I recently had the opportunity to visit Jerry Junkins Elementary School in Carrollton. I partnered with the Big Thought after school program to discuss my love for fishing with students.
Fishing is something I have enjoyed for as long as I can remember. This long time hobby has helped me with patience and taught me the art of perfecting a skill. It is something I can teach my sons and we have made many family memories on fishing trips. I can also tap into my competitive side while fishing whether it be trying to break my personal records or “out fish” one of my family members.
Growing up I wish I had been able to attend a program like Big Thought and took that into consideration when planning for my visit with the kids. I assumed that most of the kids didnʼt have a ton of experience with fishing, so I decided to take what my own sons are most interested in next to the fish....the bait.
All of the kids really seemed to enjoy passing around the various lures and baits and I got the biggest reaction to the live night crawlers! I also got to read the childrenʼs book “Fishing in the Air” thanks to a recommendation from Big Thought.
The book was about a dad taking his son fishing, which I can relate to from my experiences of taking my own boys fishing. I was happy to read to the kids. Reading allows you to explore and learn and also fuels creativity.
After the book it was time for the Q&A, which I always enjoy. In my profession I get plenty of
experience handling tough questions and thinking on my feet, but nothing compares to
the imagination and honesty of 20 second and third graders.
I was impressed with how many of them asked me more about my fishing experiences and shared their own experiences and fishing memories. The kids of course had football-related questions, but I really just enjoyed hearing them tell their own stories and experiences.
I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit Jerry Junkins Elementary School with the help of Big Thought. Visiting with young people in hopes of having a positive impact on them is an activity that also influences me.
I think it motivates me to succeed on and off the field in hopes of having more opportunities to be considered a successful professional athlete as well as someone that the kids can learn from or become inspired by. That is my hope.