PERSPECTIVE FROM THE PROS series, we are excited to bring you an exclusive chat with 6-year NFL VETERAN,
PAUL OLIVER. Paul is a GREAT resource/friend to TRAINlete & very passionate about Youth Sports! Enjoy!
TL: As a youth football player, when did you realize that you had the potential to play in the NFL?
PO: I first dreamt of playing pro Football in the 2nd grade when I went to an Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints game with some Pop Warner teammates. It wasn’t until I entered high school that I realized I had a chance of truly living a dream. The thought of the opportunity almost drove me crazy, in a good way, to the point that I would get chills thinking about it.
TL: Looking back when you were a youth athlete, was there a coach or experience that you look back on as a key learning?
PO: Every athlete has a special circle of people they consider the reason for their respective success. I’ll always remember how fun it was playing for the Due-West Raiders and Coach Marty Cain. High school coaches Billy Peek and Bruce Cobleigh made sure that I understood the opportunities I could afford myself by working to at my best all the time. In college,
Mark Richt and Willie Martinez were great teachers of football. Most memorable experience of my time in college was the 1st time my class went through mat drills! That was the last time I questioned how bad I wanted to play football.
TL: Who was the biggest athletic influence in your life?
PO: My biggest athletic influences have always been and will be my older brothers. Price and Patrick wouldn’t let me win even if it was my birthday or Christmas! That alone made me more competitive which drove me to work harder and harder day in day out. It developed a work ethic with me that helped me stand out.
TL: What is your fondest memory of being a youth athlete?
PO: In 00'-01' Harrison High School was State Runner-Up. We didn’t win it all, but we are still champs! That TEAM overcame a lot and put together one of the best seasons a Cobb County high school has seen ever. Most memorable was the way the community came around us as the season played on. Everywhere in town showing support for our team was special.
TL: What was the biggest surprise about playing in the SEC? In the NFL?
PO: It only took 2 weeks into my college career before I realized that EVERY player in the SEC was the best player from their hometown. And the coaches were a lot less forgiving. The game was much faster and more detailed. The amount of time we spent with football alone was a fulltime job. The same can be said about the NFL. The size of the athletes is almost crazy. It is not normal to see so many men over 300lbs in top shape.
TL: What’s the bigger rivalry…UGA vs. UF or Chargers vs. Raiders?
PO: They don’t call it the
“Biggest Cocktail party for nothing!” Considering the Chargers didn’t start playing until the early 1960's, UGA vs. UF already had 4-5 decades of football history before anyone thought about
Raiders-Chargers. But, I will say I’ve never heard of gang violence and bomb threats at a SEC game... #TeamTRAINlete "Follow" us on Twitter -
www.twitter.com/trainlete "Like" us on Facebook -