(Image: The Shadow League)
Officially retired from the NFL, he’s still heavily invested and involved in the game
The Shadow League recently caught up with retired NFL quarterback Michael Vick at his V7 Elite Playmakers Showcase Series in Dallas, Texas.
As he transitions away from his active NFL career, Vick is looking to pass along his insights and knowledge to the next crop of promising young athletes who share his passion for the game that he loves. He is conducting the showcase events in strategic locations across the country, intent on providing a camp setting where some of the top middle and high school athletes around the country can receive quality instruction from some of the best prep, college and pro coaches and players, along with constructive evaluation tools while motivating them to improve and sharpen their skills
Here are excerpts from The Shadow League’s interview:
The Shadow League: Talk about the V7 Elite Playmakers Showcase and what you hope to accomplish with this.
Michael Vick: It’s a showcase where we bring in some of the top athletes from around the country. We want the best of the best to come put and compete, to get the proper schooling and the proper teaching. The kids that want to be the best can come out and learn, doing fundamental drills and learning different techniques through passing drills and one-on-one instruction.
It’s about becoming engaged in the game from a competitive standpoint. The most important part is teaching competition and letting kids know that this is a serious game. We want to make sure that the next generation gets the proper schooling and the proper teaching.
TSL: This is bigger than sports for you. What are, from your perspective, the most important elements of coaching in terms of the physical and mental aspects of the game, along with growing into manhood?
MV: Growing up,I always kept things in perspective, and every kid is not the same. Every kid is not going to be like me. Their attitudes and temperament may be different, or the way they carry themselves. I want kids to understand that it takes a certain level of discipline to get to the next level. Not the NFL, but college because that’s what’s next for them. If they can understand those main core principles: school first, ball second, being respectful around the school, being respected by your teachers and peers, being a leader at a young age: then I think it gives them an opportunity to broaden their focus, to understand what is most important.
TSL: What do you bring to these young people that makes you walk away at the end of the day and puts a smile on your face, saying to yourself, “You know what? I’ve been through what I’ve been through, but I can now give so much?”
MV: I like to let them know that I’m approachable, that I’m real. I’m not just showing up. I want to see them succeed. I work with the quarterbacks. I work with the defensive backs, I work with the receivers, I work with the running backs. I know and understand all the positions. I understand the game. I’ve played with the best, and it’s all about giving them that experience and letting them understand that, “Hey, I really do care and want you to succeed.”
TSL: Why do you love football so much?
MV: It’s just a fun game. I had my moments, I had my time and I enjoyed it. And now I get to watch young kids do it all over again. Now I get to focus on the next generation, and I think that’s important.
TSL: What is it about the game, from the beauty of it to the beast, that teaches kids life lessons that they might not understand now but can benefit them down the road?
MV: It’s a violent game, but it’s also a work of art. With all that it entails and what you have to do in terms of structure, it’s a beautiful game. When the kids get it and understand it, you can help them to get better. There are going to be various moments where you’re going to faced with adversity, but those are the moments that are going to bring out your character. That’s the ultimate measure, of a kid and of a man, in terms of what you do when your character is in jeopardy. It happens on and off the field and in all different walks of life.*
*Read the interview in its entirety at The Shadow League
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