overcoming obstacles

Tony Dungy’s Most Resilient Player

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When someone makes it to the National Football League, everybody assumes the person is simply blessed. They think the person is a gifted athlete who didn’t have any difficulties. That is rarely true. In fact, most people who reach the NFL have overcome many obstacles to get there. As I think back through all the players I coached, one comes to mind for overcoming obstacles—and probably the biggest obstacles a person can face.

This player was talented, resilient, and inspiring. Here’s who I’m talking about.

Warrick Dunn

Warrick grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was the son of a great single mother, Betty Smothers. She raised Warrick and watched out for him, but she was killed in a robbery as a police officer. She died when he was only 17 years old. After she passed away, he had to become the head of the household and take care of his siblings.

Parenting and Playing

How we handle difficulties plays a huge role in the kind of lives we lead.

Despite the weight of loss and caring for his brothers and sisters, Warrick was still able to get a scholarship to Florida State. During college, he was a student, an athlete, and a father figure. When we drafted him in Tampa, he brought his siblings with him. He continued to parent his siblings while playing for us as a rookie. He helped us get to the playoffs and even won Rookie of the Year, all while parenting three teenagers at the age of 21. It’s the most unbelievable and special accomplishment of anyone who played for me.

Most of us won’t have to endure the hardship that Warrick Dunn did. However, we all face obstacles at some point. How we handle difficulties plays a huge role in the kind of lives we lead.

Earn some points: Are you married? If so, share this iMOM article with your wife: What Resilience Is and Why Our Kids Need It.

Sound off: What do you think it takes to overcome obstacles?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you think it takes to overcome obstacles?”