Goat Wrestling Perseverance

Episode 26 - Super Bowl Champion, Author, Singer and Public Speaker Ben Utecht with host Dave Swanson

May 31, 2019 Season 2 Episode 26
Goat Wrestling Perseverance
Episode 26 - Super Bowl Champion, Author, Singer and Public Speaker Ben Utecht with host Dave Swanson
Chapters
Goat Wrestling Perseverance
Episode 26 - Super Bowl Champion, Author, Singer and Public Speaker Ben Utecht with host Dave Swanson
May 31, 2019 Season 2 Episode 26
Dave Swanson / Ben Utecht

It is rare to find a true Renaissance man anymore, but that’s just what you get with Ben Utecht. Ben has always chased his dreams, finding his way from a small river town in Minnesota to a Super Bowl championship field. He has established himself as a prominent corporate and motivational speaker in the areas of leadership and culture. Both of his programs, The Champion’s Way™ and The MVP Program™, stem from lessons he learned in the locker room with Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy and in the huddle with future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning. Both programs illuminate dynamic ways to succeed in business and life.

More about Ben

TEDx

Book

Dave Swanson

Website

Book 

Goat Wrestling Perseverance Clothes 

Free Chapter of my Bestselling Book? 

Social Media

Facebook 

Instagram

Twitter 

LinkedIn




Show Notes Transcript

It is rare to find a true Renaissance man anymore, but that’s just what you get with Ben Utecht. Ben has always chased his dreams, finding his way from a small river town in Minnesota to a Super Bowl championship field. He has established himself as a prominent corporate and motivational speaker in the areas of leadership and culture. Both of his programs, The Champion’s Way™ and The MVP Program™, stem from lessons he learned in the locker room with Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy and in the huddle with future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning. Both programs illuminate dynamic ways to succeed in business and life.

More about Ben

TEDx

Book

Dave Swanson

Website

Book 

Goat Wrestling Perseverance Clothes 

Free Chapter of my Bestselling Book? 

Social Media

Facebook 

Instagram

Twitter 

LinkedIn




Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/GWPPodcast)

