Posted By: Christian Marin
Just because you’ve retired from the game, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use your former status as a professional athlete to help influence others when it comes to making the right decisions in life. When you stand in front of a room of children you have the ability to talk about your past to help as motivation for them in their lives. You can show them the right path to take in life and show them face to face how the hard work will one day pay off and that’s exactly what former San Diego Charger and Denver Bronco Reggie Berry has been doing for nearly 20 years.
Reggie Berry was forced to retire from football due to injuries. Now, he is the Executive Director at Goals For Life; a non-profit organization that focuses on children who are at-risk at school. It is an educational youth development program that teaches children in underserved communities the skills and strategies that are necessary for success in life and teaches them that everything is a game and you have to stay in bounds and play to win.
He understands how much of an impact professional athletes can have on the younger generation so he knew exactly what was going on when Spud Webb was featured in a Miller advertisement; even though he was a Budweiser guy.
“I was asked to speak to some kids about 24 years ago while working for the Miller Brewing Company and they had an advertisement with Spud Webb telling kids to stay off drugs,” said Berry. “He was a Budweiser guy so there was some subliminal seduction taken in mind without them knowing,” he added.
Former NFL player Bubba Smith also helped open up Reggie’s eyes without even realizing it. He exposed some facts to Reggie that he was unaware of before.
“I was talking to Bubba Smith who was working for the Miller Brewing Company at the time and he told me the number one cause of death among teenagers is the consumption of alcohol,” said Berry. “He told me that they mainly consume beer because they think it’s innocent so I decided I didn’t want to sell beer no more and I went back to school to start this program.”
Goals For Life sends former NFL players to schools to help out with goal setting workshops with students who demonstrate maladaptive behaviours. The athletes speak of the enthusiasm, drive and determination that were main factors in assisting them in achieving their goals in life. They help put in perspective for the kids that the world of sports applies to their education. The children get to discover first hand qualities such as integrity, high self-esteem, preparation, perseverance and the confidence that is needed to have a winning mentality everyday in life.
Reggie Berry is always active and his list of achievements doesn’t hide any of the good work he has done over the years. He sits on The Board of Directors of the Aquatic Foundation of Metropolitan Los Angeles and L.A. CADA, The Board of Trustees for Coast Plaza Doctors Hospital and The Board of the Norwalk Chapter Chamber of Commerce and Scholars Learning Academy. He is a past member of The Board of Directors of Total Football Network, The Human Relations Committee of the Southern Section of the C.I.F., The Board of Trustees and the Union Rescue Mission.
When it comes to the game of football he is still active as he is currently the serving President of the NFL Retired Players, Los Angeles Chapter and is on the Steering Committee of the NFL Retired Players Association. His foundation has won awards over the years like the 2005 Charity of the Year Award presented by Sports Mavericks, Smart Talk For Parents and Athletes and he has been recognized for the hard work that he puts forth every day; winning the Youth Inspiration Award at the First Annual Gala and Awards Dinner hosted by the Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse. He has helped show kids and adults everywhere that the hard work doesn’t stop, even after the game is done.
To learn more about Goals For Life, visit http://goalsforlife.net/