In many circles, the National Football League (NFL) has become (just as) well known for its alternate meaning, “Not For Long”.
But every once in a while, a player comes along who’s able to defy those odds.
In today’s episode, Richie Incognito, taken by the St. Louis Rams in the third round of the 2005 draft, four time pro-bowler, and 15 year veteran, reveals in his VERY FIRST post-retirement podcast interview what it takes to manage the brutality of a 15+ year stint in the trenches.
As he reflects on the lessons learned, and looks ahead to a future of living life on his own terms, Richie credits much of his success to a few things:
- The mindset to constantly find ways to increase the standard year to year (9:30)
- Creating buy-in and leadership in the locker room (16:30)
- Using money as a motivator and managing it the right way (26:35)
- Being cognizant of the brand you’re creating and putting out there (29:40)
If you want to learn more from Richie and his experience, you can connect with him via Twitter – @68INCOGNITO.
If you’ve been listening to our podcasts consistently, you’ll notice a trend – defining and building your own brand is a necessity in reaching your goals. If building your brand is something you feel that you struggle with, and you’re looking for help, check out our upcoming Brand Builder event. The Super Early Bird sale ends this coming Friday, August 5. So ACT NOW to get the best deal!
We also want to thank our sponsors, Dynamic Fitness & Strength and Momentous, for today’s episode.
If you ask Richie, a large part of creating a sustainable career was fueling his body with the highest quality products. Check out their entire line of protein and supplements at livemomentous.com and use code BRETT15 at checkout for 15% off!
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Lastly, if you find value in the content we provide, and you want to be the first to know about new live events, resources and weekly insights from our team- check out artofcoaching.com/begin.
Brett Bartholomew 0:13
Today’s episode is brought to you by momentus. With more than 150 advocates across the sporting world Special Forces and corporate America, momentous stands alone in providing you with products that allow you to do more of what you love, the ability to do it at a higher level and for a longer period of time. So whether you’re a corporate exec, a researcher, a member of the military, or just somebody trying to improve how you eat momentus has you covered. My favorite is their fish oil and their magnesium and their unflavored protein, which I can add to all kinds of things. And I take all of these before bed. They’re staples when I travel, and they have so many new products that you can check out, just go to www.livemomentous.com and use code Brett15. At checkout. Again, as an art of coaching listener, you can get 15% off your first purchase of momentous. When you go there and you sign up for a subscription, all you have to do is use code Brett, that’s b r e t t, one, five, Brett15. At livemomentous.com. We couldn’t do these shows. Without them. We’re very grateful. Make sure you check them out and go there. Now. Quick heads up on November 5th. And 6th, we’re doing something really special here at art of coaching. And this is done in Phoenix, Arizona, it’s one of our best events of the year, we’ve rented an amazing location. And it is for those of you who really want to help others in a more scalable way. Maybe you’re somebody that’s felt impostor syndrome in the past, maybe you still haven’t now, maybe you have your own business already. It doesn’t matter whether you’re really just trying to get started or whether you’re trying to take the next step, our Brand Builder live event is geared to help you. So if you’ve ever felt like you’re somebody who says hey, I love learning, I’m always looking for ways to better myself, and I want to help others. But I sometimes feel like I lacked the confidence, experience and knowledge of what to do next. It’s for you. If you’re somebody that already has a staff, you have something that you’re doing, that’s great, but you want to kind of move it to the next level. I don’t know maybe you want to add on another part of your business. Maybe you want to get your business more profitable. Whatever it is, you want the freedom and the ability to do what you love doing, do it on your terms and do more of it so you can help more people. You want to go to artofcoaching.com/brand right now that’s artofcoaching.com/brand. I know what everybody tends to do. They put these things off till the last minute. They say Oh, I don’t know, I’ve got to look at if I have the time if I have the money, guys, this is unique. We have payment plans, we have early bird discounts. We have thought of every excuse somebody could make and try to get it out of your way. Also, we’re going to be doing something we’ve never done today. I am bringing a special guest with me and a co facilitator in Brianna battles, somebody that has built a multi million dollar company of her own, and she has helped people all over the world her just like myself, we started in one profession and had a lot of self limiting thoughts at one point in time. And then we got around the right people. We doubled down on ourselves and our mission and we found out these things can be done. So get around some excellent people come to an amazing location. Go to artofcoaching.com/brand now and take advantage of the remaining discounts
Welcome to the Art of coaching Podcast. I’m Brett Bartholomew. And at a young age poor communication nearly cost me my life. Now, I help others navigate the gray area of social interaction, power dynamics and communication so they can become more adaptable leaders regardless of their profession, age or situation. This podcast is for everybody who is fascinated with solving people problems. So if you’re in the no nonsense type who appreciates frank conversations, advice you can put to use immediately and learning how others navigate the messy realities of leadership. You’re in the right place. I’m glad that you’re joining us. Let’s dive in.
Today’s guest is somebody very special to my wife Liz and I. Not only did I have the great pleasure of working with him throughout his career, but he also attended our wedding and is somebody that I’ve learned. You can speak to about the inevitable ups and downs in life because, well, frankly, he’s experienced both at a level most will never understand. To call Richie Incognito, a football player would be extremely limited. And yeah I’m saying that despite him playing more than 15 seasons in the NFL, and being elected to the Pro Bowl four times, and this is in a league where the average career span often fluctuates between one and a half to three years, I mean, the running joke is that NFL doesn’t stand for National Football League. It stands for not for long. Now, to put this in perspective, according to a 2020 survey by the NCAA, the chances of making it all the way through this system from high school football, to a fully fledged professional are slim at best. So here’s a glimpse at some of those numbers. The overall probability per the statistics of high school players going on to compete in college at any level, just 7.3%. To make this more clear, still, this is saying out of more than 1 million high school football players only around 73,000 play in college. Now the numbers get whittled down more per the survey, which shows only 1.6% Then stand a chance of going from the NCAA to Pro. That means we’ve now gone from 73,700 Plus collegiate athletes to about 16,000 that are now eligible for the draft. Let’s keep it going. Out of that number, only 254 were even likely to be picked in the draft. Think about that. We started at over a million. And it shows it this is really optimistic because the NFL Players Association rate the odds of success is even smaller. They show a 0.2% shot for any player to make it all the way to the NFL, let alone 15 seasons. Despite this Richie, he did it his way. And now he is sharing everything in his first interview since he’s retired, everything that he’s learned during that time, including how he took care of his body so that he could endure the inevitable brutality, the psychology required to deal not only with this Sisyphean task of everything that occurs behind the scenes, but also the inevitable nonsense that the media will put you through. He’s also going to talk about what he believes defines great leadership and coaching, and also what’s next for him. So turn your volume up and the rest of life down. And let’s dive in with Richie Incognito.
Guys, welcome back to another episode of The Art of coaching podcast. I am here with Richie Incognito. Dude, it’s been a long time.
It has been man Good to see you.
Brett Bartholomew 7:29
Good to see you as well. Now, this is interesting timing. I mean, we spent a long time together working together you were at my wedding me and Liz his wedding we consider you somebody to be family. And man, something poignant just happened in your career, you this kind of a big transition a big event. Give me a look, give everybody a little bit of insight What is different about you now than say, I don’t know, the last 15 years or so.
Now I don’t have to wake up to an alarm in the middle of the summer at 5:30 in the morning and drag my butt out of bed and go put pads on and beat people up. It’s nice, you know, it’s nice to kind of just live life on my terms. Live on my timeline. You know, with football, you’re always rushing back, you know, you get six weeks off, okay, I gotta get a month of training two weeks of rest and family. And so now it’s nice to actually like, look out and be like, oh, let’s plan it to September, let’s plan it to October. So it’s, it’s been great man. I made the decision right after this season. I’m really happy with the decision. It’s coming at a great time in my life personally and professionally. And I’m just so excited for the next steps
Brett Bartholomew 8:33
man and I and we’re going to cover a lot. We’re going to talk about stuff, how to one how do you even have a career that long, right? Like, the joke is NFL stands for not for long. And I think I’m like the league. I mean, it changes every year. But I remember one time I had looked at it’s like 1.8 years was the average length of a career. And then it hovered around 2.3. And so there’s some obvious questions I want to ask you about that. There’s also some things I want to ask you just about, you know, in the next step, you know, what you’re looking at what you feel like playing all these years has taught you about anything from entrepreneurship, managing your brand, what you even feel like is good leadership, good coaching. There’s a lot I want to get into. But I would love to just start with the obvious question. And I know a lot of people will be interested in this because we hear so much BS about longevity. We hear so much about how did you feel like you You were really able to manage the brutality of a playing career for that long and everything that you’ve been subjected to?
