On February 4th, 2014, the Sports Management Association (SMA) at Robert Morris University invited former Steelers National Football League (NFL) Quarterback Charlie Batch to speak about his experiences in the NFL and in the sports industry.
He started with explaining how many people it takes behind the scenes to have an NFL football game run smoothly and really related the beginning of the speech to the sports management program. He then began to talk about his journey and his life before reaching the NFL.
Batch got drafted to the Detroit Lions in 1998 where he would spend four seasons of his beginning NFL career as their starting quarterback. In 2002, he came back to Pittsburgh and was the backup quarterback for the Steelers and would spend eleven seasons with the team, winning Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLIII. Batch was very successful on the field, but he also has had many accomplishments off the field.
He established the Best of the Batch Foundation in 1999 while he was playing for the Detroit Lions.
While Batch was off at college, he got an unfortunate phone call from his mother, saying that his seventeen-year-old sister Danyl had gotten shot and killed. He took his sister’s death as an initiative to make his foundation to help financially troubled families and kids so that these acts of violence don’t happen, and to give these families great opportunities to make their futures brighter.
Throughout Batch’s speech he really put emphasis on transitions and preparing for multiple transitions through life.
“You all are getting to a point where you’re figuring out what you want to do, but understand there’s a transition for everybody,” he said. “There’s a transition for you, as you move on from college life, to now corporate world, and there’s always going to be a transition as it relates to players and athletics when the game is over.”
When his game was over, he went to further his education at schools like Harvard and Kellogg. He was able to transition from the NFL to another chapter in his life, by helping with his foundation and other organizations, and his involvement still with the NFL.
Batch left the audience with a few wise words and one of his favorite quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail.”
He went on to say that he was the first in his family to graduate college.
“What you have an opportunity to do is to graduate college. Decide what your future looks like,” Batch said. “Tell your story, continue to go out there and live life to the fullest, and don’t do anything to ruin your reputation. Dreams are nothing more than plans awaiting action. And sometimes you are the only person who can see your vision.”