Leadership, Mindset, self-awareness, Sports Leadership

Second Chances

I believe in growth so therefore I believe in second chances. Michael Vick is a very controversial figure. He has gone through being at the pinnical of celebrity to the depths of society.  For those of you who don’t know who Michael Vick is, he is a 13 year NFL veteran(Falcons and Eagles), Pro Bowl Quarterback and the former first overall pick.He holds the record for the most career rushing yards by a quarterback (6,109) and the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a season (1,039). At his peak, he was must see TV and one of the most exciting players ever to play the game. At his lowest point in his life he was an inmate convicted of unspeakable and inhumane crimes. 

He was involved is one of the biggest sports scandals in recent history when he was found to have been the leader and financier of a dog fighting ring. On his way down he burned many bridges and lied to people who trusted and cared about him. He deceived people who invested in him and a community that believed in him. He ended up losing everything. He lost multi-million endorsements deals (Nike, CocaCola, PowerAde), his multi-million dollar paying job, and most importantly his freedom. 

You can watch his public apology here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iigURcLGdRg

He was sentenced to 23 months in prison. He payed his debt to society and then went back into the NFL. He was helped by a fantastic leader and coach named Tony Dungy. Tony Dungy mentored Michael and preached the importance of redemption and growth to NFL teams on the fence in regards to signing him. Michael was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles who was coached then by Andy Reid. Michael said being Mentored by Tony Dungy and Coached by Andy Reid taught him numerous life lessons and things about football he never was taught throughout his career. 

He had the best season of his career in 2010 season with the Eagles. Vick finished the 2010 regular season with 3,018 passing yards, 676 rushing yards and 30 total touchdowns. He had career high passer rating of 100.2. Vick made his fourth Pro Bowl and was named NFL Comeback Player of the year. He had team success as well as the  Philadelphia Eagles went 10–6 and made the playoffs. 

Michael Vick has grown off the field as well. He is a messenger and speaks for many causes. The one I feel shows the most growth is his commitment to the Pets for Life program to end dogfighting. He is helping to spread the message through his public appearances. He does personal videos that extend the reach of his message to many more people.

Recently Michael Vick did an interview on the Colin Cowherd show and what you hear is a genuine, accountable , and mature individual who has been through a ton. It was the inspiration for this post. 

You can here the interview here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-herd-with-colin-cowherd/id1042368254?mt=2&i=1000389992360

We can learn infinite lessons from the Michael Vick story but here are the ones that stuck out to me.

1. We shouldn’t wait for rock bottom to evaluate ourselves and course correct. This should be a continuous process and personal growth should always be the focus of our lives. 

2. It’s never too late to grow. Michael Vick could have fallen of the deep end after his heinous crime and prison sentence. He used his mistake as a learning experience and accepted mentorship. He re-focused his his life and improved to become better in many aspects.

3. Appreciate the gifts that life has bestowed upon you by honoring them. Honoring your gifts mean working hard and learning continuously  to maximize potential. It means taking every opportunity to better yourself . Michael Vick states in his interview that if he could go back in time he would take things more seriously and do thing differently. You never want to have regrets in regards to wasted potential.

4. Be accountable for your mistakes and learn from them. Ignoring mistakes do not make them go away. It will only get worse. Michael Vick realized that when it came to changing his life that it was up to him. He could have kept blaming others and lying but that would’ve helped no one. The path to redemption started with Michael Vick.