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Dear Fellow Former Players & Friends,

Summer is for enjoying time with family. This summer is especially meaningful to me as my oldest is going off to college in the fall. I’m trying to cram so much into this summer, spending time with her one-on-one, sharing my brand of wisdom and lots of hugs. She is leaving and will not come back without changing a lot and growing more independent. When she returns it will be different than driving her home from school and asking “How are we looking on homework?”

It’s never too late to make time for our kids. Before you know it, they are gone. As parents we are both excited and saddened at moments like this. As she starts down her own path, I wonder “Where does this leave me?”

I’m reviewing the film on how I’ve done as a dad. Did I give her enough? On the nights I was tired, was I too selfish to engage? Is she prepared to make good decisions? Or at least not insurmountable mistakes?

One thing I do know is that time flies and that our family dynamic is about to change forever. Today, for her, I must project confidence and let her feel my peace with this transition. Yet, at the same time I need to be authentic in the moment and allow myself to acknowledge my feelings: strange, new and exciting. Ultimately, I need to realize that this is an even bigger deal to my daughter.

Some of you are ahead of me on this path, some are following. It’s never too early to start preparing and planning for our kids to be on their own. Take action early by saving for college and setting them up to succeed.

Making the time to be with our kids while they’re still at home will strengthen your connection so they will never be too far away. It creates opportunity not just for them, but for you to be a part of their lives and their families as they continue down their own path.

And when a family transition is upon you, don’t dismiss the emotions and fears that may rise. Ask a few questions. Evaluate the answers. Assure your child that you are always near and available. There are only so many things you can control. Pray and hope.

I’m all in on action creating opportunity and have a good feeling that my relationship with my daughter will only get better.

Andre Collins


Executive Director
Professional Athletes Foundation
NFL Player 1990-1999

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