As a part of my series about sports stars who are making a social impact, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rashard Markese Davis. Rasad ws born on September 14, 1995 and raised in Charlottesville, VA. Rashard is an active American Football wide receiver and return specialist for the Oakland Raiders. He played college football at James Madison University and helped lead his team to the 2016 National Championship in his senior year. Following that Rashard was a member of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl winning team.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share with us the “backstory” that led you to this career path?
I grew up watching my dad and his siblings play backyard football at my grandmother’s house. He then went on to play Semi-pro football for 20 years. I saw how fun it was and started playing with my brothers and cousins that were closer to my age range. At the age of 5 My parents signed me up for flag football and I’ve played the game ever since.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
I promise I’m not boring, I like to joke and make people laugh but I honestly cannot think of a story right now.
What would you advise to a young person who wants to emulate your success?
The biggest piece of advice that I would give a young person is to never give up on your dreams no matter how many obstacles you face along the way. Everyone has a different journey so don’t compare your story to the next man, it may take you a little longer than some, but success is success and it’s not a race to get there.
Is there a person that made a profound impact on your life? Can you share a story?
My parents have been there my entire life pushing and supporting me along the way with any and everything. However, my former high school coach Chris Johnson is a critical piece in my story. Without any pay or incentives he would drag my cousin and I to the field in the middle of the summer to work on footwork and ball skills whether we wanted to or not. In the beginning we hated doing it because we could find better things to do with our time during the break. However, we gradually started to see each other get better and faster the more we did it and it eventually led to us dominating our competition. With that said without my former coach taking his time to make sure we were ready for the upcoming season I don’t know if my senior season would have been what it was.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting causes you are working on right now?
Since being home for the off-season I’ve started my own training program in my hometown. Growing up other than my coach we didn’t have anyone that would take their time to train us and share the knowledge that they had come across throughout their career. While training for my pro-day I was able to see how much the kids in Miami, Florida utilize private training and I realized that the Central Virginia area is really lacking in that aspect. Being able to train these kids and share my knowledge is a blessing because I’m able to see myself in a lot of them and I now know the importance of personal training and what it takes to have success in this profession.
What methods are you using to most effectively share your cause with the world?
I have created a instagram and facebook page for my training program called “Rashard Davis Performance.” I share videos and pictures from my training sessions to show the people the kind of work that I offer as well as to show coaches and recruiters the talent that my clients possess.
Can you share with us the story behind why you chose to take up this particular cause?
I chose this particular cause because of the lack of personal training for football in my area. There are a lot of personal trainers for basketball and soccer here in Central Virginia but none for football. My purpose is to give as much knowledge and bring out as much untapped potential as possible so recruiters are able to see how much talent there is here in my city.
Can you share with us a story about a person who was impacted by your cause?
Seeing that I just started I don’t have a motivating story at the moment. Although, the client that I started training almost a month ago has seen a drastic change in his strength, speed, technique, and knowledge of the game. Even though his pre-paid training is coming to an end his mother has decided to pay for more sessions because she has also seen an increase in his skillset.
What are your 3 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
I wish I knew how important personal training and weight lifting was when I was in high school.
- Coming up my football coaches encouraged me to lift but never explained the importance of it. Being young and naive I didn’t personally realize how big of a difference it made to your body and overall game play so I chose not to attend until my senior year.
I wish I knew about football camps and their importance
- Throughout high school I also didn’t know how important football camps were for exposure. I just figured that if you’re good enough then the schools would find you but in an area where the schools are under recruited then camps are vital to ensure that coaches and recruiters are coming out to your games during the season.
I wish someone told me that it wasn’t going to always be glitters and gold
- I have personally ran into a bunch of obstacles along my journey dealing with my size but I never gave up. I continued to train harder because I was determined to show the coaches that I am good enough to play no matter my size. Though I have found success in the NFL I am still fighting for a secure place in this league because I am still criticised and doubted for being 5’9 175 pounds.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
This isn’t a movement but I have a TV show idea that I believe would bring good ratings to any network that would like to air it. The focus is around football but I can’t go into details because I’m still working on getting the rights for it. If you’re reading this and would like to learn more about it and help bring it to life then we should connect.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you explain how that was relevant in your life?
As a senior in high school I played Qb and my cousin was the Rb. Before every game we would walk up to each other and simply say “Do You.” This means no matter what you’re feeling before the game starts or if you make a mistake in the game just shake it off and continue to play your game because you’re a playmaker and that’s what we do.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Politics, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
I can’t think of anyone in particular but if you’re a writer or producer and are looking for the next best tv show then I believe that I have an idea that will bring out a lot of interesting facts surrounding football as well as good ratings.
Thank you so much for these amazing insights. This was so inspiring