Former Washington Redskins quarterback and Super Bowl champion Joe Theismann shares with NWFA Convention attendees some of the leadership lessons he learned both on the gridiron and in his post-NFL career.
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -– Former NFL great Joe Theismann kicked off today’s NWFA Convention session with a 90-minute talk about the commitment and mindset required of anyone, be he a football player or wood floor professional, who strives to be the best in his field of endeavor.

“In my career, I learned that nobody does it alone,” the former all-pro quarterback said. “It takes a combined effort of an entire team. And you know what ‘TEAM’ stands for, don’t you? Together, Everyone Achieves More.”

Theismann’s NWFA audience remained spellbound throughout the presentation as he related various anecdotes and lessons he learned as a football player. In perhaps the most riveting segment of his talk, Theismann also detailed the difficult personal transitions he had to make after a bone-crushing injury delivered by New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor ended his playing days in 1985.

“People always ask me if it hurt,” Theismann said of the compound fracture he sustained to his lower leg in an infamously gruesome play millions watched during a nationally telecast edition of Monday Night Football. “I always respond: ‘Go lay your leg across a curb and ask someone to drive his car over it. Then you’ll have an idea of how it felt.’”

Theismann recounted how, in the aftermath of the injury, he almost instantly went from being a “self-centered and cocky” football star with a million-dollar annual contract to an ex-athlete with uncertain career prospects and an income that had been slashed nearly 95%.

Working today as an ESPN football analyst and public speaker, Theismann said he ultimately persevered by “looking in the mirror” and determining how to retool his strengths and abilities to take on and meet new challenges. Those gathered responded to Theismann’s presentation with a standing round of applause.

(As an aside to football fans, Theismann picks the St. Louis Rams to defeat the reigning world champion Baltimore Ravens in the next Superbowl.)

Education, design craftsmanship come to the fore

From there, the convention program shifted to a series of educational seminars. Featured were Bob Losyk withHow to Recruit and Hire the Right People, Gentry Brann’sMarketing on a Shoestring Budget, Ed Rigsbee’sPartnership -- How to Profit from the Partnering Trendpresentation, and Bill Price Jr. withTroubleshooting Finishes.

After lunch, attention turned to the opening of the trade show hall and an exhibit of hardwood floor panels under consideration for awards in the NWFA’s annual Floor of the Year competition. (For more on these aspects of the event, be sure to check our Day 2 Sights of the NWFA Convention feature which will be posted and updated later today.)