Yeah, I mean, man, there’s so much that goes into it, but I’ll speak about my mindset. When I first started the NFL. My mindset was I want to play as long as possible. I want to make as much money as possible to set my family up. I want to I want to grind it out. I had great examples. When I first got into the NFL, I got drafted by the St. Louis Rams, and it was kind of the end of the greatest show on turf. So they were transitioning I was brought in to kind of help the offensive line get younger But I had I was surrounded by vets 14 15 16 years. And these guys were talking to me not only about taking care of your body, taking care of your family, you know, the big motivation for me was was money. You know, these guys all had beach houses and cars and all this stuff. And the only way they got that was by playing a really long time. So for me, it was, it was kind of like, you know, you get thrown in the deep end of the pool, It’s sink or swim. And then you know, after your two, three, four, you start figuring out, okay, what works. And my thing was, you know, the standard was set every season, let’s raise that standard, let’s go above and beyond, you know, what can we do? What can we bring in? Is it more massage, the more nutrition is better training is it, you know, hiring a physical therapist to travel with me. So, every year, I just tried to get better, but improve as a person, as a player as an athlete. And I think that constantly pushing myself to be better is what really gave me the longevity to last as long as I did
Brett Bartholomew 10:57
well, and what I loved about it, and granted, I got a behind the scenes look that I don’t think many people got is, you know, we’re at a time right now, where, you know, when you hear people talk about longevity, a lot of people hear about really nuanced things. So you have to avoid this or you have to train quote, unquote, more functional, you have to do that, you know, I think people would be surprised to know that you were always still a great mix of old school and new school mentality, you would squat, you would deadlift, you would bounce, you would dip jump, you would clean you would. But you were also smart about managing, you know, the little asymmetries, the little imbalances, and like, it’s funny because we live in a time of absolutism. And it’s like, you can only do things one way, you can only do it this way. And I thought you were really balanced around that you knew when to dial it up to the point where like, Dude, it was like, you saw that dog in you at the University of Nebraska and Oregon. But you also knew when to dial it back. You feel like that’s a lost art in a world that is always so obsessed with the training and the work and the grind and all that people don’t really know like, yeah, there is some time when you got to pump the brakes a little bit. And that’s not weak to do so.
Yeah, no doubt. I mean, there’s, like you said, we live in a world of absolutes, like, Okay, if you want to get bigger, faster, stronger, you absolutely have to do this. You can’t do that. And I think being at XO, so long, I just had such an open mind. I was just like, Listen, if this is going to make me a better player, I’m going to grind it out. I’m gonna see two, three weeks down the road. Do I feel faster? Do I feel more explosive? How do I feel? And then kind of navigate from there, but I was always so open to outside information. You know, I was young, I was playing with the St. Louis Rams. And I noticed Isaac Bruce always drinking water, always getting massages. So I went and talked to him. And he shared his routine with me of massage. And he was doing the special shakes of goji berries. So next thing you know, I’m at Whole Foods, I’m buying goji berries, like, hey, if it works for him, I’m gonna take it in. And I’m gonna see if it works for me. And like you said, I have that old school mentality where it’s like, okay, we’re going to squat heavy day, we’re going to deadlift, we’re going to grind this out, we’re gonna get strong. And then we evaluate, you know, we take in the information and, you know, obviously training with you and just your wealth of knowledge of training and being able to get in there and understand and explain to us like, Hey, why am I doing these depth jumps I’m 320 pounds? Why am I doing this? And you get in there? Well, you’re gonna do this and the elasticity and
Brett Bartholomew 13:22
your memory. You retain some of that stuff?
Yeah, you’re like, okay, cool. Like, let’s do it. But you know, I think it just goes back to the spirit of just always wanting to get better.
Brett Bartholomew 13:31
Yeah, no, I think that makes a lot of sense. I have to ask and then I do want to come back to the financial pieces. Well, you’ll find that will bounce around, you’re really good at elaborating. So you give so many anchors. One question we get a lot from a lot of listeners, regardless of the field, they’re in centers in inherently around something we talked about a lot is buy in. And as you know, there are many different personalities in a locker room. Just like there are many personalities in a board room, just like there are many personalities in any room. What was it and I know this is a nuanced question. So what was it that whether working with me or anybody else? What gets Richie’s attention, right? What was it like? What is going to get somebody like you to buy in? Is it more of the explanation and the why and the and that is it more of hey, they inherent give and take sometimes is it even a little bit of a pressure tactic or rough around the edges? Like just be direct and don’t bullshit? What is it with you that you found you and your personality really responded to?
You know, I was I kept it simple. You know, I responded to all the coach talk when I was young, you know, we’re gonna outwork them we’re gonna out physical them and you know first play of the game we’re gonna jump on them.
Brett Bartholomew 14:48
Hey, quick heads up that if you guys haven’t gone to artofcoaching.com/resources do so now. We have so many free resources for you regardless of the field that you’re in. We have free downloads and guides and manuals for people that are dealing with impostor syndrome. People that want to figure out how do I find the right mentor and reach out to them? Do you guys have an intern guide? Do you have quizzes that help me learn what makes others around me tick and figure out what they’re most motivated by literally everything, from guides on how to manage your finances, to how to manage your life, when things get chaotic, to all kinds of free webinars, you can find it artofcoaching.com/resources, every year, we put out more than 1000 hours of free content, you can find so much of it there. So please go there. Now, if you’re more than newsletter type, you don’t really want a bunch of free resources, but you’d love to know what’s going on the latest of events and anything that we release, well, then you can just go to artofcoaching.com/begin Either way, both are great opportunities for you to stay up to date, stay connected, and stay on top of all things art of coaching.
You know, we’re gonna outwork them we’re gonna out physical them you know, first play the game, we’re gonna jump on them. And you know, that I was always so bought in because I always wanted to be the best ever. But, you know, it’s kind of like in totality. Yeah, there’s, like the guidance that comes in and the explanation and hey, we’re gonna do this to get better, or hey, this is maybe in your past set, let’s change up your set departure angle. And I was always bought in because I wanted to be better. But you know, creating that buy in like you said, there’s so many different personalities in the locker room, to be able to. And same with the boardroom. Everybody has different motivations. Everybody comes from a different background, everybody has different family dynamics. But what you’re trying to do is you’re trying to build a culture. And what you’re trying to do is you’re trying to get as many guys to buy in with you as possible. So playing on the offensive line, you know, it’s five out there fighting as one we’re a fist we’re always together. So you know, the inherit pack mentality is always offensive lineman, but it was always so big for me to really get to know the guys. You know, like when you’re on that break, Hey, how’s your knee doing? Hey, what’s going on? Oh, hey, you know, you got an issue with the family, what’s going on? Are everything good. And then the big thing was getting around sharing meals, spending time outside the facility. That’s how you create that buy in. That’s how you create that cohesiveness. That’s how you create hey man, I’m hurtin I’m tired. I need you to pick up the slack a little bit. Like, let’s go dog this thing out. Let’s get that touchdown. And let’s go in.
Brett Bartholomew 17:27
And I think, you know, you bring up some good points there. One thing that I want to ask, and I think it’s an obvious question, but it’d be really good to hear your side of it is, there are some people like even just talking to my neighbor the other day, I’m like, Hey, I’m getting because he had seen your jersey and in my house. I was like, Oh, what are you going to ask him? And I was talking to him about some of the things we’re going to talk about. And he said, You know, I’d love to know, if even somebody like him. 15 seasons, four time Pro Bowl, if even he ever had times, where it was tough to get the respect of somebody in the locker room early on. And I’m like, Well, yeah, I mean, listen, none of us are immune to that. Right? None of us are owed respect by everybody. But I did think it was a good question. Because you’re an imposing guy. You’re very well spoken your resume is out of this world. But I mean, I’d have to imagine there’s got to be some circumstances where even you came up against a personality that you’re like, how do I get this dude on the same page? Or did that never happen?
