3 Things the NFL Taught Me About Raising Kids

3 Things the NFL Taught Me About Raising Kids

Playing in the NFL taught me more than I could have ever imagined about life. I learned countless lessons in my years in the NFL that have affected everything from how I navigate the business world to how I honor and cherish my marriage. So as you may imagine, the lessons I learned in the NFL largely affect the way I parent and raise my children as well. Raising a family is no easy task, and anyone who has done so knows it. But raising kids is also one of the most important things many of us will do in our entire lives. So just like all important things in life, raising kids requires hard work and sacrifice. Here are the 3 things the NFL taught me about raising kids.

Always finish what you start

Consistency is key when it comes to most things in life. In the game of football, it’s so important to stay consistent with your dedication to the sport and bettering yourself as a team player. When it comes to raising kids, consistency remains just as important. Finishing what you start is a sign of good character, and your kids will be quick to do as you do. Being the reliable mother or father your kids expect you to be will help you to raise kids that likewise will stick to their word, take responsibility, and never give up on things half-way through. You will face new challenges in every season of your life, but you must always finish what you start in every aspect of life in order to raise kids that will grow into the kind of adults you want them to be––the kinds of adults with good character and a dependable personality.

Stay true to your priorities

One of the most important things I learned in the NFL was how to prioritize my life. Practices, games, and training took up so much of my time, and it was necessary for me to make a conscious effort for the other aspects of my life that were important to me. In doing so, I picked up the art of prioritization and have carried it into every aspect of my life since. When it comes to raising kids, I make sure to prioritize our family values above all else when going through my day to day life, so that my children learn to prioritize the important things in life as well.

Remember what it means to be an Eaton

Even though I wore a number and a team jersey on the field, I always made an effort to stay true to who I was when I played in the NFL. In doing so, I truly figured out what it means to be an Eaton. When it was time to raise a family, I knew exactly what kind of family values I wanted to incorporate into our family dynamic because I had learned it for myself playing in the NFL. One of the most important things it means to be an Eaton is to always give more than what’s expected, and I have made every effort to instill this mindset in my children. To be an Eaton means to give everything you do 110% effort because that’s what I firmly believe makes you become a better player and a better person.

Just like you face new challenges in football at every practice and every game, you will face new challenges in every season of your life. But thanks to my experience in the NFL, I have transferred the lessons I learned on the field to influence the way I parent and raise dependable and thoughtful children.


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Tracey Eaton – 3 Things the NFL Taught Me About Marriage

Tracey Eaton – 3 Things the NFL Taught Me About Marriage

My years in the NFL have served as a foundation as to what I model other areas of my life. I have learned to become a man of integrity on the field and in the business world. I have learned to push past personal obstacles when others are depending on me both in a game and in life. In short, the NFL taught me to wake up every morning to show up ready to put 110% into everything I do. And this applies to everything from how I conduct my business to how I cherish my marriage. Read on to find out the 3 most important things the NFL taught me about marriage.

Honor your commitments

Commitment is without a doubt one of the most integral aspects of success in any relationship or endeavor in your life. If you put in the work every day despite the hardships that come your way, you will eventually see results. It’s not rocket science. In fact, I’m not even sure the NFL taught me this lesson. I have valued commitment since day one. I have always been a man of dedication, and that is what got me to the NFL in the first place.

However, what I know the NFL did teach me is to honor these commitments. It taught me to do everything I can to keep my commitments to myself, to my team, and to other people. Playing on a team that depended on me taught me that keeping my commitments determined the kind of team player I was. Likewise, keeping my commitments in life determines the kind of man I am. More than anything, the NFL taught me to treat my commitments with honor––to cherish my commitment to a team because that means I am an integral part of something. And that is exactly how I treat my commitment in marriage. I wake up everyday feeling honored to commit myself to Kimberly and our two-person team.  

Share a common vision

In order for any team to succeed, every player has to share the same goal. The desired end result must be the same––whether that’s taking home a win with your sports team, sealing the deal on a client with your business department, or becoming successful entrepreneurs with your spouse. In fact, your level of success cannot be measured unless you have a pre-established vision.

This is exactly why Kimberly and I have established a shared vision for life and in our marriage. We both want the same things and are willing to wake up every day to put in the same level of work, time, and effort to get there.

