Tommy Lazzaro: "Do It For The Bros"
Tommy Lazzaro, former Central Michigan Quarterback, sits down with veteran NFL agent and Pro Mindset® Podcast host Craig Domann to discuss the difference between an average athlete and an exceptional one. All athletes face challenges, but the way they handle the challenges is what determines them as exceptional or average. Tommy is a great example of someone who embodies the seven building blocks to a Pro Mindset®.
Tommy Lazzaro started playing football when he was child. Tommy experienced a lot of success during his high school years. He attended Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs, CO, where he won two 4A Colorado State Championships. Tommy started his college football career at Dodge City Community College, a small junior college team with a reputation of losing. The college was about the same size as his high school, but it was during this time that Tommy learned to connect with many players from different backgrounds. During Tommy’s JUCO years, he found his place within his team. It is said that you need to know what you would die for in order to start living, and for Tommy, that was his team. Tommy took the small team with a losing record and turned the program into a championship winning team.
Tommy then transferred to Central Michigan University, where he was the starting QB for his first year. When Tommy became injured, he was replaced. While recovering, a new coaching staff came in and made the decision to move him to special teams. Tommy had very little experience with special teams, but he accepted the challenge. He believed in himself, worked hard and eventually proved himself as a first string QB again.
Tommy loved football and everything that came with the game. The hardships are what he loved the most because he could turn them into lessons that could be used in his performance on- and off-the-field. Even when Tommy thought it was time to quit, he kept pushing. Tommy persevered and was given the chance to prove himself as QB, where he took his team to the MAC Championship. Even though Tommy was incredibly talented, his purpose went beyond football. His purpose was to help others win games with the abilities that each were gifted with. After he took his team to the MAC Championship, he was selected by his team for the Kurt Dombrowski award for his outstanding leadership. He was recognized for his impact being bigger than what he accomplished on-the-field. His teammates wanted his passion and leadership to be recognized. In Tommy’s Pro Mindset Podcast interview, he talks about how much the award meant to him.
“I was bawling when they awarded me that because it made everything that I went through worth it to me. The guys saw the passion that I had for them.”
Lazzaro’s performance was a statement on its own. His habits mirrored his attitude. Tommy never gave up, he only worked harder. He became more confident in his abilities and was able to help his team to achieve success. Tommy was a stand-up guy, on- and off-the-field. He did not just talk the talk; he walked the walk. Tommy showed-up on game days. He came ready to play and believed that his team would win. He created a team that worked together like a well-oiled machine and they got the job done. Tommy had expectations for his team and held them to it, he expected them to love the game just as he did.
Tommy also talks about joining the United States Army, where he is a special forces soldier. He said the competitiveness and camaraderie that he experienced on the football field helped prepare him for the United States Army. “The special forces are a lot like sports. It's a lot like playing football, a lot of competition, a lot of willpower, and a lot of mental toughness.” Tommy’s acknowledges that his football experiences shaped him into the person he is today and prepared him for the special forces.
Throughout his career, Tommy demonstrated the seven keys to building a Pro Mindset®. His story exemplifies belief, passion, and purpose. He created habits and developed a lifestyle that enabled him to perform at his best. Each game day, it all came together to create success for him on-the-field. Although he displayed all seven keys, his passion stands out from the others. His passion is what earned him success in high school and college. His teammates recognized his passion and respected him for it. His passion will also carry over into his career with the United States Army. We can’t wait to see what he does with our U.S. Army Special Forces!