Veteran Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer was at IMG today to speak to players preparing for the combine. Moyer spoke to the NFL hopefuls on what it is to become a professional athlete. Among other things, he shared his understanding of hard work, humility, and the importance of staying focused:
"When you can pick up on what's goin on around you, you guys get to the NFL and you are the low man on the totem pole once again, and now you've gotta earn your stripes and work your way through it. Regardless of what you did in college...its now up to you to do something with it."
"Regardless of what your position is, if you have the ability to play two positions you're more valuable to a club. You can't go in saying 'I play this position, and I'm stuck on this position.' While you're playing, watch, listen, learn, ask questions, be the first guy at practice, be the last guy to leave."
"If you've got an agent and he wants you to do this appearance, this talk show, or whatever it is, all of a sudden your attention isn't on what its supposed to be on. If you're not careful you can fall into that trap, get caught up in too many other things and get caught up in the lifestyle; you have to ask yourself 'Why am I really here?' You're this close to reaching your dream, stay focused."
Indiana's Jammie Kirlew is training for the combine and was in attendance: "Obviously Jamie Moyer is a legend, it was good that he took time to talk to us and give us insight on how it is at the professional level. To give us tips not only to get there, but to stay there and be successful throughout the years. He talked about the importance of getting under a veteran's wing and really learning the system. He also talked about continuing to do every little thing to stay around as long as you can and continue to improve. He's been playing for twenty plus years so he definitely knows what he's talking about, and I'm glad he took time to talk to us."
Virginia's fullback Rashawn Jackson took Moyer's words to heart: "I thought it was very impactful. For someone of his caliber, it's real easy to get caught up into yourself, but you can obviously tell that he's a real humble guy. You can tell that he loves what he's doing, and he also just loves being one of the guys and being able to talk to us and to anyone that's willing to learn. For the most part I'm grateful for it and humbled by the experience."