No, that definitely happens. You know, it definitely happens. My I guess we’ll start with the journey. You know, I came into the NFL, obviously, young guy was wild guy tatted up physical, just want to beat everybody up. And you know, it’s hard to earn guys respect like that, because you’re not consistent. You’re not answering the bell every day. So as I got older, I figured out where my leadership skills were, and my leadership skills were being the bell cow, being the first one guy out of practice working on all the little details, going as hard as I can in individual drills. You know, that’s how I created buy in amongst my men, it was like, Hey, we’re gonna go do this work, training camp sucks. Good. Let’s go get better. Like, let’s go. And, you know, I think inherently I just brought a lot of guys along. But, you know, there’s always some guys in the locker room that aren’t bought in, you know, there’s all the cliches, you know, everybody in the boat rowing in the same direction, you know, 53 NFL personalities plus 30 coaches and support staff and stuff like that. Not everybody’s rowing the boat in the same direction. But I think what I was really good about doing is you know, when a rookie had a drop or a kicker missed a field goal. I’d go up to him on the sidelines that Hey, bro, you got us next time. Let’s go. And I remember a time playing in Buffalo and Charles clay. We were together with the dolphins. We were playing in Buffalo against the dolphins. And he dropped a wide open pass over the middle. And I went up to him right after I put my arm around. I was like I love you, bro. I got you. I know you got us next time. That’s cool. Next try. Next try, we go out boom, throw a 75 yard bomb. He’s like shoving people off. He’s scored. I sprinted down to the dead zone. I grabbed him and you know that’s how you get guys to buy in, it’s almost like a natural evolution, you know, you got to understand who you are, where you’re coming from, what you expect or what the expectations are for the guys that you want to lead, and then live up to those expectations every single day.
Brett Bartholomew 20:14
Yeah, well, and I’m glad you answered that in that way. Because I think sometimes miss the point that sometimes it takes time, you know, like coaches, coaches, and I mean, anybody, any kind of leader sometimes can be so hungry to make change, that they tick all the boxes of, you know, whether it’s coach, speaker, this or that. And it’s like, Yo, this doesn’t always happen on your time. Like this doesn’t have like you said, you know, what it took to get buy in from Richie at 23 different than getting buy in from Richie at 28. Or how old are you now?
Brett Bartholomew 20:46
- Right, like, and what like, I mean, when you think about it that way? Are there some things that you feel like no matter what somebody did, it just would have been hard to reach you at certain points in your career, you know, where just like, you had to learn it yourself before you were even going to be receptive to anything they had to say,
absolutely. You know, you come into the NFL and especially being an offensive line, it’s such a violent position. And it’s such, you know, playing offensive line is 99% mental, you just have to go out there with a mindset that you are going to mow everybody over and that you’re going to be physical. So building up that persona and building that up, you know, as you’re figuring out you’re young, you’re getting a little bit of money, you have the ego and everything that is wrapped around you. I think as you grow and you learn, you kind of shed some of that stuff, and you let people in. And, you know, I think the most proud thing I have coming out of football was my Men’s respect. All the guys knew in the locker room like hey, something went bad in the game or hey, you got busted for you know, whatever. You gotta go sit in Ritchie’s locker. You gotta go talk to him. Yeah, and, you know, bring bring the guys in, hey, what’s going on? What do you think? And, you know, how can we help? So yeah, so there was there was probably a good four or five years where you couldn’t talk to me, I was just a wild animal. You know, you’d look people in the eye like that. You’re like, Oh, God, lights are on nobody’s home. But you know, it’s growing. It’s being it’s growing into leader figuring out what leadership style you want to go to figure out what makes you a great leader, and then going down that path. And as you grow and learn, you know, some things that you thought were so important when you first started, become less important. And I think that’s when the really important stuff like the building blocks of your career kind of come in. It comes at a time when you’re ready to do it.
Brett Bartholomew 22:39
Yeah. Well, and speaking of building blocks, and things that are important, I’m glad that you brought up the honesty of just about the financial piece early on. One thing that I struggled with a lot when I was just a strength conditioning coach is in that field, there’s this really bad sentiment about money that if money is important to you, you must not be in it for the right reasons. And it was it was odd, because I’m sitting here thinking and you know, my wife, okay, I want to have a family, I want to have kids, we want to start a business, we’re gonna need to have money, you know. And then there’s other professions where I mean, it’s hard to change the world, if you’re constantly on a budget or not able to do things with money. Money is not evil. Money is a tool. What would you say to people that feel like, let’s say somebody who’s taken aback, they heard you in the beginning, be like, Listen, I want to get my family in a better situation. I wanted to make the money to people that feel like, Oh, well, he should just do it for the love of the game. Well, I, what would you say to that kind of mindset, you know, like, why is it not bad to like, care about those finances?
Well, you know, I think money is freedom. I first came in the NFL, you know, I’ve been playing high school, college for free, so nobody can ever challenge my love of the game, right? You know, I’m at the NFL level, you get in, and, you know, I got my first check for $700,000. And I thought I was never gonna have to work again. I thought I was rich. And then, you know, you realize, you know, you’re out there on the field, you’re doing the same job as these guys. But I’m making 400,000. And he’s making 15 million. Right? So how, how do I bridge that gap? How do I morph myself into a pro that’s trusted, where the organization is going to trust me with a large amount of money and not fall off? You know, so often guys get paid, they fall off, they get injured, and my thing was always Oh, I got paid. Let’s go get more Yeah, and I wouldn’t say that that was my number one motivating factor. When I was young, it was talked about you get older and different things become different. But my thing was, you know, I’m out there doing the same job as these guys. I’m putting in the same hours. I want to be compensated like them. And, you know, it’s so hard in the NFL, they make you chase the mind for so long. You know, you signed a three or four year contract, then they tender you and you’re watching all your buddies. Okay, this guy’s getting 60 million this guy’s getting 30 million on playing on a $1.1 million deal. You know? It just adds fuel to fire. And I think, you know, for people who say that money is a motivation there, boldface, lying, you know, money brings you freedom, money brings you, you know, I put my brother through college, buying my mom and dad a house, you know, I’m doing things to repay the people that helped me come up. And that’s why I take great pride. And, you know, it’s always clicking around in the back of your head, you know, it’s week 16, you know, guy playing guard position gets paid, you’re like, Oh, my films better? Oh, yeah, he got six, I’m gonna get eight. Well, and it’s just, it’s just a very competitive thing.
Brett Bartholomew 25:31
And to that point, one thing that I always had trouble explaining to people that just didn’t get that world and it was not that anything was wrong with them, right? It’s like, unless, you know, you guys kind of like, you know, I got the chance to win, and stuff like that, you would know. But it’s always hard explaining to people that despite hearing about the money that you and many other athletes make the it’s hard for them to always realize that it’s not always as it sounds, they can hear somebody, oh, this was a deal for 50 million, 60 million, or they played this long for X amount of million. They don’t realize all the Machiavellian realities of that, okay, the agent gets this, okay, this gets that, okay? Where you have to pay this tax, you have to pay that then you got your friends out. Everybody wants you to invest in their dad’s brothers uncles cannabis business that’s run out of his mom’s basement. You know, like, what did when you started to make that money? What changes, if any, because I’ve never asked you this? What challenges if any, did you start to see in some of the people around you and the circle? Did you start to see some of the ugly realities? And I’m not asking you to name names, Of course. But did it make you realize, okay, these are the people that really value me. And these are the people like I imagine you had some challenges around that, because money doesn’t solve everything.
Right? No, I know, you throw money at a young kid actually, it’s like throwing gasoline on a fire. You know, it really is. You know, I had a really stable upbringing came up in a middle class family, I knew once I started making money, I had to get it away from the financial advisor, and start investing from like, the first day. But yeah, you know, money changes people. I went back and I spoke to the rookies around OTA time, and I was explaining them, you know, it’s like the crab in the bucket, you know, there’s a ton of crabs in there, one guy is almost going to make it out. And another guy is going to drag him pull him down to further himself. And my message to them was, you know, the young kids get hung up on you, oh, the money changes you. And I’ve told the guys, it absolutely does. Because you’re playing for higher stakes, you’re making bigger decisions, you’re helping your family. And so yeah, growing up and having money, you know, you kind of you know, as you grow, you kind of figure out, okay, this guy is just here to party, this guy is just here to go on trips, this guy is just here to do this. And, you know, my message to those guys is money does change, you be cognizant of the fact it doesn’t have to change who you are as a person. But it definitely changes your thinking, you have to level up, you know, you get $1,000, you get $100,000, you get a million dollars, there’s just levels to the financial game. And that’s what I was good at, I put money away, I talked with my financial advisors, I was looking up terms on the calls. And, you know, thank God, I got money away. And a lot of guys, you know, it’s kind of a shitshow after they retire. But I was always I was always smart with it. But it definitely changes people around you for sure.