Keep a united front

What’s the point of working as a team if you don’t keep a united front? Sticking to the same playbook doesn’t only make it easier to succeed, but it also helps keep teammates accountable. So whether you’re playing for a team in the NFL or just a touch-football team in your neighborhood, you need to have a gameplan to have a shot at success.

Likewise, in marriage, it’s important to keep a united front in every single area of life. Whether you’re dealing with an argument with your children, a disagreement with friends, or a hardship in finances, working together as a team using the same plan of action is the only way to get through it together.

The lessons I learned in the NFL have made me into the man I have become and have influenced how I have learned to honor, cherish, and work on my marriage day in and day out.

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Tracey Eaton- 4 Things the NFL Taught Me About the Business World

Tracey Eaton- 4 Things the NFL Taught Me About the Business World

Playing in the NFL was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. I won’t lie. It was pretty darn cool to wear a jersey that represented not only a team but also an entire city of a devoted fanbase. But it was so much more than that. Beyond the glory that came with playing in the NFL, it was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life because it taught me how to define and achieve success. While I played in the NFL––as I trained for each game––I was also training for the business world. I was establishing habits and training myself to apply the rules of the game to the rules of life. These are the 4 things the NFL taught me about the business world. 

Be a team player before anything else

We’ve all heard in life that “teamwork makes the dream work,” and these words rang truer each day during my time in the NFL. Through long days, hard practices, and big wins, I learned that fundamentally I am part of a team before I am anything else. My definition of success came to rely heavily on not only how I performed individually, but also how I performed to improve my team. I learned quickly that you can’t win a game on your own because the number on the back of your jersey doesn’t mean a thing unless there are other numbers on the exact same jersey on the field right there with you.  

So when it was time for me to take my football skills and apply them to the business world, I carried that same team-oriented mentality with me. While there are highly determined and independent business superstars out there, no one can run an entire business on his or her own because success is not possible without the support and the guidance of others. When it comes to business, I worked with the mindset that my accomplishments and successes were a direct result of the determination to get things done as a team. Kimberly and I each played a fundamental role in building our business so we could reach success together because it truly does take teamwork to make the dream work.

Do your pregame work

If there’s anything to learn from playing on a competitive team, it’s to always show up prepared to perform your best. Whether it’s putting in the extra reps at the gym, spending hours watching game film or showing up to practice early and staying late, I made sure I was ready to play my best every single day. Essentially, the NFL taught me that I had to wake up every morning ready to show up on the field. Each day was a new test, a new challenge, and a new chance to prove myself on the field.

I quickly learned that the business world is no different. In order to achieve success, you have to face each day ready to get to work––no excuses. I faced each day mentally prepared to put in the work to do whatever it takes to get Kimberly and I one step closer to our goals. And that mentality right there is what gave me an edge on the playing field and in the business world.

Maintain a coachable attitude

If you find yourself surrounded by talent, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. I learned early on in my football career to never take learning from others for granted. I learned from my teammates, my opponents, and my coaches. I was surrounded by insane talent on a daily basis and would have been crazy if I didn’t show up ready to learn from them. And I became a better player because of it.

So why should this mentality be any different in the business world? When it comes to business, I embraced mentorship at any point I was presented the opportunity. I learned from experts and gained invaluable insight from others to help me reach my goals. And in doing so, like I played better on the field, I performed better in the business world with the help and guidance from mentors and coaches.

Earn respect from others

I learned from my experience on the field that the best thing a player can be is a player of integrity, which goes beyond the results of sheer talent. I gained respect from my teammates and my coaches because of the dedication I brought to the field, my willingness to be held accountable, and my personal decision to devote myself to the efforts of my team day in and day out––even when I was injured.

The business world is much the same. The most important thing a business man or woman can be is one of integrity––one that has earned respect in his or her field. Playing in the NFL taught me that no matter what your current hardship is at the moment, push through it. Hold yourself accountable for your shortcomings and do whatever it takes to get yourself back to producing your best work. The NFL taught me to make sure people know they can count on me. It showed me how to earn respect from others by always holding myself to high standards and conducting myself with integrity no matter what happens.

The business world isn’t all that different from the football field after all.

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