View From the Top Series: An Interview With Former NFL Wide Receiver – Steve Sanders

View From the Top Series: An Interview With Former NFL Wide Receiver – Steve Sanders

| Sep 30, 2015 | View From the Top – Spotlight Interviews |

NFL Wide Receiver

Steve Sanders is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and a former wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns. In 2010, Steve decided to leave his football career behind and has never looked back. We sat down with Steve as part of the Gonzalo Law – View from the Top Series where we talk with professionals at the top of their field. We ask them to share some of their secrets to success and wisdom that they would pass along to those coming after them.

Sanders continues to take the nation by storm as an author, philanthropist, speaker, and Professional Life Coach. He is also the founder of Training Camp for Life which is an organization to help young men achieve their dreams and maximize their potential. Along with his book also titled Training Camp for Life, Sanders conducts camps and clinics. He is committed to encouraging young male athletes in all aspects of life.

As you reflect back, what would you do differently with regard to your college or NFL career?  Do you have any advice for those young athletes coming after you?

/ Gonzalo Law


I’d say that I would have taken more time to find quality representation in all aspects of my career.

Back then I wanted to be represented by a big name agency. Unfortunately, this did not allow me to receive the hands on treatment I needed. Working with the smaller yet reputable firms would have been a better fit for me.

Most people, who come out of the NFL, don’t know what to do or how to deal with the world outside of the league. It is important to really think carefully about that which you are passionate as you make that or any major transition.

For me, I had to think very deeply  about what would be the best course of action both professionally and personally.  I also took time to consult those close to me.  After talking it over with my wife, she asked me what I am passionate about. I said, “well that would have to be both kids and sports.”  Thus, that is where I decided to focus my efforts.  I developed the Training Camp for Life for young male athletes, the workbook, the book, and more.  Currently I am working with another former Browns player, Josh Cribbs, to develop a consulting and coaching business.  Our goal is to work with players and assist them with their  marketing, public relations, and character development.

My advice for next the generation of athletes would be to be patient on making the right decisions in order to find the right coaching staff or team.

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Unfortunately, our firm did not have the pleasure of working with you back then.  Did you ever receive poor business or legal advice while you were playing professional sports? If so, how would you suggest new professional athletes – in any sport – prevent that kind of misguidance?
/ Gonzalo Law


Yes, I received a lot of poor advice along the way! This goes back to trying to find the right people to be in your corner. You should try to build-up as many contacts as possible before you increase your national presence and gain more notoriety.

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This past season the NFL has had numerous scandals, from domestic violence to “deflate gate”. What is your opinion on how the NFL handled these situations and the role, if any, we in the public play?
/ Gonzalo Law

They definitely should have hired me and Training Camp for Life to come in and work with the players! The way we care and can encourage the players to stay focused on what really matters, would have been very helpful to them.

The NFL often does a poor job of handling situations because it is more reactive than proactive. After the lawsuit for concussions, the NFL began programs to protect the kids from these injuries.  However, this protection should have been put in place as soon as the problem was noticed.

Character Development – The NFL is very slow at making changes and bringing in people who really care about the players. The NFL should bring in people to talk with and impart to the players.  They need to understand how to do the work they are there to do, yet still maintain their integrity. This is what we teach with our program.  It is especially effective coming from other former players like myself and Josh Cribbs.

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What would you say is your greatest accomplishment to date? In other words, what do you feel you are most Blessed to have been able to do, share, or offer to the public?
/ Gonzalo Law

Writing my book. I have done a lot of things and had a lot of accomplishments with my college career and going pro in the NFL.

But for me, writing my first book has been a major accomplishment.  It was greater than anything I thought I could have ever done.  I entered college with a 4th grade reading level.  Then I improved my skills, graduated from college, and in one year wrote my first book.  I’m so very thankful.

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How would you suggest professional athletes prepare for life after professional sports? Do you have any advice to give to current players who are considering retirement or who are forced to do so because of injury?
/ Gonzalo Law

Sure, definitely follow something (a career path) that is your passion.

Chasing the money is not the answer. Prosperity comes with your purpose.

Be patient with the process. Be passionate about your community and young people.

As I mentioned earlier, I had a conversation with my wife and realized that I had been playing sports since age eight. I wanted to do something to be able to merge sports and kids and I have succeeded  in doing that. When I began this quest, I didn’t know what it would turn into and it has gone much further than expected. You should always stay faithful!

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Are there any organizations that you would encourage other young athletes to join?
/ Gonzalo Law

Yes! Honestly, Training Camp for Life offers encouragement and guidance to young men between the ages of 11-25. Having something like this available to me when I was playing, would have been really great.

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How important do you think it is for college athletes to complete their education prior to coming out in a draft?
/ Gonzalo Law

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It is very important to complete your education. More players should stay and complete their education for sure.  Whether they complete it before going pro or not, should be decided on a case by case basis. For some families, it makes more sense to go pro and then complete your education.
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What would be your one take away point that you would give to those coming after you.
/ Gonzalo Law

Your talent gets you to the pros, yet it is your character that will keep you there!

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The professionals at Gonzalo Law LLC were honored to have a chance to talk with Steve and have him share his wisdom and guidance with others. We encourage young competitive athletes who want to maximize their success to contact Training Camp for Life.  You can talk with Steve’s Team about how to participate.