PERSPECTIVE FROM THE PROS series, we are excited to bring you an exclusive chat with 9-year NFL VETERAN and two-time Pro Bowl Fullback,
Ovie Mughelli. Ovie was drafted in the 4
th round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. Ovie spent four years in Baltimore and earned a trip to the 2006
Pro Bowl! In 2007 Ovie signed with the Atlanta Falcons where he spent the last 5 seasons, again being named to the Pro Bowl in 2010!
Ovie is not just a fantastic football player; he is an incredible role model. His foundation,
The Ovie Mughelli Foundation, supports the overall development of youth on a social, mental and physical level. Ovie’s work includes implementing and assisting quality programs that educate youth on the environment; focusing on educating and informing children on how to actively take a role in the improvement of society and community. Ovie was also rated the
#2 most eco-friendly athlete in the world!
Needless to say, Ovie Mughelli is a phenomenal athlete, NFL player and a great human being. Ovie has been a great supporter of TRAINlete and we are excited to bring you another exclusive edition of
PERSPECTIVE FROM THE PROS with Ovie Mughelli!
TL: As a youth football player, when did you realize that you had the potential to play in the NFL?
Ovie: I really started to realize that I was good my Freshmen year in high-school. I played on Varsity and I realized that I was faster and stronger than my teammates who were 2 and 3 years older than me. I am from a small town in South Carolina so I thought maybe it was because there was not a lot of competition in my town. But then we went to play schools in other areas and I was better, stronger and faster than them too! At that point I realized that I had a great opportunity to be something special and it motivated me to work harder!
TL: Who has been the biggest athletic influence in your life?
Ovie: My parents. My dad is incredibly optimistic and taught me the importance of hard work and achieving success. He is from Nigeria and came over to the United States and worked hard in athletics and in school and has become a very successful doctor. He had this saying, “The Mughelli’s are #1!” And he would say that to reinforce the importance of success. He would tell me that my competitors all had practiced with the same equipment and breathed the same air as I did, we had an equal opportunity at success. Someone has to win and someone has to lose, and “The Mughelli’s are #1!” My mom also was a huge influence in my life. She pushed me to be my best every day. If I had a bad game in high school she would say, “I thought you were best Tail Back in the state of South Carolina?!” She would be halfway joking but it would always motivate me to my best!
TL: What is your fondest memory of being a youth athlete?
Ovie: Winning a South Carolina State High School Championship my junior year. When I was in middle school I can remember watching my high school team and our star Tail Back at the time. He was like the prototypical “jock” from the movies, all the girls wanted him and all the guys wanted to be him! I can remember watching him and that team and how they won the championship. I remember telling myself, “I’m going to get a state championship too!” My junior year we made it to the State Championship game against the only team who beat us in the regular season. The tailback on the other team and I were considered the top 2 backs in the state of South Carolina. We were going back and forth scoring touchdowns the whole first half. We went up a few touchdowns towards the end of the first half and right before half-time I was injured and tore my ACL, it was devastating. I remember our linebacker telling me “we are going to win this one for you Ovie! Stay strong and cheer us on from the sidelines!” Sure enough they did hold on and we won the South Carolina State Championship! I still have a picture hanging at my parents’ house in Charleston of me on crutches holding up the trophy with my teammates all around me, it is my favorite picture! I remember thinking at the time, if this is the best it gets in football that is fine with me! It was a great feeling!
TL: What was the biggest surprise about playing in the NFL?
Ovie: Coming into the NFL I assumed every player was going to be a
Ray Lewis or a Pro Bowl player. After my first pre-season I quickly was surprised that I could hold my own with these guys, I was better than I thought I was! This helped me develop that confident, almost cocky attitude. That confident attitude every wide-receiver and corner back has, that feeling that “no one deserves to be on the field with me.” That feeling like “you are not on my level!” I don’t agree with being cocky off the field, but on the field you have to play with that. I can remember thinking as a rookie, “I should not be able to do this!”
TL: What is some advice you would share with youth athletes who are looking to reach their next level?
Ovie: Focus on the details! Find somebody who’s already done “it.” Whatever sport, whatever your next level is, find someone who has been there. Go talk to someone who is 2 or 3 years older than you that is at, or has past the level that you are aspiring to get to and learn from them. What did they do to get there? What trainer did they use? What drills did they focus on? Ask and learn from them!Learn from and respect those who have already blazed that trail and work harder than them! Follow Ovie on Twitter - @oviemughelli34 #TeamTRAINlete “Follow” us on Twitter –
www.twitter.com/trainlete “Like” us on Facebook –