This week, hundreds of NFL draft prospects across America wait anxiously for their futures to be decided. After hours of hard work and grind through high school and college, they’re anxiously awaiting their name to be called in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Some will be called in the first round on Draft Night, just like Optimize Mind Performance ambassador Isaiah Wynn back in the 2018 Draft when he was selected by the New England Patriots with the 23rd pick.
While being selected with a first-round pick is an accomplishment, it also brings with it the pressure of expectation.
As Wynn explains in his exclusive content series now available on the OMP App, he never really felt that pressure despite being selected by an organization that had won two Super Bowls in the four seasons prior and who was coming off a loss in Super Bowl LII.
“I love being a first-round pick,” he said.
“To understand how I have this mindset, we need to go back to the beginning.
As a kid I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d become a professional football player. When I was playing in high school, I didn’t even consider myself a college prospect until my senior year.”
Wynn explains that once he started to receive college offers in his senior year, he realized that he could have a future in football, but never once dreamt about going to the NFL. It took until his junior year at Georgia when he found out he was being watched closely by NFL scouts. This motivated Wynn to make the most of his opportunity.
“The thought of just going to a team in the fourth round didn’t motivate me,” Wynn explains in his Athlete Insight.
“I didn’t want to hear that I could go fourth round, I may as well not even go. I wasn’t going to settle for anything other than the first round.
“Now that I had my goal, I had to achieve it. It wasn’t going to just happen. I reached out to my coaches to see what I could do to boost my draft stock.” While a large portion of that plan was the physical work Wynn would put in, it took great mental strength, resilience and commitment for it to truly work.
Along the way, Wynn kept a journal which helped him process his thoughts and feelings after each gruelling day. He also made sure to take time away from the game by reading and committing time to his studies so that he could mentally refresh and release the pressure of playing NCAA Division One Football.
Finally, come draft night, once his name was called, Wynn was able to relax and enjoy the moment. “It was a reward for all of my hard work during college,” he said.
“Every year there are only 32 players who go in the first round, and I was one of them. Taking in that moment and living in it has allowed me to look past any pressures associated with being a first-round pick.”
“When I’ve experienced hard times in my career, I’ve used what I’ve achieved as motivation, proof of what can happen when you work hard and have goals you want to achieve. It’s important to reflect on your successes when you’re going through a hard time.” To get Isaiah Wynn’s top three tips to help you exceed your expectations as well as more of his Athlete Insights series, download the OMP App from Google Play and the App Store.