Dave Swanson:
0:02
Welcome to Goat Wrestling Perseverance Podcast, the guest today is a super bowl champion, but beyond that, he is currently a public speaker. He's on the Board of American Brain Foundation. He's written a book called counting the days, while my mind slips away, if that's not enough. He has also had a ward nominated album as a professional singer. He's a leader. He is one of those people that not only being a great husband has four daughters, so make sure you go out and buy his book for his future weddings. He's going to have to pay for it. But today I have Ben Utecht also known as techt. So Ben, thank you for being on the show today.
Ben Utecht:
0:56
Ah, man. I'm just blessed to be here with you and look forward to our conversation.
Dave Swanson:
1:01
All right, well everyone knows on the show, Ben, we jumped right into it. So Ben, please share your story that I, I think I know what it is, but it's a, it's one of those that I can definitely relate to being in the military.
Ben Utecht:
1:15
Well, you know, I never want, I never would have expected my NFL career to end due to traumatic brain injury, let alone, uh, for that to become my Phillips philanthropic passion that I would be, you know, traveling around, trying to emotionally connect people to the importance of their mind and their memories. But that, that's just, you know, I think the platform that, that God wanted me to have, you know, it wasn't, it wasn't just traumatic brain injury. You know, as I was writing my book, uh, we were shocked to go back in time and, and, and just remember how many injuries I faced. I was an injury or injury prone prone player. And it all started in high school for me when I fractured my hip and then it, and then every year, uh, really throughout my, the rest of my entire career, um, I had to face, uh, I had to face injuries that I had to overcome. And, and that, you know, over time is an incredibly challenging, um, thing to face. And, you know, we, as we were writing that book, we, we, you know, we remembered the, you know, the nine rib fractures and three broken vertebrae in my back and broken ankle and come, you know, completely torn ac joint in my shoulder and broken hands and hyperextended knees and bilateral sports, Hernia and, you know, and then, and then it ends with, you know, these documented concussions. Um, and each of those injuries, each of those injuries have their own challenges and their own consequences that you have to overcome because it's part of your job. And, and so you up every day and you go to work and you rehab and you get better and then you go out and perform and then another one comes and you have to, it's that continuous cycle of, of a, of persevering, of overcoming. And there's a lot of life lessons that come out of that if you're willing to see them. And thankfully, um, you know, thankfully because of the environment that I grew up in, a family that I grew up in and the support system I had around me, I was able to really, I I believe, experience a lot of that. And, and, and it's really what helped me through the, the, the darkest time of my career. And that is the, uh, the concussions. And, um, the thing about concussions as you know, is that, um, when you're dealing with the brain, it's, it really is affecting your identity. And, uh, I, I shared this one story on my ted talk, um, just facing the consequences of some of our memory issues and, and, you know, remembering one of my best friends from high school talking about his wedding and, and I, I interrupted the conversation. I was frustrated because I couldn't understand why I wasn't invited to, to his wedding. And his wife got up and went and got their wedding photo album and their page after page, I was as a grimace man in his wedding as a singer in his wedding the night. I don't remember anything from that, from that. Um, from that event and, and so there are the, you know, there were some shocking consequences that came out of that but, but really gave me, it put me in a position, right and make a choice, you know, like going to go down a path of destruction. Um, or was I going to allow the challenges that we face in this world to drive us to be the best that we can be. And thankfully that's the path that I chose to take.
Dave Swanson:
4:46
Well, thank you Ben. I think that's a story you actually brought up an interesting cycle actually, that many people don't talk about it. It's not just from injuries, but what we choose to do on a daily basis. You talked about, you know, you got injured or you had something happen. You go to rehab which get better or you grow, you learn to do something in order to go and perform and go out there and do what it's doing. Whether it's speaking, it's writing a book or for all of us, you know, in this audience just doing our job on a day to day basis. Are you choosing to Rehab? Are you choosing to grow or to do something, you know, after you persevere through the injury or something happening, you choose to get better from it. You know, there's this growth mindset that you probably have heard of as well. But talk a little bit more about that. I mean, you go into there, you're going to go sit into an ice tank, you're going to go do the bike for a while. You're doing all this different stuff for physical therapy. Talk about that mindset of like, knowing that you're not going to even get to play, you're just trying to maybe get back for the next season or to keep that positive outlook for such a long time.
Ben Utecht:
5:53
Well, you use two words, mindset and choice and, and those are two powerful pieces to the perseverance puzzle because you have to have, do you have to have a purpose that's bigger than whatever it is you're doing that's driving you to overcome, that's driving you to mmm. To become better. And that's, you know, for, for me it has to do with my faith foundation. Um, uh, for, for others it's, it's different. But you've got to find the thing that is bigger than who you are because of everything only comes down to, okay, you know, to a vocational identity of what you do. And that's taken away from you. A lot of times that's when people crash and burn because they, they've wrapped up all of their self worth into a thing. And when the thing is taken away, no, they don't know how to stand up anymore.
Ben Utecht:
6:49
