Blitzburgh Blog Exclusive: Get Motivated interview with Troy Polamalu on another Super Bowl victory plus some life lessons

Since I obviously have some problems with getting motivated (for example, writing articles on the site), I decided to go to the Get Motivated! seminar that was going on in the Mellon Arena in downtown Pittsburgh yesterday. Actually, I attended mostly due to the fact that Terry Bradshaw (who was the first speaker and was unable to record because my dad has never been time in his life) and Troy Polamalu were speaking. Thankfully I was able to get some videos of Troy on my phone. He discussed everything from whether he thought the Steelers would repeat a Super Bowl victory to preparing for games to advice for parents to the different kinds of passions. You can tell he’s actually pretty nervous during the interview which kind of surprised us since we figured he’d be used to being in front of a crowd. It’s defintely something to check out. Click here to read more and to see the videos.

During the seminar, the host/MC/leader of it all asked him a series of questions which Troy kind of answered but mostly just said what he wanted during the whole thing. You could tell everyone in attendance was hanging on every word he said. One of the first questions he asks Troy is whether he thinks the Steelers will win another Super Bowl in 2009. After some nervous laughter in the beginning, this is what he had to say…

If you’re at work checking out the site, don’t have your audio working, or just can’t undestand what he’s saying, here’s what he said in writing:

“I wish I could tell you that we’ll win a seventh Super Bowl, but I’ve got as much of a clue as everybody else out there. I can only hope that we can win that. But there’s so much toil and so much pain and the blood, sweat, and tears that we all give throughout such a long season. I was never big on predicting on the winners of a fight, winners of the game, cause there’s so much struggle that I respect as an athlete for other athletes that I didn’t want to diminish the hard work that they put in or preparation for the game. So in doing that, I just hope that the person that wins the Super Bowl is well deserving.

How can someone be that humble? You’ll never see him screaming, “Hell yeah we’ll win another Super Bowl! We’re the best team in the league and no one can stop us!”. That’s fine with us, as long as he doesn’t give the cliche, “It’ll be more difficult for us this year because everyone will be gunning for us. We have the targets on our back. It’s a new season and last year doesn’t mean anything anymore.” Anyway, after that he asked him what he does to prepare before a game…

“You know football is no different than my spitural life. It’s no different from whether you work in an office, whether you’re a clerk, or whether you’re a lumberjack. It takes a lot of skill, and in order to develop that skill it takes a lot of disicpline. It takes a lot of repitition of redundancy every single day. And you can’t get sick of the process. You have to understand that the process is needed. And you actually learn that the process is really beautiful. You know a flower doesn’t bloom in one day. There’s a lot of struggle that the seed has to obtain when it’s cultured, when it breaks the soil, when it blooms, and it takes time. The most beautiful things that we can experience in our life take that time. When you can understand that everything you do and remind yourself of everything you do is redundancy and the disipline of your craft everyday in order to obtain that meaning, it makes things much easier. But for me, yeah, it is a struggle though. It is a struggle. But it’s a beautiful struggle. And I just want to realize that every single day and train and by giving me the confidence I need to go out there and compete.”

We would love to see any other athlete answer that question even remotely close to what he just said. What a deep answer. He also seems to throw in a little Talib Kweli by mentioning the “beautiful struggle”. Next the guy asked Troy on advice he would give for kids but he really focused on the parents instead…

“Honestly, I don’t know if I could speak directly to children in this instance, I would have to speak directly to the parents. The reason why I say this is because I think it’s important for parents to better understand that, what are you willing to sacrifice to be successful? Or to want success for your children? It’s unfortunate that in the business of, you know in athletics that people sacrifice their families. There’s not very many successful marriages or even successful families. This is a huge struggle that I face and many of my colleagues and other athletes face. It’s the truth. You know you get so involved in your craft, with practice, whether it’s training, there’s parting ways with your family with travel. This is not only in athletics but this is in business as we can all attest to. It’s important that we all spend time with our families. First and foremost who we work for, I don’t work for Mr. Rooney, I work for my family. [inaudible because of clapping] But it’s important to always keep that in mind because we can always lose that. We can always sacrifice that which we love most and that’s what we work for, our family, in order to gain our own egotistical or personal success.”

We really liked the “work for my family” quote. It’s so unfortunate that more athletics don’t have this state of mind. He speaks so much truth. There were a few more random clips that I missed because someone texted me while I was recording which messed up the video. But I got the final part where the guy asked if Troy had anything else to add…

“I did prepare something. But, let me see here. I don’t know, I was so wrecked and so nervous for this that everything I wrote down looks like chicken stratch. I actually wanted to expand on passions, on our passions on failure. When I talk about these passions of failure of laziness, arrogance, you know there’s also passions of success, of humility, of unselfishness, and these qualities are universal. [feed cuts out] It didn’t matter to me whether I was an athlete or a student I always truly believe in myself that whatever makes me successful in athletics, made me successful in school. The qualities of hardwork…[feed cuts out] I never thought I could experience anything that if I thought wasn’t capable to do magically, that I could do through hard work. I think that we’re all getting into different areas, as you can see I don’t speak very well. But I think that in order for…[feed cuts out] that we can work for something, it’s really important because people always sell themselves short when they’re not naturally gifted with certain gifts.”

One of those videos that I wasn’t able to get was at the very beginning when he said that he didn’t speak very well and that he wasn’t a good example of USC education, which is why he mentioned that he doesn’t speak well. So there you have it, the most humble and down to earth athlete you’ll find.


What do you think of the interview?