SANFORD - Fitness students got a deep look inside the life of a professional athlete when former National Football League defensive tackle Tim Goad sat down for a free-wheeling discussion on March 25 at Central Carolina Community College.
Goad offered a perspective on fitness and athletic training that few other professional athletes could. Not only did he play in the NFL for nearly a decade -- mostly with the New England Patriots, but one season each for the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens -- but Goad also spent several seasons as a NASCAR jackman for the Wood Brothers Racing team and even tested the waters as a fisherman on the professional bass tour.
For more than an hour, Goad sat in front of a large backdrop decorated with photos and highlights of his career while answering questions from about 20 Health and Fitness Science students crowded around a large table in the gym.
Ironically, the first question was not about Goad's football career, which began at Patrick County High School in Stuart, Va., before running through the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where Goad twice was a first-team All-ACC selection. It actually focused on his work on the NASCAR pit crew, something Goad related to football by discussing how particular positions in the pit required similar skills and body movements to positions on the gridiron.
Carl Bryan, CCCC program director for Health and Fitness Science, invited Goad to the college so his students could meet someone who has "trained his body to the max," as Bryan put it, and get some insight about training regimens, the toll professional athletics can take on a body and what athletes do after their careers to maintain physical fitness.
Goad addressed all of those topics while mixing in plenty of personal stories along the way, including a few unusual experiences during his career and some insight into Bill Belichick, the famed football coach for the New England Patriots who coached Goad during an earlier stint with the Cleveland Browns.
Several moments triggered a shocked response. One was when Goad described his off-season diet early in his career -- beginning with the warning, "This is gonna sound bad." For breakfast: one pound of bacon, a dozen eggs, one loaf of bread and a gallon of milk. "Eating was my second job," Goad said. "Ten thousand calories a day, that's a lot of food."
But even then, Goad explained, he tried to focus on eating vegetables and other healthy food, a point he emphasizes now when he visits youth football teams to promote healthy lifestyles and encourage aspiring athletes. "When I was growing up," he said before his presentation to the college students, "I would have loved to have somebody like me, who was professional athlete, to come and speak."
Having an opportunity to hear from a professional athlete is something even college students appreciate. Now in his second year in at CCCC, Damion Davis was one of the students quizzing Goad for insight into health and fitness during a session that Davis said was so helpful he would have paid to attend.
"That's my first time meeting a professional NFL player," Davis said after the session ended. "It was cool getting his insight about his time playing professionally and his time playing at UNC as well. I never knew that much about the team travel schedules and I never knew about the 10,000 calories." Clearly, the information Goad dropped about his training diet made an impression.
Davis said football linemen often look really big, but he recalled how some of the linemen Goad described during the discussion were not as heavy as people might think and even had a remarkably low percentage of body fat. "But," Davis then admitted, "that's a lot of food."
To learn more about Central Carolina Community College, visit the website www.cccc.edu.
Fitness students got a deep look inside the life of a professional athlete when former National Football League defensive tackle Tim Goad sat down for a free-wheeling discussion on March 25 at Central Carolina Community College.
Professional athlete Tim Goad spoke to about 20 Health and Fitness Science students at Central Carolina Community College on March 25.