Brett Bartholomew 28:13
Yeah. No. And that’s great detail, especially like, it’s good that you did your own homework, because it’s not. It’s funny, right? You You went to college, many people go to college, it’s still not inherently the education you get even if you get you know, you do you’re like business courses or finance. It’s different when you’re out in the real world. And the situations you guys find yourself in are radically different. There’s no course for that, you know, within that another topic is that’s interesting. And I think, well, I don’t think we know that a lot of leaders struggle with is the concept of having a brand. This was something else that sometimes I think people think of I have a brand Oh, I’ve sold out or it’s this when in reality, we always try to make the point that no, your brand is your reputation. It’s what people say about you, when you leave the room, we run a course to help leaders build their own brand, so that they don’t come across as snake oil salesmen so that they can actually you know, because a lot of people have trouble talking about themselves, I get that we all have imposter phenomenon. We all have struggles there. But I think you’ve always done a really good job managing that, you know, like through a letter, like 15 years, there’s nobody that’s not going to go through ups and downs and have controversies and other times, but at the end of the day, it’s the consistency of who you are. And your character is gonna show over time, how and I know this is broad, so pick it up wherever you want. How do you look at the concept of a brand and what were some things that you either struggled with or that you always just kind of felt like you did to manage yours? If you ever thought of it like that in general?
Yeah, you know, I think the whole branding social media thing kind of came in and about the middle of my career, you know, guys were actually able to get on Instagram and Twitter and interact with their fans and you know, guys, we’re figuring out what their brand is. Hey, is your brand you’re a great football player. Are you a comedian on Your podcasts, you know what I mean? But I think everybody has a platform. Now everybody has their own thing through social media where they can get their thoughts, words and actions out there and build themselves a brand. You know, you could start an Instagram account, start a Twitter account and be cognizant of, okay, this is the vision of where I want things to go. Now, how do I build myself up and earn respect, earn trust, stay true to myself, which is, you know, it’s always difficult. But, you know, branding is key, you know, branding, again, we go back to the money, but branding you brand yourself, you put yourself out there, and then hopefully, you’re well respected. And then once you’re well respected, hopefully, you’re well compensated. Yeah. And, you know, that is completely and each individual brands that is completely in their control. And I think, you know, I always struggle with the young guys, because I have a lot of that old school mentality in me where it’s just shut up and work. And you know, you go in the locker room after practice, and the guys are dancing and doing Instagram and all this stuff. And it’s like, you know, in the back of my head, I’m like, lock in, stop that. Don’t do that. But then you understand, like, hey, these kids are young, they grew up on Instagram, and Snapchat and all that stuff. So, you know, for some football players, I say, Listen, your brand is football, you get to do all this fun stuff with your brand and your logo and all this stuff. You get to do that, because you’re a great ballplayer on the field right now, with people in regular life strength coaches, athletic trainers, all that, you know, you’re building a brand off of your life’s work. Yeah, this is my brand. So I don’t think people should be afraid of branding. I know, it’s tough to talk about yourself and do all this stuff. But I think if you have a vision of where you want to go, and you can get your thoughts and actions to lead up to that vision. You know, it’s really cool to build a brand have a podcast, you know, it’s giving a lot of people voice and it’s giving a lot of people, you know, a growing audience.
Brett Bartholomew 31:56
Yeah, no, I think that’s a good point. And it was something that I remember, I got a lot of questions about, you know, you’ll be episode in the 230s. And when I first started, somebody said, you know, aren’t you worried that if you have a podcast and you share your thoughts, that it might, you know, keep certain job opportunities from you and I, we’ve actually found that it’s just the opposite. When people know, you and what you stand for, and you’re consistent with that, you know, it’s actually led to more opportunities, you know, and not just like, with other collaborations, but with companies like Amazon with companies, like, you know, things that I never thought like, okay, you know, comparative to your national profile, like I’m a nobody, you know, but like, you build these grassroots things and what you find, especially now, today, thankfully, even though there’s always going to be the Jackass social media influencers, companies want people that are grassroots, have a solid, consistent voice and a good story, and who do useful things. And so people can just get over their own insecurity of well, is what I do useful. What do I have to contribute? We always say there’s 8 billion people in the world, you’re not that special that nobody tries to learn from you.
Right? Yeah. Well, I mean, you always have something to offer. And now nowadays, you know, podcast, social media, you know, you have so many different platforms. That’s why, you know, I think the big thing was branding is, you know, figuring out what your brand is today. And like you said, you get down the road a little bit, you get out there, you’re consistent, you you attract some fans, you attract some followers. And next thing, you know, something pops into your life that you had no idea, Amazon, you know, essential water, you know, whatever it is. And, you know, I’ve always been lucky because I’ve always had the brand on the field. But I’ve always made it important to connect with brands off the field, you know, Hey, you want to send me some water, you want to send me some supplements, cool Instagram posts that lead to okay, you know, we’re gonna send you some gear, and we’re gonna save you some money.
Brett Bartholomew 33:41
You had me send you some underwear, though. I don’t know why you do that.
I’m losing some weight, so I can model the underwear. And yeah, I mean, you know, it’s, I think, I think it’s just important. I think it’s important for guys for people to get out of their own head about branding. You know, it’s a career opportunity. I can use Eric wood as an example guy I played with in Buffalo. He had a son. Yep. He had a sudden end to his career. You know, he’s, I think he’s nine or 10 years in, he got basically, medically cut off that, you know, his neck was so bad, he couldn’t play. And he spent about a year, year and a half trying to figure out like, oh, shit, what do I do? And I leaned on him a lot in my retirement. Because, you know, his was so abrupt mine was kind of a smoother transition. But I remember going we use the same life coach. So we’re in this little accountability group. And I just remember him like, you know, what’s my value? What’s my worth? What am I what am I? And this is a guy who was a pillar of the community, a great Christian man, a family man. And he was sitting there 10 years into his career, like, what, what do I have to offer? And kudos to him? He just broke through, you know, he just started small. And he built himself up now he’s got his own podcast. Now. He’s doing Buffalo Bills radio. He’s a picture to Buffalo Bills, community. And it started out as I don’t know what to do, I can’t do it now. And then it just grows. And like you said, organically grassroots and then things just kind of open up.
Brett Bartholomew 35:11
Yeah, well, one that’s really good. I, you know, a nugget that I caught there too is. And I love Eric, I remember having dinner with you guys, when we were down in Miami, when I came down during training camp at one point, you know, it’s good to hear that you still have a coach, you know, I think that that’s something that like, you know, now granted, I’m biased, like our company exists to coach coaches and other leaders. But people just they forget that term. Early on, we had some interesting interactions of anytime somebody heard art of coaching, they thought that inherently had to do with sport. And it’s like that term coach transcends, you know, so many things like for me, that’s always meant like a guide or a mentor. Do you feel like the term coach, I mean, despite the obvious connotations with your football career has only ever meant sport to you, you know, have you ever wanted to coach to that standpoint?
Oh, yeah, you know, I love the coach, I have all options on the table at this point. I’m enjoying time I’m enjoying the downtime. But you know, I think a coach has a lot of things, you know, first and foremost, they’re a teacher, you know, they have to teach you the playbook they have to teach you how to play. But it’s also a mentor, you know what I mean? That’s your first line of defense, you have the offensive line, you’re the offensive line coach. And that’s your first line of defense to the rest of the organization. And if you’re going through some stuff, you need to be able to clearly communicate that with your coach, because that’s the guy you deal with every day. And as a mentor, as a facilitator, and as a ambassador for you. They have to go deal with the organization. You know, hey, why is the guy playing like crap today? Oh, you know, he was up late. He had an argument, you know, whatever, kind of bridge that gap, but no, coaches doesn’t have to do a sport. It’s like I say I use life coach, but it is. It’s something you know, I’ve been surrounded by great coaches. I know a great coaching is, and it really is just kind of like the totality of everything that goes in as far as coaching.
