“Coaches, parents and administrators should always reinforce team values over what’s most important for the individual,” Pro Football Hall of Fame member Cris Carter said in a Jan. 15, 2015, Twitter chat hosted by Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of Football Operations.
Young athletes today can get sidetracked — focusing too much on themselves and their end goals and losing sight of the importance of being part of a team and getting the most out of the development process. It’s incumbent on their mentors — coaches, parents and administrators — to help emphasize the importance of working as a team, according to the two former NFL stars.
“It’s important that we constantly remind our athletes: Choices. Decisions. Consequences,” Vincent said. “This should become a repetitive exercise.”
Read Vincent’s and Carter’s advice for 21st-century athletes, their coaches and their parents on Storify.
Vincent encouraged athletes to write down their goals for all phases of their athletic experience. He also called on coaches to maintain clear and high standards.
Both men stressed the value of education, given that fewer than 2 percent of college players make it to the pros and the average NFL career lasts less than five years.
“We all share in the responsibility of the development of the 21st-century athlete,” Vincent said. “The opportunities far outweigh the challenges.”
Vincent regularly hosts Twitter chats on football and NFL Operations. Follow him on Twitter at @TroyVincent23, and follow his conversations with the hashtag #TV23Chat.