By Taroue Brooks
Tell us about your experience playing in the NFL.
Playing in the NFL was a great experience. I consider it a blessing to be able to do what you truly love in life and earn a great income while doing it. While working within the physical ability that God blesses you with, there are a lot of factors that come into play within making it to the professional level. Desire, work ethic, proper guidance, and God’s hand, all play an important role in getting to the NFL. Since a child, I learned how to compete and really loved it no matter the sport. Me becoming a professional athlete started on the sandlot in Virginia. I would say that competing in the NFL was the highest level of competition for me which made it challenging and also fun. Having physical ability is one thing but studying for elite opponent’s weekly force you to never get complacent which happens at times on the high school or collegiate levels. The relationships I gained on my way to the NFL and while in the NFL will always stay with me forever.
What have been some of the challenges you faced post your NFL days?
Post NFL has its upsides and challenges. I know for me staying active is a must. It was always my goal to play a professional sport, but more desirable than that, challenging my limits was always more desirable. Staying fit is a lifestyle for me, it drives a different competitive edge. There are goals and levels I challenge myself to mentally and physically. My workouts now consist of running, core, and weight workouts. I like to make sure my cardio supersedes my weightlifting regiment because I am not competing at a high level anymore. Physically my goal is to be in better shape than I was during my competing days in the NFL. COVID-19 has forced us all to get more creative in our workout regiments. I do plyometric workouts outside after my runs, which help my strength and stamina. Weight workouts range from 2 to 3 days for me, doing functional dump bell type of workouts. One thing I have abandoned a lot of is my stretching, so I try to incorporate 30 minutes of stretch in 3 times a week.
Tell us about your non-profit organization and its goals.
Now I have turned my efforts into building my nonprofit Glory Days 4 on 4 INC. We are a 501c(3) and our goal is to build youth leagues across the country starting in Atlanta, GA. Our leagues encourage youth on and off the field with partnerships with The Boys & Girls Clubs and Big Brother Big Sister nationally. Our goal is to help remodel facilities where our youth leagues are held through community support. We need up to date, refurbish safe havens where our youth can go and enjoy. Clinics and leagues will give our youth the edge they need to become the productive citizens they aspire to be. Our mentor/coaches that work with us are excited for the future of our kids!!
What are some of the immediate needs of Glory days 4 on 4 Inc.
In order to push efforts forward, fundraising will be a huge part of the process. 250k-500k & up, is what we are aspiring to raise for the enhancement of our leagues and programs.
What advice and skills do you want to offer youth from your life experiences?
As a former pro football player, I have been able to understand the different skill sets we all uphold. My goal is to encourage our youth to follow their dreams as each child discovers their gifts. Teams like the Encourages, Enthusiastics, Hard Works, and Dreamers all give us the edge we need to launch each of our young people into the space they need to succeed. Our mentors understand that importance of the attention to detail each season kids come through our leagues.
What would you like to accomplish in the next 5 years?
Lastly, a few goals I’d like to accomplish through Glory Days 4 on 4 INC are, raising awareness on remodeling facilities that are already made available to our communities, challenging our local business leaders to invest more into our local sporting activity programs for youth, and having legit mentors within youth leagues that graduate kids to adults through sports.
About The Founder
DAVID MACKLIN was born July 14, 1978 in Newport News, VA. David’s passion for the game dates back while attending Menchville High School as a three-sport star. This early exposure provided him with the tools he needed to face-off with the likes of Plaxico Burress, Mike Vick, and Allen Iverson in the years to come. After high school, David went on to do amazing things earning All Big Ten/All American honors at the University of Penn State where he obtain his business logistics degree, getting drafted to the Indianapolis Colts earning a 10 year NFL career. David is also the founder and president of the non-profit organization 27 Reasons Foundation whose goal is to empower youth through athletics with a special focus on academics, physical fitness while enhancing their self-esteem through participation in 27 Reason’s sports programs.
About the Foundation
Glory Days Youth Flag League provides a structured, exciting 8 week league that allows girls and boys to participate. Our goal is to encourage young people to stay active while also learning great team building skills! We want our kids to have a great time, but winning isn’t the main goal in these introductory stages. Our participants are all already winners, and as they learn how to compete, they will also learn the game of football but more important, what it means to have a successful mindset. Please contact our team here at Glory Days Youth Flag League to inquire about how to bring our league to your city! Ages 7-12. Contact us for more details.