And so, you know, for me it was, it was having that type of mindset and making that type of choice to see a bigger picture and a bigger purpose. Uh, so that whenever I faced an injury, whenever I had to go through Rehab, uh, I was able to surrender to that bigger purpose, knowing that if one door closes in front of me, as long as I keep walking forward, another door will open. And the average NFL career is two and a half years. So whenever you get an injury, you know, you're on the chopping block, Eh, you know, unless you're, you know, unless you're, um, the Tom Brady's of the world, you know, there's always a chance, um, especially with injury that someone will come in and take your and take your place. So there is a lot of pressure and if you focus on, on the negativity that you can in those situations, uh, it's, it's really gonna, you know, create a lot of stress and a lot of anxiety that's gonna affect your behavior. Um, but if you're able to, if you're able to kind of find the right mindset and make the right choices on how to look at, mmm. It kind of the truth about your identity and what you were, you know, what you are created for and what's available to you outside of, at least for me, outside of what sports was then, then at least you know, everything's gonna be okay. Okay. If that makes any sense.
Dave Swanson:
8:18
No, absolutely. And I think you mentioned something that when we all lose our identity, at some point in time, we all have to do that. And, you know, we can call it a transition phase, we can call it whatever is, you know, I see a lot of my friends struggling getting out of the military to try to find their identity. Again, a lot of sports and athletes, they have trouble with being able to identify what's my next person, what's, who am I going to be or who I always wanted to be. How was it just that easy for you to go? I know I wanted to be a speaker and an author. I think talking a little bit more about that too. Yeah. It's not always simple,
Ben Utecht:
8:55
you know, I mean, it's hard. It's hard. I mean the, you know, there's, there are statistics that are given, um, I don't know, you know, how accurate, but you know, 70%, uh, of, of retired NFL players are bankrupt within two years outside of transitioning out of the NFL. Um, so the, the reality is that it's very hard. And again, I, I do think it's, you know, we, we live in a culture that attaches up, that attaches our greatest self worth to what we do. And while what we do is incredibly important, I just, I just think that there's that there that there should be other priorities that, that come into play when defining who you are. Um, you know, that are connected to them, you know, to uh, emotion and relationship and you know, there are, there are wonderful other elements to identity that need to take priority so that when things don't go the way that you want, and if in my situation, when injury comes in and changes what that vocational identity, uh, was and what you thought it was always going to be, you, you at least don't fall flat on your face.
Ben Utecht:
10:14
You, you rebound and you're able to, um, to take a step back and trust that the path will be made straight for you as long as you keep walking and keep working hard at whatever it is that you do. But it is not easy. And, um, you know, trying to have that support if you can, if you can find that support system that you can bring around you to help you through those times. And that's tough for us as men, as you know, we're not vulnerable. Um, we're not vulnerable individuals, you know, easily. And so I, I think the more we can though, the more we can allow ourselves to, to open up, especially when when we go through these types of challenges, the more we'll find common ground with other people that are going through the same situations and, and that can really help through a transitional process.
Ben Utecht:
11:07
We'll absolutely, and I think one of the things that you're doing as a transition as well as, you know, you've been doing scene for a while, but as we start to talk about what you're doing next, I just, I thought this story that you share was pretty great that the first time that the colts announced you it was as a singer and not as a football player. And so if you can tell that story pretty quickly and then talk about what's going on next for you. I think that's a, it's a great segue. Yeah. That, that really was fun. I mean, I was introduced, my first play as an NFL football player was not as a football player. It was as a singer. And I sang the national anthem at a preseason game against the buffalo bills. And, and so the first time, you know, 70,000 fans in the RCA dome in Indianapolis, um, met me.
Ben Utecht:
11:51
It was, it was as a singer. And so was that was pretty special. Um, and it, and it did it, I think you get it set the tone for the kind of person I was in the community. And, um, I think my life has always been very diverse. Um, my, my degree was public speaking. I grew up in a very musical and athletic family. And so I had, I had training, um, vocal training growing up and, and I just fell in love with, with multiple platforms that I worked really hard on all of those. And MMM, as I began playing in the yard, so as you can imagine, doors opened up, oh. Um, for music and doors opened up for, for speaking and, and so that, that was powerful for me because I, I, I was practicing those at the same time that I was playing, which gave me, it gave me a sense of peace knowing that when football was done, I at least had an idea of where I was going to go.
Ben Utecht:
12:51
And, and so, you know, really since my retirement, it's been about discovering what is my message, what can I share with people that will improve their lives and okay. Didn't do a lot of speaking on leadership and high performing culture. And I, I do it through the blueprint of the Superbowl champion Indianapolis Colts and the Dungy effect on leadership. And, um, and that's been just a rat, a radical platform that has really helped, uh, leaders and companies, um, and continuing to do the philanthropy with the American brain foundation and, and speaking into the, to the struggles and suffering that people face with brain related issues. Uh, and then music is always there. You know, it's really hard to, to, to make a career in music. Um, but I've, I've found out, uh, a few niche markets that are a lot of fun and I get to perform mmm. My own concerts, um, and really cool venues. And so, uh, I'm really excited about what the future's going to hold and, and, um, what kind of doors are going to continue to open for me in, in those marketplaces. Well then I appreciate you being on the show today.
Dave Swanson:
14:06
Thank you so much for sharing the vulnerability, talking about what happened and then also talking about what you're going to do as well and, and continuing to give back. So thank you for being on the show again.
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