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Mixing Business and Pleasureby: John Gallup
Editor and Publisher
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You’re probably familiar with the famous Harvey Mackay quote about the best advice to give a young person deciding on a new career – “Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”.
While not everyone can find a job that they truly love and still pay their bills, we’re confident that most coaches feel fortunate to be able to combine something that they love with their profession. Whether you’re a full time coach or a coach as well as a teacher, you spend countless hours involved in the game – watching football, learning about football, talking about football and, most importantly, teaching football. If you love football, you surely love coaching it and appreciate having it as your job.
Beyond the systems, schemes and Xs and Os, there’s the opportunity that you have to use football as a means of instilling strong character in young men. We know from talking to coaches that this is a major source of satisfaction and another significant benefit of the coaching profession. Consider it a fringe benefit.
thletes talented enough to play football professionally have achieved the ultimate in taking something they love to do and turning it into their profession. While their careers might be fairly short and their bodies might take a beating, most would say that getting paid good money to play a game is a pretty good deal.
Some NFL players have even used their playing careers as springboards to future job opportunities in football. Many have become coaches, others have become broadcasters and several have advanced in the business of football. Such is the case with the subject of this month’s cover story, Troy Vincent.
In his 15-year NFL career with the Dolphins, Eagles, Bills and Redskins, Vincent was a 5-time Pro Bowler as a defensive back. But he was always keenly aware that there was life beyond football and that his life would be defined as much by what he accomplished off the field as what he did on Sundays. He became active in several community organizations and was honored by the league as the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2002 in recognition of his volunteer activities. He gained first-hand knowledge about football business as president of the NFL Players Association for nearly four years.
Vincent was able to combine his two biggest loves - football and helping others - when he was appointed NFL Vice President of Active Player Development, late renamed Player Engagement, in 2010. Responsible for working with players to prepare them for life after football, he presided over a great expansion of the department that included new programs for players, spouses and high school athletes. Now, as newly-named NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Vincent is one of the most influential individuals in football.
Here at AFM, we are also fortunate to be able to combine our business with something in which we take great pleasure. Naturally, we all love football and enjoy going to games, watching games, talking about the games and even making the occasional friendly wager. Knowing that it’s all part of our job is satisfying and fun.
But the biggest joy for us is being an important part of the football community. For 20 years, we have served as the national clearinghouse of football information and have provided coaches with a platform to share their ideas and their knowledge with their fellow coaches. Sometimes, coaches take a minute to tell us that they appreciate what we do here at AFM. And that, for us, is the best reward of all.
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