Athlete: Steve Smith
Age: 28 years old
Height: 5' 9"
Team: Carolina Panthers
Position: Wide Receiver
NFL Experience: 7 years
NFL Career Statistics:
6666 receiving yards
53 total touchdowns (including post season)
Questions for Panther #89 WR
[ Q ] When did you first realize that football was your passion?
When I was a young kid I loved watching the game, and when I was able to play I loved to compete.
[ Q ] Did you have any idea at that time what type of dedication and training it would take to make it to the top of your field?
Yes, I knew at a young age that to succeed at a high level that I was going to have to be extremely dedicated.
[ Q ] Were you always supported and encouraged about your choice of career path and ambitions for the NFL?
Yes, my parents and coaches at all levels supported my desire to play in the NFL.
[ Q ] What obstacles have you had to surpass to get to the Professional Athlete that you are today?
My height was always criticized at all levels so that has been a perceived obstacle.
[ Q ] You are one of the shorter players for the position of wide receiver. Has this been a disadvantage in your progression over the years?
This is what others thought would hold me back, but I have still succeeded at the highest level.
[ Q ] What advice would you give people that are in a similar position that maybe receiving negative feedback from surrounding people?
My advice to everyone is to believe in yourself and you can reach your goals. Criticism often comes from frustrated people that fell short of their goals.
[ Q ] What has been one of your highlighting moments that really accentuated your skills cementing your determination to propel yourself to succeed as the exceptional athlete that you are and ultimately get picked in the drafts to become a Carolina Panther?
In college we (Utah) were playing at San Diego State and I caught 2 catches for 2 touchdowns and 143 yards. After that I received the MVP of the Blue-Gray and East-West Shrine College All-Star games. Those are a couple of highlights that really showed the scouts my skills.
[ Q ] What do you see as the biggest difference between being a great amateur and moving forward as a Professional NFL athlete?
It is all about dedication. The professional level is a full time job and requires a full time commitment.
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[ Q ] Your Pro-season games are 16 weeks but you also have pre-season games and obviously, if you're having a successful season you will move into the play-offs. When does your season conditioning actually begin?
My conditioning begins in April and each month towards training camp in July it gets more aggressive.
[ Q ] How does your training differ between on-season and off-season?
In the off-season I focus more on my speed and strength. During the season conditioning and making sure my body is healthy. Before the weekend I have all of my muscles worked on and after the games I take ice baths.
[ Q ] Do you give yourself time off the grind of training in the off-season?
Yes, in February and March I allow my body to recover from the rigors of the long season.
[ Q ] How important is your rest and downtime?
Rest is important for both the body and the mind. I find that after I take a break both my body and mind respond positively to starting up again.
[ Q ] What do you do training-wise in your off-season? (please outline training regime)
I work with a personal trainer that knows me and my body well. When we start it is usually two to three times a week and about an hour at a session. I stretch for a good amount of time. Then we work on my agility, speed or strength depending on the day, and then finish by stretching again.
[ Q ] How important is your nutrition intake as a professional NFL athlete? (please outline nutrition program)
Nutrition is extremely important. When I first came to the NFL I did not have the best diet. However, over time I have corrected the fuel that I put in my body. Over that last year I have changed my diet that focuses on organically grown foods.
[ Q ] What type of supplements help assist you with your training and recovery? (please outline supplement program)
[ Q ] Do you change your nutrition and supplements for pre- and post-season to off-season? Whether it is from calories, cheat foods and alcohol intake?
During the season I burn a lot more fuel so my intake is greater during the season, and now that I eat organically there is very little junk food in my diet. I do not drink alcohol so that never changes.
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[ Q ] How important is the way you eat, drink and rest, to your life as a professional athlete, and what would happen if you neglected these areas?
All of it is important to my success. As we already discussed the diet is very important. As far as rest I am very disciplined with my sleep. I go to bed around 9 - 9:30 and wake around 5 a.m. I know the value of rest I think it allows me to have peak performance during the day.
[ Q ] You do a lot of work in the community encouraging young kids to lead healthy, active lifestyles. How would you recommend kids balance a childhood and general growing up, not being intimidated by bad influences with peer-pressure, so as to be able to reach for the goals as a successful athletic life?
I tell them to believe in themselves and stay focused on their goals, and they can achieve anything they set their minds to. Also, I tell them to make good choices regarding their friends because that is how they will be judged by others.
[ Q ] How do you keep yourself mentally prepared for the challenges you face as an athlete, in regard to training and playing each Sunday?
I am lucky that I am focused and try not to let anything distract my focus. Each week I watch a lot of film on our next opponent so that I am 100% prepared for the next contest.
[ Q ] Is it harder staying motivated in a team sport?
I have never had a hard time with motivation. I have a strong burning desire to reach lofty goals and I am still focused on winning the Super Bowl.
[ Q ] How do you stay positive when times are rough and the team is feeling defeated?
I have to admit it is very hard sometimes, but I have to be a leader for my teammates and me. When we are down we just have to stay focused and keep fighting.
[ Q ] How are some ways you stay positive and pull together?
I think about the times I have been down but still succeeded. There have been numerous games that I have played in college and the Panthers that we were not leading, but won at the end. This perseverance drives me in everything I do.
[ Q ] What are your goals for 2008 Steve?
My goals are always the same I want to be a great father, husband and win the Super Bowl.
[ Q ] What will Steve Smith be doing 10 years from today?
In 10 years I want to be enjoying time with my beautiful wife Angie and our three children. Outside of family I will probably be involved in the community further and some private business opportunities.
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