Keep Showing Up & Realize Your NFL Dreams—with Andrew East – EP98

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So, you’ve spent your whole life working to become a professional athlete. But you’ve signed 8 contracts with 6 different teams in 4 years, and you have yet to play in a game. What do you do? Most of us would get discouraged and call it quits. Andrew East just kept showing up, and though things didn’t happen on the timeline he had planned, he did achieve his dream of playing in the NFL—and discovered a meaningful life off the field in the process.




Andrew is a long snapper for the NFL’s Washington Redskins. He played college football at Vanderbilt, serving as team captain for two years and playing in multiple bowl games. Andrew is also the host of the Redirected Podcast and the creator of Side Hustle Social, a social media marketing platform designed to support aspiring influencers in learning to make money through social media.

Today, Andrew joins us to discuss the bittersweet way he got a scholarship to play Division I college football and how he achieved his NFL dreams—on an unexpected timeline. He describes the pressure around being a professional athlete, explaining how mental health issues impact the overall health of NFL players and why they are responsible for their own wellbeing. Listen in for Andrew’s insight on the nutrition and financial challenges of professional American football players and learn to have faith when things aren’t happening on your timeline!

Topics Covered

[1:24] How Andrew’s background shaped him

  • Dad allowed to believe anything possible
  • Parents supported college football dream
[4:12] Andrew’s opportunity to play in Division I

  • Got scholarship when player murdered
  • Did best to pay tribute, positive influence
[6:22] How Andrew’s dad encouraged his dreams

  • Helped reach goal to earn Eagle Scout
  • Drove around country to get in front of teams
[8:56] Why Andrew was insecure in his abilities

  • Never know how long advantage might last
  • Keep working to achieve (unexpected timeline)
[10:15] Why complacency was not an option for Andrew

  • 8 contracts + 6 teams in 4 years
  • ‘Not how it’s supposed to be’
[12:34] Andrew’s response to being cut from the Chiefs

  • Anxiety attacks lingered for months
  • Gave up on NFL, quit working out regularly
[15:57] The pressure of being a professional athlete

  • Unaddressed psychological issues common
  • Devote everything to dream with no Plan B
[19:13] How mental health issues impact overall health

  • Brutal, often leads to addiction
  • Sharing hurts chances of making team
[21:00] How Andrew finally made an NFL team

  • Announced decision to quit football
  • Call from Redskins 3 days later
[25:27] Why Andrew’s on-field anxiety has subsided

  • Life outside football affords freedom
  • Trust body to perform as trained
[28:07] Andrew’s take on NFL players’ health

  • 4 out of 10 (lifestyle, financial factors)
  • Relationships to self and others suffer
[33:12] The coaches who support Andrew

  • Wife, father and business mentor
  • Financial advisor and marriage counselor
  • Football coach + speed, skill coaches
  • Nutrition coach provided by team
[36:36] The increasing focus on sleep in pro sports

  • Teams beginning to track
  • Use tech to shape training regimen
[37:54] The nutrition of pro American football players

  • Weight more important than composition
  • Offensive lineman 20-25% fat
[38:29] NFL teams’ focus on winning over health

  • Players ‘as replaceable as burger flipper’
  • Athletes must take responsibility for own health
[41:24] What’s next for Andrew

  • Just launched social media course
  • Not reliant on football for happiness
[42:37] Andrew’s top advice for Ali Fitness listeners

  • Work toward a goal
  • Keep showing up

Learn More About Andrew East

Side Hustle Social

Andrew on Instagram

Redirected Podcast


Hope Sports

Redirected EP021: What is Your Identity?


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