Pep Talk – Letter to Leon

Seahawks running back Leon Washington is a favorite among fans and teammates for a number of reasons. I like him because he always has a smile on his face and a positive attitude.

His teammates like him for the same reasons but also because he brings so much talent and energy onto the field with him.

Leon got national recognition when he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns against the Chargers on September 26th.

The next day I sat next to him at his locker and asked him if there is one person in his past who taught him something that explains his work ethic and attitude today.

“Whenever I do anything I always want to do my best no matter what I’m doing whether it’s writing a paper in college or working out, or at practice or performing in a game.”

“ I got a letter from Barry Sanders on behalf of Oklahoma State when I was being recruited in high school. Sanders used a quote that I’ll never forget. “To be a winner in life you must do the things that losers don’t like to do.”

Obviously Sanders used that advice himself long before he knew of Leon Washington. Barry Sanders rushed for 1000 yards ten straight seasons in the NFL. In 1997 he rushed for a 100 yards a game for 14 consecutive games. Sanders was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

Named “Mr. Football” in Florida after his senior year at Andrew Jackson High School in Jacksonville, Leon chose Florida State University over Oklahoma State but he still uses Sanders quote as a guide to his daily approach to football and life.

“I use that towards everything, if I want to be the best returner in the league I need to work hard in practice and run 100% all the way in practice, if I want to be the best husband to my wife I need to make the sacrifices necessary to do that. I use that quote for everything every day.”

Great advice from an NFL veteran that we can all use day-in and day-out.


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