long weekends, etc.
Dad had to do what dad had to do. I had to put the family on the back burner for a minute and prioritize the business. Not because the family is not important. But because the business provided for our family, not just our immediate needs but our long-term needs as well. And I was lucky to have a wife that understood that. Because let’s be real. She held a lot of that burden. Stay at home mom and a homeschool mom. She had to step up and do more while I did what I had to do.
It sucked sometimes. But we were both on the same page. That was not a real big fight for us. It was more of an aggravation. And we also knew that it was temporary. And now we look back, having sold those businesses. Having tremendous opportunity as a family in front of us. And we have no regrets. Our marriage is still strong. The kids have great relationships with mom and dad. We are a fully functional healthy family with strong prospects for what the future holds.
You guys are in a similar boat. Here’s the difference. Day 1 ya’ll made some nice cash. That does afford you luxuries others can’t consider. Mom can get help cooking and cleaning and watching kids. She can get pampered a bit. Because don’t take for granted how much she is doing a home. It’s not squatting 500 lbs but you try having kids pepper you with 10 million questions every single day. You get to go to work. I got to go to work. Mom's brain gets no break from those little yappers.
And you’ve got an offseason. So, don’t be a normal dad in the offseason. Step it up. If you get to step back during the season step up after the season. And it’s all about time. This has nothing to do with buying things. Kids benefit most from time. Talking to dad, walking with dad, playing with dad, exploring with dad. The offseason is when you are a super dad.
Find more about Townsend Russell and 100% Dad on 100dad.com and on Instagram @100dad
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