Born: October 13, 1962, Mississippi, US | Successful For: NFL Legend | Zodiac Sign: Libra
Inner Keys to Success:
- FIND YOUR GOD GIVEN PASSION OR LET IT FIND YOU: Young Jerry’s father was a bricklayer who built a home for the family on a pasture where him and his five brothers would enjoy playing sports, including a favourite game of chasing the horses in the pasture until one could be caught to ride. Jerry developed his strong yet soft hands and dedicates some of his amazing catching abilities to brick layering. He always enjoyed watching football on television but he began playing on a team when he was tracked down by the school principle for skipping class. When he was called, the startled Jerry sprinted off running and the next day the principal called him into his office and gave him his punishment, however the principle told the school’s football coach about his speed. There were no drugs, or crime, or sirens and ultimately no distractions in the tiny town of Crawford, Mississippi, where he began to fall in love with the great game. From that moment in highschool to the NFL, he grew this strong driven passion and claims that for his first 10 years playing in the NFL, he didn’t even take a single vacation. “I went out there to play my game for the fun of it and never based my career around records.”
- KNOW YOUR SELF KNOW YOUR WORTH: Being an introvert, Jerry knew who he was and what type of personality he had and did not try to be somebody else, just himself. “I think what people might not really know about me is that I’m really a shy individual. I’ve grown over the years and I know how to adapt to situations, where I can go into a situation where there’s a crowd of people and just take over. But pretty much I’m off to myself. And I’m totally committed to the game of football. That’s why I’ve had so much success.” Because Rice understood his uniqueness he learned to be proud of it and worked within his own compounds.“People would look at me weird. You know, like, ‘Why is this guy’s hands always in his pockets? But I was embarrassed by the size of my hands.” Eventually those large hands served their purpose and assisted him to become the greatest receiver ever and the confidence in himself would pay off.
- HAVE A GO GETTER SPIRIT AND EMBRACE WORK ETHIC: Jerry Rice, as a youngster saw few paved roads and pretty much nothing compared to the luxuries that later became a part of his life. Rice was a player who refused to settle with less and would always be striving for greatness. He stated in one of his bio’s “The Enemy of the best is the good. If you’re always settling with what’s good, you’ll never be the best.” Rice’s dedication to excellence is very apparent in his accomplishments of winning 3 Superbowl rings and countless records, but even from his won acknowledgments as he once told Newsday “I always did have good work habits; I guess it’s from my parents. I take a lot of pride in everything and try to be the best in what I’m doing. Every time I step on the football field, it’s not like a job to me; I really enjoy it. Working with my father taught me the necessity of hard work. On my mother’s side, I’m a caring person. I guess that’s why I’ve been successful.” In another interview Jerry Rice was quoted saying his success was not luck or talent but his work ethic: “I think the thing about that was I was always willing to work; I was not the fastest or biggest player but I was determined to be the best football player I could be on the football field and I think I was able to accomplish that through hard work.”
“I think what you saw out there on the football field was an individual who really just loved the game. I was just like a little kid. I enjoyed the hard work and the dedication and the preparation I had to make to try to be one of the best receivers to ever play the game. The first 10 years, my wife and I, we never took a vacation.” – Jerry Rice
- Image Source: “Jerry Rice” by Glenn’s GISuser.com Map, Mash-up & GIS PhotoBlog (GISuser.com) from Canada – Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
- Image Source: By Anthony Quintano from Hillsborough, NJ, United States [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons