Success Tips For Athletes In College and Life With Andre Hayes

PODCAST:  Special Guest, Andre Hayes.

Andre Hayes is an educator and author of three books:

  • The Sport of Learning
  • Your Brain Is A Muscle Too: How student athletes succeed in college and in life.
  • Six Months With Mommy:  Chronicles from the battlefronts of cancer

Andre received a degree in criminal justice from the University of Washington.  He was part of the Husky Football Team in 1985 during a historical year when they won the Orange Bowl and the team was inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame.

He currently works as a high school teacher and counselor for the Los Angeles school district.  In his spare time, Mr. Hayes is an inspirational speaker, sharing his message of strength, courage and determination.

Your Brain Is a Muscle Too by Andre Hayes, is written by two former college athletes.  It is an essential guide to success in the classroom and on the play field for any student athlete.

Taking readers through all the steps toward success for student athletes — from obtaining athletic scholarships to finding the right sports agent — Your Brain Is a Muscle Too should be mandatory reading for every student athlete. Insightful tips range from how to adapt to the intensity of the college environment to how to most effectively study for exams and how to avoid the pressures of drugs and alcohol. While this book is invaluable for all students, it is the first book that addresses the specific concerns of African -Americans in a college setting.

Your Brain Is a Muscle Too offers guidance and heightens awareness in areas such as academics, interpersonal relations, money matters, time management, and the social transition from high school to college. It includes colorful anecdotes and candid advice, including contributions from Magic Johnson, Jimmy Jackson, and Kenny Smith.

See below for VIDEO Podcast Highlights with time stamps:

00:55  The word that sums up Andre’s life is transformation.  He shares wisdom from Deepak Chopra – You only have control over how you respond.

2:30 The six characteristics the Husky Playbook.  The two he values most and why.

Lessons learned, “ARD” – Acceptance, Responsibility and Defenseless – no need to defend or debate our decision.

7:09 The power of self talk and belief.  Be a difference maker. How do you measure yourself? By ego centered standards or moment to moment living.

8:42 The benefit of moment to moment living.

9:28  How to avoid the ego trap in sports and life.

10:19 Coaching wisdom, “If you make a great play, pat yourself on the back and forget it.  If you make a bad play. Get back in the huddle…”

11:00 Sports as a microcosm of life.  How to let go of mistakes and past baggage.

12:16 Athletes need to be as competitive in the classroom as the field.  Andre’s academic mistakes and what he learned from it.

16:24 How he fell back into the old trap and lessons learned through self awareness.

17:36 The power of reflecting, self awareness and paradigm shifts.

18:00 The Reflective paradigm shift, changes your values.

**18:27  Stephen Covey story and the benefit of a major paradigm shift.  What is perception versus reality.

19:49 Why college athletes need to seize the educational opportunity while in college.

21:09 Networking.  How and why you need to make the most of networking.  Life is about relationships.

**22:18 Fear is an illusion. Learn how to handle fear, focus on what is actually happening at the moment.  What can you do to help others?  It’s not about you.

24:16  How he let go of his ego and stayed open to oportunity

30:05 Received $40,000 backing for a business venture.

30:08 He went from $15,000 to $100,000 by stepping out on faith, working  hard, and focusing on what he could control.

32:47 How to manage difficult emotions.  Example from Dr Robert Anthony – The dynamic power of deliberation creation.

**34:53  How to reach for the thought that feels best.

38:15 Your life is a mystery and adventure.   Stop trying to use logic to figure everything out.

Story of Andre’s caring for his mother during her cancer treatment and the power of surrendering to the mystery of life.

39:30 His view was transformed of how he saw life and death.

46:00 His awakening, realizing he was supposed to be her caregiver and the rest would take care of itself.

47:27 How to deal with things out of your control.

47:49 Story of a Seahawks player who unfairly got cut from the team.

48:28 Surrender to the idea we have control. Life goes exponentionally better when he lets go of control.

50:35 Was he jealous or envious of friends who made it into the NFL? No, and why.

53:16 Story of Reggie Rogers.  He was a person first.  A football player second.

54:20 Deepak Chopra, Escape the prison of the intellect. Powerful question, Who am I really?

55:53 How to be adaptable.  How being different is good.

56:28 Mental Toughness and flip switch technique.

**57: 20 Media Interviews.  How to deal with the media and difficult interviews.  Remember the grandma principle.

**1:01:00 How to deal with difficult coaches and bosses

Nothing lasts forever – Story of a coach who made a negative comment to a player.  The player ended up with a nine year NFL career. Negative comments can be fuel!

** 1:02:30 What we may view as disadvantage is an advantage.

**1:05:54 – Powerful Quote, We are so accustomed to disguising ourself to others, in the end we become disgused to ourselves.

1:07:00 Andre’s Defining moment with his dying mother.  All life is by contrast. One could not exist without the other.

AUDIO PODCAST LINK: Interview with Andre Hayes

Andre Hayes’ book about caring for his mother during her battle with cancer. 

Praise for Six Months With Mommy: Chronicles From the Battlefronts Of Cancer

I had the first draft of this book, as I am a client and friend of his ex-wife. Once I picked the book up, I couldn’t put it down. It moved me so much, that I gave my copy to Oprah… needless to say I still haven’t gotten it back! Congratulations on your work, and I know this book is gonna help a lot of people.

– Patti Labelle – Hall of Fame Recording Artist

I found the book both healing and compelling. The honesty with which Andre conveys his feelings during this ordeal, gave words to the feelings I felt when I lost my husband Don (Andre’s College Coach at the UW) a few years ago. When Andre spoke this past summer at the American Cancer Society charity event, there was not a dry eye in the house. I want to thank him for helping me through the process of my own grieving and healing.

– Carol James- Wife of Don James, former Head Football Coach- University of Washington


I have always been extremely proud of the way Andre has addressed important issues in our society, whether it is through his student-athlete Life Skills book… or his latest book on being a Cancer Caregiver; his writing touches the heart and soul like few others can.

– Dr. William Gerberding (2010), University of Washington President Emeritu