Rich Griffith: Faith + Football
Veteran NFL agent and Pro Mindset® Podcast host Craig Domann sits down with former NFL tight end Rich Griffith. Griffith, born and raised in Arizona, played in his hometown for the University of Arizona then went on to spend 7 years in the NFL. After retiring from football, Griffith chose to follow his passion for Jesus Christ and become a pastor. He looks back on his career and discusses with Craig the importance of his faith in guiding him through the challenges and opportunities he faced in his time as a professional football player.
Faith as a Grounding Force
“I was a follower of Christ before I got any success in sports. That was a grounding piece of knowing who I was beyond any game.”
For Griffith, one of the things that his faith gave him in his time in the NFL was a more humble and stable perspective. In his faith he found comfort in his purpose and direction. A football career has a limited shelf life. Being able to keep yourself accountable and not get lost in the pressure of it all is important for continuing a happy, fulfilled life after retirement. For Griffith, his faith in God and having a larger purpose in life allowed him to ground himself during his time in the NFL especially in the face of challenges.
Faith as a Confidence Boost
“I believe strongly that God's the one that opens doors. But now how do I use my ability and begin to put my best foot forward?”
In his career Griffith was given something most players in the NFL don’t receive: a second chance. After being cut from the Patriots and told by his coach that it was time for him to hang up the cleats, he grounded himself in his faith and his passion for the game to train hard for a comeback. Griffith used this chance to focus more on the basics of the game to rebuild his foundation. It was rebuilding this foundation and this confidence which gave Griffith his second chance with the Jacksonville Jaguars where he spent 6 years.
Faith in Creating a Pro Mindset®
“If I'm willing to just lay it on the field, I will make mistakes, but I'm not going to let fear and doubt dictate that.”
Getting to the NFL, or any high-level playing field in sport or in life, requires a level head in the face of pressure. High pressure moments bring forth doubt. Will I make this play? Is my practice enough? What if I miss? For Griffith being in the NFL meant getting over the what if’s and the doubt. If you have doubt in yourself and your abilities, it will be exploited, and it will hold you back. For Griffith he turned towards having faith in himself, his coaching, and God. This helped him to cope with the pressures of professional football. Host Craig Domann also weighs in with his experience in working with football players as an agent: “Faith component comes in two places. One is faith in our Creator and the second one is faith in oneself. Because if you have too much doubt, you are not going to be successful in the NFL.”
Rich Griffith is a role model of the Pro Mindset it takes to be successful. He shows that in order to be successful you must be grounded in your goals and confident in your abilities. To hear more about his story, listen here.