Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ricky Williams...Yoga Teacher, Healer/Maseusse, Broadcaster and Now a Football Coach

For a guy who once donned a wedding dress for a magazine cover, then years later, quit football for a bohemian lifestyle, it may appear like Ricky Williams is not suited for coaching.

But, Williams loves to prove people wrong and doesn't like to be judged.  Now, the Heisman trophy winner and former 10,000 yard NFL running back is finding his footing as a Running Backs coach.

This former Longhorn great has discovered a new passion.  At 36 years old, he has chosen to provide his talents for football through coaching at the newly established football program for the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.  He wants to be around young players and will split his time as the Running Backs coach and as a broadcaster with the Longhorn network.

Williams has always been a little different than the average ballplayer.  One of the main reasons he quit football was to find himself and trek the world.  He's known as a person who is willing to step out and try different things, including being one of the first football players to become heavily involved with Yoga (eventually, becoming a teacher) and holistic medicines.

Professional athletes are expected to fall into certain categories.  Successful ex-ballplayers typically go into business ventures, coaching or become broadcasters.

Williams is capitalizing on his skill sets and using his name recognition to take advantage of opportunities. On face value, Williams appears to be following the stereotypes.  But, there seems to be more to be written on his biography than meets the eye.

It always seemed Williams was much more than a football player.  His career in football was a dichotomy of sorts on how one professional athlete could fall in and out of love with a sport.

The public shouldn't ever doubt him, though.  He is constantly surprising his fans and admirers by doing things his way, with humility and dignity.

It has been Ricky's very public journey of discovery to find the meaning of life that may have been his biggest contribution in sports.

After all his traveling, photography and healing with natural medicines (art and science projects), his sojourn continues.

What Ricky may discover next, he may not like very much.  The science of concussions, spine and knee injuries are consistently proving how violent and dangerous football is to young athletes.  Williams may end up deciding to rationalize it all and make his exit from coaching into something else.

But, what profession would hold his interest the most and will he be able to push himself to succeed at it? Did Williams himself suffer too many concussions and is coaching young people what he will find most satisfying at this point in his life?

After all, who he is as a complete person is Ricky Williams' biggest contribution to the U.S. sporting landscape.  He is one of the few pro athletes to be bold enough to question the priorities on how others see his role while trying to live to the beat of his own drum.

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