Brett Bartholomew 36:54
Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, there’s some things I want to get back to in terms of training. But if you’re cool with it, you mentioned platform. You mentioned next steps, you mentioned some things, I’d love to just ask you some questions around that. And and I know it’s open and I’m not asking you to disclose anything you don’t want to disclose. But I’ve always looked at you as somebody that has so many unique talents. I mean, my I’m getting my doctorate in a communication related degree in psychology and even just listening to you talk. You’re so fluent, you’re relatable, you actually do it. A lot of Believe it or not, podcast guests don’t do. They don’t listen and play off what you say, right? It’s we’re improvising like you don’t get a script for this. You’re a conscientious, thoughtful, well spoken dude, way more than most people would ever recognize. And I always go to battle for that. You know, have you ever thought about doing anything? Broadcasting wise, starting your own podcast mean? Dude, you’d be a natural media guy like announcer Ironman, I’d much rather watch you break down play by play stuff than half the clown G here. Have you ever thought about that stuff
Hahaha, Right. Yeah, like I said, all options on the table. I think I’m gonna get my feet wet a little bit this year doing some local media stuff with the Raiders be around the team, do some local media stuff, just kind of dip my toe in the water. But yeah, I’ve definitely I’ve been having people push me to do a podcast, you know, start the afterlife football brand. And I’m excited about because I think I do really well at it. So I’m gonna take the next year. And when I think I’m going to do is I think I’m going to do a bunch of podcasts interviews, and bank them and kind of really come out with the shape of the show the focus the you know, the meat and potatoes of kind of what this is going to look like, I’m gonna bank those 20, build it up, and then kind of see where I’m at.
Brett Bartholomew 38:34
That’s the smart. I mean, not that you need my advice, but some great advice I got is, you know, get 100 of them out. And it really came from I remember Seth Godin, who’s he’s a marketing strategist. He’s written a lot of books, really sharp guy, he said, I’ll go on any podcast that has over 100 episodes, because that shows me they’re not a hobbyist that shows me that they’ve worked out the kinks. And this is something we tried to home people all the time, you know, like, we’ve done a show every week since December 2019. We have not missed a week. And it’s and it can get hard because, you know, you listen to some podcasts. And I don’t know what your opinion is on this. And again, I promise we’ll get back to training. But you know, some shows, it’s like I do that’s a little too off the cuff. Where’s it going? Other shows I find are a little bit too edited to scripted. You know, there’s a lot of ones that I listened to and I like, but then you find out they have like 15 people that worked on him, you know, and the average person doesn’t really care about nuance sound effects, and they want real conversations. But then you also have to balance the fact that you can have some really impressive people on but once they have the microphone in their face, they kind of freeze up, right and it’s hard. You know, if you did do something just playing around, like I know you have many ideas for your head. But if you did do something like what do you think would make like what kind of approach would you take to your podcast? What would you want it to be about?
You know, I think you know, it’s tough. I my mentor friend Eric Worre his his podcast was what’s next, you know what’s next in the life after football and what it’s opened up so many great doors for him for investments for brand partnerships, all that stuff. You know, I think right now kind of sitting at 50,000 feet looking down, I would kind of like to do a Joe Rogan type podcast, where I really respect Joe because he can have a conversation with anybody, right? And I would kind of like to take that and do the research and take that and kind of do everything in the football world. Behind the scenes, of course, have my buddies on, but talk with trainers, talk with physical therapists, talk with people who are with teams who people who’ve been in the data, Lake strength coaches, and kind of like lift the veil and like a Joe Rogan type behind the world of professional sports. You know, there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes, as you know, we spent days weeks months years grinding together in the gym. And no one sees that, you know, I don’t I’m not putting that on Instagram. I don’t care about that. Right. I, think that there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes, I think people just see the finished product, they see what happens on Sundays. And there’s so much that goes on. And there’s so much support that I kind of want to just, you know, shed some light on that, you know, pull the pull the veil back, and you know, let guys know, like, hey, there’s a lot that goes into this. This is 24/7 365 and talk with different guys, you know, what motivated you were you when you’re young? What motivates you now,
Brett Bartholomew 41:22
like what we talked about at the beginning of this, you know, just getting in? And I think you’re right, you know, there are one first of all, when you started that you better have my ass on there, we’re gonna have a problem. Oh, of course, of course, to your right about most people not knowing behind the scenes, because I just remember another conversation. You know, when I moved out to Atlanta, hearing people be like, Oh, those guys have a great job, they get a workout in they get to do this. I’m like, yo, do you know what it takes to literally have to work out damn near? You know, like, we did four days a week, right? Like, but like that people have no concept of the mental side of that. And I don’t mean mental isn’t like, oh, another rep. Oh, no, no, I just mean, like, getting up going to this place. Because on one end, right. And I think I’ll let you speak to this. It provides structure and structure in my team are important. But on the other end, no matter how good something is for you, everybody gets tired of it. At some point, everybody, you know, like, even if you and you and I, you know, I like to think we have a great relationship. But I can be allowed to deal with their days you can be like,it’s odd couple of types of there’s a lot of emotions that go into it. So I mean, feel free. I mean, I’d love to hear I mean, give our listeners some insight into some of those behind the scenes thing that they may not know what went into those things.
Yeah. So we lifted you know, we lifted Monday, we ran and lifted Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. So you have to make sure you show up Monday, because Monday is typically Monday and Friday are typically the hardest workout. So you have to set yourself up for success. As soon as you walk out of the weight room on Friday. What are you putting into your body? What risks are you getting? Are you hydrating, because you have to show up Monday again at 10am. And you got to lay it all on the line. So I think people are like, oh, yeah, you know, they get to hang out and grab ass and do this. When that alarm goes off, you got to get fed, you got to get your supplements and you got to get your medicine and you got to get all this stuff and just to be able to get out the door. And then get there, warm up foam roll, stretch, address any issues, you have 10am rolls around, put those cleats on, go outside, run for an hour, hour and 15 minutes, come back inside, take everything off, put your dry clothes on, get ready to lift another 90 minute lift. And then Monday is I’m out the door, you know, we’re usually done around one o’clock, to 2:30, either physical therapy, massage, dry needling, Pilates. And then you know, throughout the whole day you’re having to rest and recover because you got to go do it again on Tuesday. So it’s like the whole mindset is it’s almost like a survival thing. Because you have to survive a whole week, you have to stack day stack weeks. And I think that you know, it’s just a lot of people just say, hey, these guys are running around, they’re playing the game they love they’re getting a ton of money. They’re they’re being around their friends run around. But I mean, the stress and the pressure of constantly having to perform and constantly raising your game. And like you said, you know, there’s some days I’m driving to the gym at 10am. And I’m like, this is the last place on earth I want to go, I can be in Maui right now I can go to the driving range, but that drive that hunger is what forces you and my thing was just get to the gym, just get there and everything will handle itself. So there’s a lot man it’s mindset, it’s attitude. it’s doing the basics, right. And then you know, just stacking that and building off that
Brett Bartholomew 44:38
And talking about stacking to contextualize this for the average listener. Right there, are an average of four point if we look at all 12 months, there’s about 4.3 weeks per month, and then you take that time is 12 months in a year. You’re at 51.6. Then you look at four workouts right now. I mean, I’m sure my math is fuzzy here, but that’s 206 right Four workouts a week, 4.3 weeks in a year times 12. That’s 206. And each of those workouts is 90 to 120 minutes. And it’s not always things you want to do like when people that have no concept of this asked me, Hey, what is it you used to do? And I’m like, Oh, I used to work with athletes. Well, what kind of athletes Well, predominantly Pro and military and this and now they’re like, that’d be cool. I’m like, well, some days it was like herding cats. You know, other days. Yeah, it’s really cool. But that’s it’s just a long time to strain. You know, going into the gym and doing things you want to do all the time. It’s things that have a purpose, but not everything you want to do. Now, I was really lucky with you. You understood fundamentals, not fluff, which is what I always said like, you didn’t have to one thing that made it very easy to coach and train you as you didn’t need a not a lot of the nuance. You didn’t need what a lot of people do today on Instagram and social media like this goofy ass drills. It’s one thing to be creative. It’s another thing to be creative and purposeful. What was it about you that where you felt like you never needed to be what we called inter trained, where we never had to do like a one legged BOSU, ball hop to RDL, Queen and breasts. You were always fine with the basics and the fundamentals done well. What was that? How come you didn’t need to be in or trained?
