Interview with Retired NFL Vet, Billy Cundiff
Over the years I have had the opportunity to work with so many great athletes, it is an honor to stay connected with them after they retire from the sport. To be able to watch them apply their experiences and habits they cultivated during sport into the next stage of their life with family, community, second careers, and business projects.
My ultimate goal with my work is to create life long relationships with the athletes. To be of service to them, to teach them how to care for their bodies and promote their well being. This enables them to feel good and be a positive light in their community and within their family.
It is with great excitement that I have decided to do an interview series with my former and current athletes and clients, to share with you their insights, mindsets, and habits. I hope that you can be inspired by them as I have and begin to see the red thread that so many successful and fulfilled people have in common.
I hope you enjoy this series!
My first athlete I would like to share with you is Billy Cundiff. He is a former Pro Bowl / All Pro NFL kicker. He was in the NFL for 12 years, and I have had the privilege of knowing him since his 3rd year in the league. When I think of Billy the first three things that come to mind are: dedication, perseverance, and family.
Now in his retirement from the NFL, Billy has started a second career as an Associate with Hines, a global real estate investment, development and management firm, putting to use his two master’s degrees and NFL Business Management & Entrepreneur Program he completed during his NFL career. In addition to his new career he is the Board Chair of Colleen’s Dream Foundation, an ovarian cancer foundation that he and his wife Nicole co-founded in honor of her mother, Colleen in 2012.
MovementREV Q: What has been the most valuable lesson(s) you have learned from your time in the NFL that you lean on now in your next career and with running a non-profit?
Persistence is key. When you have an idea or a goal, you have to be willing to deal with adversity. Road blocks are guaranteed and you must stay focused as you work through them.
Second lesson- mindset is everything. It's similar to the first lesson, but you have to understand that persistence doesn't matter when you are going in the wrong direction. Are you focused on the right goal? Are you confident in your abilities while being realistic about your current environment and all your available resources? Along with that, have you set realistic timelines to accomplish your goals? Are you disciplined? Do you find joy in what you are doing? Monetary gain or notoriety will only motivate you so far.
The other big lesson is always be learning. NFL coaches love to use cliches. The one I heard almost every day was "either you are getting better or you are getting worse, but you are never staying the
same." I think it has more implications than just athletic or skill development. Whether its through reading or talking with mentors, I make sure that I am willing to go beyond my comfort zone.
MovementREV Q: How do you fit wellness of body, mind, and spirit in to your daily routine and your family life?
I could and should be better. I have to admit. This has been my biggest struggle in the transition to the working world. During my time in the NFL, my job was to workout and take care of my body. Now, I am using my brain to make money. The requirements are different and so I am still figuring out the perfect balance. I know this, when I get my workout in the morning, my day is better. Also, when I stretch and do soft tissue work before bed, I sleep better.
To sum it up... Early start. Lots of movement. Get to bed early.
MovementREV Q: What are your rituals around sleep?
In an ideal world, I take a warm bath or shower about an hour before I want to be sleeping. I will do some trigger point or soft tissue work, maybe light stretching. From there, I like to read before bed. My preference is no TV, especially since there are so many studies showing the negative impacts of watching TV before you try to sleep. I like the room to be cool and dark. Generally, I don't have a problem sleeping, since I am so tired at the end of the day.
MovementREV Q: What is your morning routine and what value does this routine add to the performance of your day?
If I can do a cup of coffee and journal before my workout, I find that I am twice as productive. I'll get my workout in and then will take kids to school. From there, its time to get to work. With an extra ten minutes to gather my thoughts, I set my intentions for the day and it makes a big difference.
MovementREV Q: Since September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month what would you like to share about Colleen's Dream and Kicking for the Dream?
We are trying to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer while supporting research. Ovarian cancer research is underfunded and we are trying to change it. Through the foundation, we have learned so much about ovarian cancer. We have also learned about genomics and how knowing your family history is so important. This has ramifications for other diseases as well.
You can check us out online at Colleensdream.org. We have come a long way since we started, but we have a long way to go!
As for Kicking For The Dream, the program gives kids an outlet/cause to join. They can participate in the same program NFL guys are involved in. By raising money for ovarian cancer research while you play, everyone wins.