David Arnold isn’t just the average college football player; he is a unique person, in multiple ways. There are 5 categories that stand out as I describe his life story to you.
DIVERSITYRace has never played an issue in David’s life. Out of any household that I’ve heard of, his would probably be the most DIVERSE! David comes from an African-American father, along with his mother (who he has lived with the majority of his life) that is mixed with African-American and Caucasian. David’s step-father is Greek, and he has a 10 year old brother who was born through his mother and step-father as well. You get the point, there are many ethnicities that are a part of him, and also surrounding him.
ADJUSTMENTComing out of high school, David was originally recruited for the DB (Safety) position. When he first got up to Northwestern, he was moved to the linebacker position. If you know football, that is a huge ADJUSTMENT! Those are two totally different positions with two different responsibilities. Also, keep in mind, David had never played Linebacker in his life, so this was brand new to him. He did well at that position, and now, he’s back at the Safety position for this upcoming 2010-2011 season and is already a preseason pick to achieve ALL Big Ten honors.
ADVERSITYFor anyone who has had a sports injury, one thing everyone has in common is the rehab process, and the simple fact of going through the pain and struggle. Well for David, he has had 4 knee surgeries!!!! He has torn his meniscus in both of his knees. Despite the knee surgeries, David has still been able to overcome all of the pain, struggle, and health issues. And now he is one of the Big Ten’s most watched Defensive Backs. If you ask me, that’s the definition of ADVERSITY!
FOCUSEveryone has something that makes them stand out from others. Your FOCUS may be different than someone else’s focus! David has developed certain pre-game rituals that he has carried with him for years. He said “It has a lot to do with the pre-game schedule that the hotel goes through every week. Starting when we get to the locker room I like to sit down and listen to music and look through the program for that week”.
Something that I thought was extremely unique about David when he told me, “One thing that has been a pre-game ritual for him is to not brush my teeth.” He said it started a while back when he was rushing for a game and he had to hurry up and get all his stuff together to go out on the field and he did not have enough time to brush his teeth. So he ended up playing really well that game, and it became a part of his routine ever since!
VISIONDavid is majoring in Learning and Organizational Change. He felt that it was the closest alternative to business and the future vision he has planned with his life. I asked David where he saw himself in 5 years, and he told me “playing in the NFL”. But he doesn’t just have a dream to play in the NFL and call it quits after that. David would like to start some type of organization and help others as well. He told me “I want to be a successful businessman who is happy and is able to give as much back to my community as possible.” That is my definition of having a true VISION!
FOOTBALLI then asked David how football has helped him become who he is today, and he said “It has been a huge part of his life, in so many different ways.” He then went on to say “football has taught him things he can apply to other aspects of his life and it has built character and leadership for him also.”
David’s favorite quote sums up everything about him; “Life is a lot like football. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score your points when you get the opportunity".