You know, I think I came from the work ethic at the University of Nebraska where you know, we were power cleaning heavy, we’re benching heavy, we’re cleaning heavy. The part of the reason I went to Nebraska was because I was a big weightlifter in high school. And I understood what it took to get better, bigger, faster, stronger. And that work ethic at the University of Nebraska, you know, it was it was instilled in me that you know, shut up and work you got here, you’re redshirted, you’re sitting behind four studs at your position. What kind of work are you going to put in to jump in to jump the line and be the man and that I’ve just taken with me, you know, I don’t need a lot of explanation. I bring the work ethic I bring the grid I bring the energy every day. And I need a simple explanation. You know, I think what I really did was I covered the bases really well. Yeah. And what we were able to do was I was able to understand the flow of the offseason and what phase we’re in and what we’re trying to get out of this. And I think a lot of guys lose sight of that fact. You know, I see a lot of guys training. I see a lot of guys doing stuff on Instagram. And I’m like, listen, we just got done with the season, you took a month off, and you’re in here deadlifting 600 pounds, like what are we doing
Brett Bartholomew 47:16
That always drove me nuts.
Yeah, no, exactly. no days off, we’re just going to hammer ourselves, you know, guys think that they’re becoming better athletes by just sitting out there and pass setting and doing it the way to invest and do it with a med ball. And I’m like, brother, what happens when you have to run 30 yards downfield on a screen and you can’t pick your knees up? You know what I mean? So I’ve always had the, you know, the building blocks, and it didn’t take, you know, I knew what worked for me. And I take a little explanation. Hey, we’re doing we’re gonna do the depth jump after your heavy squat for maximal load production. All right, cool, man. That’s gonna make me better. Let’s do it.
Brett Bartholomew 47:49
Yeah, well, and the thing is, right, you learned real quick if it did or didn’t. And that was always a struggle of mine. I always I remember, I’m glad you brought up the weight vest thing. I remember training an athlete in general. And it was hard because he’s coming off two Super Bowls. And he wanted to wear a weight vest as he was going through everything. And I go, why are you wearing a weight vest through everything. And this was like in March, you know? And he’s like, Well, we got the weight of the pads. When we’re playing. We got this, we got that. I’m like, Listen, man, if you look at like racecar driving, there are times when the cars going around the track and time where they’re working on the engine. Generally, they don’t work on the engine as they’re going around the track. I go, I understand that you wear pads and it brings load and but what we’re doing here is prepping the engine, we have a different goal here. As we get into later phases and whatever if you want to do some conditioning with a lightweight vest, have at it. But doing everything with a weight vest is that whole idea of everything looks like a nail and all I got is a hammer. Well, this must be good. It’s like no, no, being the type of person that runs through walls doesn’t do you any good. If not, everything’s a damn wall. You know? Yeah. And that was and then like you said earlier, what I had to learn sometimes it’s like, just let them learn. Because eventually they’d get gassed and other people would be running circles around them. I look 30 minutes and be like, how’s the wave is working?
No doubt. No doubt. You know, I think it kind of goes back to like I was just so eager to improve and so eager to excel. And you know, you have a lot of guys like the guys deadlift and right after the season or the guys front squat or doing whatever, you know, I had a fight that back in me, you know, as a young guy, being around mark for stay and learning how being an athlete is this whole universe of things that you can control. It’s not just weight room running football field. It’s all the little details. How are you sleeping? What do you put in your body nutrition, hydration, it’s all those things. And I was always so open to try new things. But I always knew that, you know, I guess what I had was I always had structure. I always had Exos. I always had, hey, this is a scientific approach. This is February. What we’re going to do is we’re going to increase the workload incrementally as the season goes on. As the offseason goes on, and I just picked up an understanding of that, you know, really early, you know, my big thing was, you know, we’re going to constantly improve, and we’re going to do everything. And we’re going to ascend all the way up until training camp. And you know, when you get back in February, and you know, you’ve been sitting on the couch and traveling and stuff like that, your body isn’t ready to go in there and take the load it took a month ago, you have to let the body destress you have to do all these things. So there’s a lot that goes into it. And I think it’s part of my mission is to get offensive linemen to train better, train smarter. You know, we could talk about this all day, but I think you want to be a better offensive lineman, you’d have to be a better athlete. What we do is all about movement. Yeah, it’s it’s sitting on a bull rush and doing all this stuff and being strong and physical. But if you want to find a linebacker on the backside, you gotta get your feet moving quicker. If you want to block Aaron, Donald, you better have your feet pitter pattering, you know what I mean? You better not be in this little sludge kick set that you’ve been doing the whole offseason, like come down to Phoenix, see how we train, you know, the going over hurdles and running across the field, you know, top end speed mechanics, I think all that it’s kind of missed on a lot of guys. And I would hope to impress the guys on the raiders and the guys that played with a buffalo to come down. I’ve always loved when they come down and learn from us. And what we do is not for everybody, you know what the our type of training what we do is not for everybody, because guys want to be lifting heavy. And you know, it’s like, Hey, we’re in a three week phase, we’re going to lift light, we’re gonna gradually get better, we’re gonna add reps, you know, a lot of guys can’t grasp that. And
Brett Bartholomew 51:38
they want that immediate, they don’t understand that there’s a time for everything, right? Because there are times I mean, I saw videos of you squatting over 600 pounds, you at 300. God knows how many pounds doing sets of eight on pull ups, you know, that kind of strength doesn’t come easy. And for those of you not familiar, the company that Ritchie keeps naming that is a training facility him and I met at back in the day just to contextualize that, and you make a good point. And this is gonna segue into something to be better at any position. Do you have to be a better athlete I mean, I even remember, you’re an offensive lineman, we would still in warm up, do things like backpedaling and crossover drills and whatever, because the point was movement, and and people would just look at everything in their life. Generally the indirect or what doesn’t look like the most direct thing is what lends a lot of improvement and insight to the thing itself. You know, like, it’s not always like specificity. Oh, because this person did plays this position. They shouldn’t do that. We know this. We know that kids should play multiple sports. We know that people in investing should diversify their portfolio. You have to diversify the way you move. You have to diversify the way you invest. You have to diversify everything. It’s there’s power in the indirect. It’s like. Okay, Richie. Let’s just do everything that looks like an offensive lineman, and then go ahead and do that for eight months out of the year. But you know, what, we’re gonna improve,
right? Yeah, no, I see it all the time. I see it all the time in these offensive line training, you know, they post a lot of stuff on online and it’s like, I understand what you what the thinking is here. I understand that you’re gonna pull this heavy sled and you’re gonna do the kick sets with the bag. But yeah, it’s like there’s so much that goes into it, the crossover the backpedal, Hey, why are we doing this? Oh, hey, we’re bulletproof. Me, Achilles, we’re getting the Achilles ready to take on load, hey, we’re doing this. And you see guys not doing that. It’s like, well, you’re not necessarily wrong, you’re trying to improve. But here, try these few different things. And, you know, I’ve always kept an open mind. But you know, when it was time to do it, it was just time to grind and go.
Brett Bartholomew 53:46
And,I brought it to that point. You know, we found that just as some people wouldn’t see the finer details There, like, well, we teach by and large in our art of coaching is communication. Like, we always try to say, hey, like, even when we were talking to strength coaches, and our audience is very varied. We try to help them understand that, yeah, the sets and reps are important. But if you don’t have the buy in, and you don’t know how to connect with people, they’re not going to do your training session all out anyway. You know, it’s like, you can have perfect programs coach like shit. Or you could have a coach that really knows how to get in. And so we find that people, just like they don’t understand the nuances of training and nutrition and all the things you talked about constantly ascending. They also don’t understand that communication is a nuanced, right, not everybody wants to interact the same way you want to interact some guys, you got to use more analogies and metaphors. And what amazed me, Richie is there were some coaches, you didn’t see this when we work with military. You wouldn’t see this when we work with tactical or EMS. But and it broke my heart when we would work with some strength coaches. Early on, they’d be like, Why communicate every day? I’m already good enough at it. And I’m like, imagine somebody in the military, being like, I’ve shot off this many rounds. I’ve done this. I’ve, I don’t need to do it. Imagine somebody who’s married being like I’m married every day. I don’t need to work on my marriage. And that’s rice. Trouble. And so I wonder from a communication standpoint, you know, like, do you feel like people miss a lot of those, I mean, because now even though you’re not in a locker room, relationships are going to be everything still from this next point in your career. And the human element is always the hardest thing. So I’d love to know, like, just your thought on that in general, big picture and then to, from a meta standpoint, how are you going to replace that quote, unquote, locker room? How, you know, with, like, what relationships look like, now, at this point in your life and career? Does that make sense?
