The NFL Draft is an exciting time of year for everyone. Fans are following the draft to see who’s coming in to “their team”, or what kind of tricks does their secretive GM have up his sleeve this year? There are others scouting for their fantasy football roster. Schools and communities also rally around local players who are hoping to get a call. It’s a great week for sports.
But what about the players? What are they thinking and feeling during Draft Day? Ahman Green, all-time leading rusher for the Green Bay Packers and InitiativeOne Transformation Leader, provided insight as to what Draft Day meant to him. We discussed how critical trust is as a NFL prospect and player.
Ahman shared that first and foremost a player needs to trust himself, knowing he put everything he had into preparing for the NFL. Conditioning, strength, position drills, nutrition, all while also building relationships with coaches and personnel. Trusting yourself also means being honest with accountability and expectations.
Trusting your inner “team” like your family and your agent is also a key component to a successful NFL Draft. Building that trust and empowering your own team allowed Ahman to focus on the football side of the business while his agent worked to promote him.
There are so many unknowns on Draft Day and “Controlling what you can control” is great advice from an agent to a player. Kelli Masters, professional sports agent with KMM sports, tells her clients this all the time. This advice translates to open communication, committed preparation, managing expectations, and brutal honesty.
Kelli’s commitment to communication and trust is critical with her players and also with her contacts in the industry. She found early on that information and respect is what would give credibility to her clients in the eyes of coaches and scouts – not the chest thumping and exaggerations she witnessed other from other agents. Now teams know that Kelli will always be an advocate for her clients BUT will also be honest and trustworthy.
The interview is a crucial piece of the NFL Draft process – the player has an opportunity to connect with coaches and management in a much more personal way. That is why it is incredibly important that a player is honest, attentive, punctual and respectful. Kelli prepares her clients for these conversations and helps build a level of confidence and trust between a team and her client. Kelli summed it up perfectly: “A team must feel they can trust a player before they are willing to draft them.”
Ahman’s favorite part about NFL Draft day is “the excitement about finding out how your life is about to change for the good. That you’ve worked so hard and your dedication as an athlete is going to pay off”. Kelli shared the agent’s perspective of that same experience – “Celebrating with the player and family after he gets “the call!” Such an awesome moment! But then, the work begins…”
Best of luck to the athletes, agents, teams, families, and fans as the NFL Draft begins tonight!