Added: Dec 21, 2023

Derek Wolfe, a former NFL player, shares his journey from a rough childhood to becoming a Super Bowl champion and an avid hunter. He talks about how football and hunting were his escape from a difficult home life, and how he found discipline and character through wrestling in high school. He also discusses his time at the University of Cincinnati, where he lived with other successful athletes and developed a strong work ethic.

Transition to the NFL

After being drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2012, Wolfe worked his way up from being third string to becoming a key player on the team. He credits his success to his training and conditioning, as well as his experience in wrestling, which helped him develop body control and leverage for his position as a defensive player.

Injury and Recovery

In 2013, Wolfe suffered a severe head injury during a preseason game, which left him temporarily paralyzed. Despite this, he returned to the field after two weeks and played for 12 weeks straight. However, he continued to experience symptoms such as numbness, hallucinations, and weight loss, indicating that something was still wrong. Eventually, he had a seizure on a team bus, leading to a coma and a diagnosis of a bruised spinal cord.

Medical Challenges

Wolfe's medical condition was complicated by excessive fluid around his spine, adrenal fatigue, and hormonal imbalances. He also experienced low testosterone levels and hallucinations, which affected his mental and physical well-being. Despite these challenges, he was determined to return to the field and continue playing.

Emotional Struggles

Wolfe's experience with injury and recovery took a toll on his mental health, leading to feelings of depression and frustration. He felt a sense of urgency to return to the game, especially after missing out on a Super Bowl opportunity. However, he also recognized the importance of taking care of his body and seeking the right support to address his health issues.

Recovery and Return to the Field

With the support of his coaching staff and a new training partner, Lauren Landow, Wolfe focused on his recovery and conditioning. He worked on regaining his strength and weight, and he credits Landow for helping him through this process. He also found a new passion for striking and hand-to-hand combat training, which he incorporated into his football skills.

Childhood and Validation

Wolfe shares that his competitive nature stems from a desire for validation. He explains that he found validation through playing good football and receiving positive reinforcement. He also discusses the impact of conditional love in his life and how it shaped his drive to be the best. Wolfe reveals that he felt the need to prove himself and compete for love, which fueled his competitive spirit.

Competitive Drive and Motivation

Wolfe attributes his competitive drive to the doubt and criticism he faced from others. He recalls being told that he wasn't good enough and how that motivated him to prove people wrong. He discusses the importance of finding motivation in the face of doubt and how it has driven him to work hard and achieve success. Wolfe also emphasizes the role of unconditional love in his life, particularly from his wife and children, as a source of motivation and fulfillment.

Support System and Accountability

Wolfe emphasizes the significance of having a strong support system and the role of his wife in holding him accountable. He discusses the impact of unconditional love and the importance of surrounding oneself with people who genuinely care. Wolfe also shares the influence of his coaches and mentors in shaping his mindset and driving his success.

Fear and Growth

Wolfe discusses the role of fear as a driver for growth and the importance of embracing challenges. He emphasizes the need to use fear as a motivator and to push through uncertainty in pursuit of one's goals. Wolfe reflects on the mindset of not being outworked and the determination to give his best effort in every endeavor.

Importance of Discipline and Mental Fortitude

Wolfe and Shaw stress the importance of discipline and mental fortitude in achieving success. They discuss how discipline is the key to moving the needle forward every single day, regardless of whether one is having a good or bad day. Wolfe shares his experience of waking up feeling hurt, tired, and unmotivated, but still pushing through with discipline to get things done. Shaw also talks about the mindset of always striving to get better, even when facing challenges or setbacks. They both highlight the need to stay consistent and disciplined for long periods of time, as it is not easy but essential for success.

Overcoming Complacency and Pushing Through Challenges

Wolfe discusses the tendency for some individuals, especially in the NFL, to become complacent after a few years in the league. He notes that some players start to slack off in their training and become content with their current level of performance. He emphasizes the need to keep getting better, as there are always new players coming in to take one's position. He shares the advice he received from Peyton Manning, who said, "You either get better or you get worse; you never stay the same." This mindset drives Wolfe to constantly push himself to improve, even when facing challenges or competition.

Dealing with Injuries and Adversity

Both Wolfe and Shaw discuss the mental and physical challenges of dealing with injuries and adversity in their respective sports. Shaw shares his experience of competing with a torn bicep and the determination to continue despite the setback. Wolfe also talks about pushing through injuries and the importance of not giving up, whether it's a dislocated finger or a more serious injury. They both emphasize the need to overcome the voice in their heads that tells them to stop or give up, and to keep pushing through discomfort and adversity.

Gratitude and Positive Mindset

They highlight the power of gratitude and maintaining a positive mindset, especially during challenging times. Shaw shares his practice of writing down three things he is grateful for, even when feeling anxious or depressed. He explains that gratitude can change one's mindset and help in overcoming negative thoughts. Wolfe also emphasizes the importance of identifying negative thoughts and changing them to a positive mindset. They both stress the need to stay grateful and avoid riding the highs and lows, as it can lead to overwhelming emotions and negative outcomes.

The Importance of Being Present

Wolfe emphasizes the importance of being present for his family, especially for his daughter. He shares how he makes an effort to engage in meaningful conversations with her, focusing on her interests and experiences. By being actively involved in her life, he aims to build a strong and positive relationship with her. He also discusses the significance of spending quality time with his wife and the challenges of balancing different roles.

The Impact of Technology on Parenting

The conversation touches upon the impact of technology on parenting and family dynamics. Wolfe and Shaw discuss the prevalence of social media and electronic devices in today's society, particularly among children and teenagers. They highlight the need for parents to set boundaries and limit screen time for their children. The guest shares his approach to managing technology use within his family, emphasizing the importance of face-to-face interactions and genuine connections.

The Value of Struggle and Independence

The conversation explores the value of struggle and independence in parenting. Wolfe shares his perspective on allowing children to make mistakes and learn from their experiences. He emphasizes the importance of fostering independence and resilience in children, acknowledging that struggles can shape their character and prepare them for adulthood. He highlights the need for parents to strike a balance between protecting their children and allowing them to explore and learn from their surroundings.

Hunting and Outdoor Activities

Wolfe expresses his passion for hunting and outdoor activities, emphasizing the value of disconnecting from technology and immersing oneself in nature. He also discusses his collaborations with other individuals and organizations in the hunting and outdoor community.

The Need for Self-Reflection and Improvement

He also reflects on the challenges and rewards of parenting, acknowledging the need for self-reflection and continuous improvement. He discusses the importance of seeking feedback, learning from mistakes, and adapting to the evolving needs of his family. The guest emphasizes the value of self-awareness and personal growth in becoming a better parent and partner.


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