Yeah, absolutely. I think communication is key. I mean, it’s a foundational key to life, you know, the example I can give is, you know, you go in, you’re in the weight room, and you have this big, beautiful workout, and you’re like, Hey, Coach, why are we doing this paired with this exercise? And he looks at it, he goes, I don’t know, I wrote it down. I just do it. And you’re, like, kind of hard to buy in. You know, for me, it would take just a little bit of communication, hey, we’re linking this up, because we’re gonna work on, you know, whatever we’re working on, you know, speed or whatnot. And I was brought in, but like you said, you know, sometimes you have to over 53 Guys on an NFL roster and 90 in the offseason, you have to have different ways of communicating with guys. And me being in that locker room saying, I’ve learned how to communicate with guys, you know, Hey, what’s up, bro? Oh, my guy. Oh, we’re dancing our rapping, you know, whatever. I think it’s, you know, there’s a million ways to skin a cat. But communication is key. You know, when we’re in training camp, and were dogging it out and you get there that first day and you know, it’s back to school, everybody’s saying hi, or by hugging, and then you go that next day and you go into practice. And then you get into pads and you’re grinding it out and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. You’re thinking man, I don’t have a day off until January. Communication is key from the coaches setting expectations, communicating those expectations, communicating when those expectations are met and when they’re not met. So it really would just help me you know, Sean McDermott in Buffalo was one of the best coaches I’ve ever played for, he would come in and he would communicate everything. He’d be like, Alright, boys, we have five days in practice in a row. We’re gonna go light this day, we’re gonna push you guys that day, we’re gonna pull back the reins. And then I need two days of work out of you guys. And I think the whole team going into that, like, Alright, let’s get out there. Let’s move around today. They’re gonna pull it back. And now we gotta go for the next two days. I think it’s, you know, just everybody, you know, kind of talk about everybody rowing in the same direction, everybody’s gonna roll in the same direction. But at least that boat is floating in the direction you intended.
Brett Bartholomew 57:24
And I imagine that you’re right, like, if you were to ask him, I bet that took work. You know, I bet he would just say, Oh, I got better at it by showing up to work every day. Right? Like, it’s funny. We look at we’ll, manage our nutrition, oh, carbohydrates, protein, fat, we’ll manage our training, cool, push, pull this and that. But when you ask people about communication, they’re like, Oh, it’s just verbal and nonverbal. You’re like, no, no, no, no, no, there’s everything from the subtle art of bullshitting to knowing how to be assertive to knowing how to persuade. And I mean, even especially like the media training, I’d be interested in you guys get like, I’m sure it’s not the most in depth stuff. But knowing how to talk about these things, and knowing what to say, and not to say, I mean, that stuff doesn’t just cost you relationships that can cost you your career, and your reputation, right?
Yeah, no, I mean, I think communication is just a skill that you have to be willing to get outside your comfort zone and work on every day. I think, you know, just like training or just like starting a new venture or starting a new business, you’re gonna be out of your comfort zone. But that’s where the most growth comes in. Once you’re uncomfortable, once you’re uncertain about the future, you know, you lock in, you grind, and you create a better future for yourself. Communication is the same thing. You know, I’ve had played for great coaches to play for not great coaches, and even the not great coaches, you see them learn and develop and communicate and teach in a different way towards the end of the season. by just doing it every day. And I think if people make a conscious decision, like, hey, I want to be a better communicator, dude, pick up the phone, Go, go walk around the office, talk to five people, you know, start conversations, you know, I think that it’s kind of like a lost art. Now, you know, I think people I think, you know, it’s happening, I think people are so locked in like, this is what I’m doing blinders on, I’m gonna grind this out, and I’m gonna do this. And I think every other set of people that it’s like, Okay, I’m gonna grind to do this. But what about this, let me add this in. Let me take a little bit of this. I mean, listen to this podcast, let me read this book. And I think the people that are able to adapt, are the people that are able to survive and excel if you’re stuck, and you’re always like, I wrote this down, this is what I’m doing. You never grow. So I think communication is key. You know, it’s, one of those things where it’s not talked about a lot, but there’s a lot of weight given to it.
Brett Bartholomew 59:30
Alright, so here we go. We’re coming to the tail end, we’re gonna do some called Five and five, five questions, try to hit it one minute or less, right, and they’re going to be varied. And then I’m going to let you get the final word, and all that. So some of these are going to be easy, soft toss, some of them might require a little bit more thought. And if something doesn’t make sense, flip it back to me and I’ll do better. I’ll try to do better communicating. Okay, that was good one and it doesn’t have to be like the number one you’ve had a 15 year career. But what was one of the most Filling moments in your career.
One of the most fulfilling moments in my career came after we trained in 2014. I was out I had a shadow ban from bullying. And, you know, I was just locked in the gym every single day and it sucked coming into the gym. I knew I should have been on the field. Remember, it was me, Mike Bowie, and you, and I had you at your goofy estrus every day like, so what did you learn? What’s your favorite color? You know, . I know. But you have those funny questions, I would be there and like the den of depression, and we just grinded and I came back and I was such a great athlete. We have got to Buffalo in 2015. And I was just a good offense coordinator named Greg Rome. And he’s in Baltimore right now he designs those quarterback driven run systems. And once they figured out how well I can move, they had me pulling seven ways to Sunday, everywhere. And I just love that I was in such great shape. And I had a new, humble approach to the game. And I was a buzzsaw. You put a guy out there for me. I was mowing down I was going to watch. Yeah, I mean, that was that was a revenge story, man. And I’m just most proud that I came back from those dark days. Now, you know, you come back to the light, you earn it. And it just, hits different. It tastes different. Everything’s different. Well, I want
Brett Bartholomew 1:01:17
I want you to know, before we move on, I got asked that question when I was a guest on the podcast, and I had said the same thing. So one, I mean, what you just said there, it’s made a point where it’s hard not to tear up, and I appreciate it. But two I just remember Yeah, I mean, that was hard. I mean, one you know, like, every time we work together is big groups. But in that situation, it was literally you, me and another gentleman who was a free agent, my boy great friend, I still keep in touch with Mike. I love him. Yeah. And I remember one day you came in, and I didn’t know how you’re gonna respond to it, frankly. But I remember they you know, they wrote some sludge piece about you in the paper and I took it and I pinned it up on the rack and I’m like, Dude, it’s gonna be a long offseason. But what you do or don’t do is gonna get one step closer to you the proven them right about what they say about you and the shit they’re making up or proving them wrong. And like after that, that was all you needed. You didn’t need any, you’re just like that spot on. And you just, I think I don’t want to say a lesser person, but somebody that wasn’t so purpose driven. could have looked at that and kind of crumbled and been offended by it. Because of course, that wouldn’t have been true, you know, in like, but like they wanted to make you out to something to be something you weren’t then instead you came every day stedfast best word. I think that’s an underrated compliment. Steadfast, you did the work. I mean, dude, how many months was that? That was August through the next year.
I know that was like may all the way through March. And it was me and tie rod down there. And I went up I signed with buffalo when I came back and Tyrod was like buffalo is talking me. I was like, dude, let’s go. Let’s run it. And then we got shady up there. And yeah, that was that was a special time, man. I think another nugget for the listeners. You know, being a professional athlete and playing at the highest level. You should use everything as motivation. Yeah, someone gives you a pat on the back, someone kicks in and asks use it all is motivation.
Brett Bartholomew 1:03:02
That’s a great point. That’s a great point. All right, another piece here and this is a little bit more lighthearted and fun. What’s something you really nerd out on? That most people wouldn’t expect?
I nerd out on electronics man, I like electronics. I just had a movie theater put in my house. So I was like, look it up all the speakers and the tweeters and, you know, I was going back and forth with the guys I mean, I love you know TVs computers, you know, everything electronic I nerd out about you know, you get all the info on it. And I love it. Yeah.
Brett Bartholomew 1:03:34
Too bad. MIT didn’t have a football team.
I know. Right?
Brett Bartholomew 1:03:39
This is one that I think just the audience will like and I know this is tough in a minute. But feel free to just kind of say what you want with this. NIL obviously changing the game a lot in college and this one came from both Ali Kershner and a neighbor of mine. They’re like all what do you think of it that way? Like, do you think that this is gonna be and it’s always positive and negative? We get right but just overall raw thoughts on NIL and how that’s gonna change collegiate.
