Getting Excited About Football with Malachi Jones
Is there anyone more equipped to get my son, Harrison, excited about starting football than a former pro player? I think not!
Insert, my friend Malachi Jones. I met Malachi at my gym, Shred415, where I learned he has quite a history with football. Not only did his dad and brother spend time in the pros, but Malachi played for Appalachian State before joining the Atlanta Falcons, Albany Empire, and Chicago Bears, along with a few other teams. He recently hung up his cleats but carries with him many great memories and lessons learned from playing the sport. I asked Harrison if he would be interested in asking Malachi some questions and, although a bit nervous, my 9-year-old was very excited to meet him.
This post is brought to you by our partners at Future for Football.
After introductions (it turns out Malachi’s experience of football is more extensive than Harrison’s as Harrison admits in his cute 9-year-old way), Harrison tossed some serious questions to the former pro player – What were your favorite football memories? What did you learn from football that can be applied to life? Do you have any advice for me since I am just starting out?
Throughout the interview, Harrison heard everything I was hoping Malachi would tell him (unscripted, too!):
- Push yourself to win, but never lose sight of having fun.
- Whatever you pursue, pursue it with passion.
- When you put your best efforts forward, anything is possible.
- Eat your vegetables, do your homework, and listen to your parents.
- And if you are a running back, keep it “high and tight”!
And this is what I love about the game of football. These takeaways can be applied to any stage of life. Learning discipline in a youth sport can teach you habits that you can carry forever, regardless if you are still playing that same sport or if life has taken you in a different direction (Harrison’s current career goal: Robotics Engineer).
The end of the interview is my favorite though. Harrison had fun preparing some celebratory moves with Malachi that he can use if/when he scores a touchdown this season. And he walked away pretty proud of himself for “beating” Malachi in an arm-wrestling competition.
To say Harrison is excited to play football now is an understatement. Thanks to Malachi for inspiring him to work hard and exude passion on and off the field!
Thank you to Future for Football for sponsoring this post! For football-related resources and to find a league in your area, check out their website here.