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Truthful Self-Evaluation is Not Quitting


Jan. 1, 1970

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Dear Fellow Former Players & Friends,

Our coaches, professors, pastors and other mentors are sometimes disappointed. In the moment, they teach such beautiful lessons, sharing great judgement and the wisdom of past experiences. The simplicity of their words is keen, and we understand. Their words ring truth and calm, it’s real and enlightening. Yet only a short time later, whether it be days or weeks, we return to poor decisions.  

What does it take to keep a mind focused to rise above chaos? How many times can one return to the madness before getting burned… evicted, divorced, repossessed, jailed, fired, IRS’d, or taken advantage of? 

Maturity comes when you learn your lesson and return to the mess less often. Human nature says you’re a creature of habit and will make some of the same mistakes. Still, let’s hope those mistakes are less or not at all, with less painful consequences and less harm to yourself and less hurt to your family. 

At some point you have to say, “I can’t do that anymore or go there anymore or invest time and money in that anymore”. 

Choosing a simpler and less complicated path is not giving up. Simplicity is allowing a chance for clarity and quiet. In that quiet, listen for a voice that whispers, “You’re doing your best. You can’t give anymore of yourself or create something out of nothing. If it isn’t working, maybe don’t force it.” 

Sometimes we push and push. I know from my experiences and by working with many players, we keep trying to win or get the play right, but the game is already over. A truthful evaluation of circumstances is not quitting. Many smart people suffer great loss in the strategy of pressing ahead at all costs. 

When you want something so badly that may never happen, you’re giving away an asset commonly known as time. I know what this practice has done for me. Prioritize. You can’t do everything. Sometimes listening to that quiet voice is the action that creates an opportunity to live your best life. 

Andre Collins

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Executive Director
Professional Athletes Foundation
NFL Player 1990-1999

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

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