Yeah, I think overall, raw thoughts is it’s a wild wild west right now, you know, the NCAA was so dug in on not paying athletes, and then they basically lifted the veil. They’re like, Okay, everyone gets paid. The transfer portal is wide open. I mean, it was just like, you know, it was one of those things where it was like, bad decision after bad decision. And then now you have the Wild Wild West, which it’s great. You got to get money into college kids pockets. I was a college kid. Luckily, my family supported me but my brothers, I mean, we lived like, you know, we lived in poverty. You know what I mean? We had guys living in Section Eight housing. We had guys who didn’t know where their next meal was coming from. We got a $530 a month. Scholarship, check it in Nebraska and you need to pay your rent, pay your utilities live off that for a month. I mean, I eat $500 In a week and food. And you know, I mean, we sacrifice you know, we went through a lot So now, I like that they’re getting the money. I don’t like that the kids are getting a million dollars from raising canes or $100,000. From this, you know, it’s because again, only the true motivated ones only the true the ones that are truly are engaged on getting better every day. You know, you throw a bunch of money into there. I think it’s like a ticking time bomb, you know, it’ll hurt a lot of guys. It’ll help a lot of guys, but it’s the next generation of athletes. You know, we’re gonna see guys, I don’t think we’ll see guys playing 15 17 years anymore. Yeah, I think it’s one of those things, you know, 6 7 8 years? I’m done.
Brett Bartholomew 1:05:33
Yeah, no, I agree with that. Here’s another lighthearted one. And this one comes from a colleague of mine, her name is Becca. And I think it’s a great question. You know, now you have you have some more time and not like, you’re not going to fill it, but you have some more time. What is one thing you’ve always wanted to do or learn, but couldn’t because of how busy your schedule was, and how just jam packed was what something you really want to kind of learn and do more of now.
What what I’m doing is I’m taking time to go back to my education, I’m going back to Arizona State, start working on my MBA, cleaning up some things on my business degree, and I’m working on my MBA next year. So I’m going back August 17. So I think one is education. Two is traveling, I’ve never been to Europe for vacation. You know, I always got six weeks off. And my six weeks were spent in LA at the beach grinding every single day. And you know, to be able to take off and go on that Euro trip and I really want to go to Italy, I want to check out Greece. So all the things on the bucket list that I want to try, you know that I’ve never done?
Brett Bartholomew 1:06:31
I think that’s awesome. Listen, I did Greece, it was a bucket list item for us. So hit us up, we’ll tell you what. there’s some places, you definitely should just spend most of your time and other places that are super overrated. So we’ll talk about that offline. Let’s see I there’s a lot to pick, this one is a little bit tougher. And then we’ll kind of wrap up and have a fun one, I’ll let you ask me a question you’ve maybe always want to ask me, since I’ve started a business now and even myself a little bit more public more so than it ever was when I worked for organizations, right? When I worked, whether it’s at Nebraska as a GA or Southern Illinois or API, like we couldn’t have a brand, you couldn’t really have a lot of these things. And now you know, we have a business and a brand. And so people want my opinion on things. Whether I want to speak up on them or not. Right, you Oh, what do you think about and some of its bait? Right? Some of it people just want to misconstrue your words. So one of the questions is, how will you given your platform and your brand? How do you choose what you want to speak up on? Or just kind of stay silent on like how, like, you can’t set off on everything, and it’s not your job? to sound off on everything?
Yeah, I guess I’ll go back to kind of the media training I received throughout my career, and it’s, you know, you have to be consistent in your message, you know, every, you know, every press conference idea that they wanted to kind of to bring you down like, well, how come you guys only rushed the ball for 3.3 yards? And what you do is you reframe it with a question for them, or you just don’t answer, you know, well, you know, we worked hard on the run game all week, we didn’t have great success with it. But you know, we’re gonna get back to the drawing board, and we’re gonna run the ball down the jets or out or whatever, I think it’s, you know, consistent in your message and consistent in what you want to give time and energy to, that’s a really big thing. For me. That’s a huge point, I think, you know, we can only control so much in our lives, we need to figure out what we can control, control those, and then figure out where you know, where you’re giving your energy to, and you’re getting good energy back and where you’re giving your energy to, and you’re not getting energy back, or you’re just depleting energy, and making grown up decisions and cutting people and things out of your life that aren’t going to help you evolve and get better.
Brett Bartholomew 1:08:35
And it’s an excellent answer. And I just remember one time, like you have to see, you have to be discerning to have like, what’s the game behind the game? I remember one year I said, Hey, I’m gonna donate a portion of proceeds of conscious coaching to leukemia, lymphoma foundation and Alzheimer’s, and then somebody online was like, show your receipts. And it was funny, because I was like, Alright, let me say, I’m going to show my receipts, then it’s gonna be like, Oh, why didn’t you give more away? Or why didn’t you do this? And it’s like, right. There are some things people do that, like, it’s they don’t really want your opinion. They’re trying to trap you, and it’s not playful and show your receipts. Like who the hell are you? You know,
I know, I know. Well, you know, it’s the constant give and take and my dad would explain it to me like this, you know, you got to look at a 50-50. 50% of those people that are out there that you’ve never seen that are you fans in the Twitterverse wherever they are. 50% are gonna hate you 50% are going to 50% are gonna love you 50% are gonna hate you. But guess what? They’ll all know your name that was like that. That’s actually a good one. And you know, I did this when I was coming back in 2014 just talking about mindset. I had to cleanse myself because after the boy gate, I was reading things on Twitter, and I was I was reading all this stuff and I saw that stuff by reading it. Dude. So toxic, so toxic. One of my mentors told me to cut that out and my life has been so much better since that day, and I got a wave of it when I retired because again, you’ll get 10 great tweets and you get five tweets. You know, you saw God. And it was like, you know, it was like, wow, I’ve been protecting my energy this whole time. And now like to let these in like I kind of feel guilty in this and I went back to you know a man. They love you, they hate you, but they still know who you are.
Brett Bartholomew 1:10:13
That’s, that’s what’s up. Alright, you get the power on this one. Any any kind of final thoughts or a question you want to ask me or just anything? This is Ritchie’s time you got some air hit it?
Oh, you know, when I actually heard that you make your wife do single leg squats before She brushes her teeth. How many single leg squats before you let her brush her teeth and get in bed?
Brett Bartholomew 1:10:34
For those of you listening? And this is another Richie Oh, is that he’d be like, you would just be texting and he’d be like, hey, go find someone else to do. Go make Liz do single leg squats. I mean, the answer is, you know, it just depends on the day, Richie. Generally 10 She’s got to do 10 She’s got to do double rack. You know, tonight, Amy just said she said that. You know what? irritated me. I’ll make her do 20 Sometimes she makes me do it. And she makes me wear a wig. And it gets weird. We don’t know what
It gets wierd down there. No, I’ve just so grateful for our friendship, man. You know, we’ve been through the fire we’ve been back. You know, we both you know everyone goes through their growing pains personally and professionally. And I’m just proud. I’m proud of you, you know, for building your brand and speaking on something you’re passionate about and, and with your podcast platform impacting people and leaders. You know, it’s what you were built to do, man,
Brett Bartholomew 1:11:21
I appreciate that. And for you, you know, as great as you are, we’re everything at football as great of a communicator you are the true language that you speak his loyalty and just being somebody that you know trusted me with some part of your career showed up at our wedding continued the friendship. You are why I became a coach people like you people like the Pat Chung’s the mic bullies. And there’s many more, but man, like, you just that was such a unique time in my life, and you could have trusted anybody. And that’s just not easy to come by. And it’s not a friendship that you can replace. So I love you. I’m always here for you. I hope that this is a chance for us even connect more. And I can’t thank you enough for the value that you brought. I mean, I’m not downplaying this man, like five to 10,000 people downloaded day one, and then it becomes 100,000. And then collectively, we have over 2 million downloads, the amount of people you’re going to impact through this is tremendous. And you’re just getting started. So thank you so much.
That’s it, man. I appreciate it. Man. I love you too, brother.
Brett Bartholomew 1:12:21
Thank you guys for Brett Bartholomew Richie Incognito. This has been the art of coaching podcast. Thank you for joining us
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