From April 25th through April 27th hundreds of college football athletes waited eagerly to see if their cell phones would ring and their names would be called. Some knew they would be drafted in the first round, others the second or third. But the draft is seven rounds in length and there were 254 selections this year. Some young men were less optimistic of their chances. The truth about hardly anyone actually going professional in sports was apparent because only so many actually make it to the highest levels and it involves a mix of skill, hard work, genetics, timing and of course LUCK.
This year two young men that I care deeply about were in the mix. One I wrote about in Exceptional Every Day, the other taking the time to read an advanced copy of the book during the 2018 season (a little busy, along with the fact that he has his own website – you need to check it out if you have young kids and want them involved in a summer reading program) and providing his endorsement that lines the back cover. Throughout the 2018 season, these two young men (along with another very special one) engaged in weekly communication with me. From short phone calls, to empowering text messages, we were putting The Process to work. And while they did not win all of their games, the growth that took place in their lives was invaluable.
Most of us expected Patrick and Jordan to get drafted. We kept our ears and eyes open. But their names were not called. Neither filled one of the 254 selections made by the 32 professional teams. Many of us felt empty. We did not understand. Our hearts ached for them.
But those of us in the mix, knew that The Process was not actually over. After the draft is completed, many teams sign up additional players to join their rosters as undrafted free agents.
And our hope was on the rise. Jordan received his phone call, and so did Patrick. The Carolina Panthers and the Miami Dolphins figured out that these two young men deserved to continue their careers. If anything, they deserved a shot to compete for a spot on an NFL roster.
While we have no idea how these young men will fair, we know one thing is certain, they believed in The Process, both evaluating their priorities and making changes when needed along the way.