Being an NFL player is stuff that dreams are made of. From the outside looking in, it looks like you’re pretty much living the good life: you play in front of millions every weekend, have a fairly high salary and usually the best of what life has to offer. But most don’t know what goes into that what makes the lifestyle and how to come out of it when your career is over.
Few know this better that NFL veteran Darryl Tapp. Tapp is a defensive end for the Detroit Lions. His NFL career started in 2006 and he’s been on 4 NFL teams so far, which makes him a league veteran. Tapp has played for the Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, & the Washington Redskins in the past. He’s a native of Virginia and a proud Virginia Tech Hokie. Seeing that average NFL career lasts only 3-4 years, Darryl has been in 10 years.
In this exclusive interview we learn it’s how Darryl approaches the game of football that makes him a standout.
“I didn’t play football until my 8th grade year. I just wanted to be like my older brother,” explains Tapp. “I really didn’t start having a love for the game until sophomore year in college.”
“I’m just blessed to live out a childhood dream. To play a game for a kings’s ransom is a great blessing. The only two jobs I’ve had was cutting grass and play football. And I thank God I never have to go back to cutting grass.”
“Faith plays a big part of this game,” Tapp confesses.
“Playing football allowed me to trust in the Lord more than ever. There are so many things that happen at this level besides the game itself; politics, issues, etc. We have a 100% injury rate in this game. Different situationss come up in the course of your career that put things in perspective. This is not who I am, this is what I do. This is not the most important things, this is just something I enjoy doing.”
Treating Your Body Like A Temple
“The first two to four weeks do nothing. After coming off a full season of football your body just needs to rest.
Then two weeks after that I start back doing cardio, Pilates, cycling weight lifting on my own. Then it’s time work with the team.”
During the season you have to be meticulous about your body:
- Mondays: each first day after the game, I stretches, take ice baths
- Tuesdays: are usually off days for NFL players, so I go to chiropractor
- Wednesdays: Go to an acupuncturist and go running
- Thursdays: Another visit to the chiropractor
- Fridays: Massage, stretching to ensure body is loose for the game
- Saturdays: stretch
“I also get a pedicure every two weeks. You’re in cleats 300 days out of the year and you have to take care of your feet. If you don’t it will hinder your game. You have to take care of your feet,” explains Tapp.
“You’re pretty much in a car wretch every time you step on the field. So you have to take care of your body.
On Concussions & Injuries
“The best thing you can do as a player is to make sure you have the best equipment available. Make sure you…