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  • Writer's pictureVolume 82 Magazine

Ex-NFL Star JJ Moses Believes In "Giving Freely": He Speaks on DeSean Jackson & His New Job With NFL

JJ Moses. Photo/Jason Oliphant

If you’ve ever brushed arms with JJ Moses, chances are you’ve experienced his warm, down-to-earth personality. And if you’ve known him for longer, then you already know that JJ has always been focused and driven. After ending his career with the NFL, people were still drawn to JJ for reasons beyond his athletic abilities. While serving as an usher and active member of Joel Osteen’s megachurch(Lakewood Church) in Houston, producers for Oprah Winfrey’s LifeClass TV series asked JJ to appear as a guest.

Soon after that appearance, JJ discovered his knack for public speaking and helping others. After trading in his professional football cleats, he has worked in different roles with the NFL, including mentoring and encouraging former and existing players, while also honing his skills and recognition as a public speaker. As the buzz about his gift for public speaking grew, he started being recruited to speak at churches, colleges, universities, and corporations, such as Exxon Mobil, Pepsi-Cola, NFL PLAY 60, Goodwill Industries, the U.S. Army, and more.

Last fall, JJ brought his skills home, to an audience of students, aspiring athletes, and community members from his hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, when he spoke at the DIS Harvest Conference at the University of Northern Iowa. JJ did not disappoint the home crowd, and his take-away messages were immeasurable. He explained how the power of setting goals and writing them down have manifested into many great opportunities for him. JJ explained that “Standing only 5’6”, statistics say that less than 1 percent of athletes will make it to the NFL.” JJ, who is 5’6” himself, went on to say how that statistic seemed devastating to him, at times. JJ also shared that his football goals looked like this: “To be a starter at East Waterloo High School; to be on ESPN; and to rush for 1,000 yards.” “And eventually, each of those goals became reality!,” JJ said to the applauding audience.

JJ’s repeated messages can apply to nearly anyone, in any stage of life. You’ll often hear him share advice like this:

  • “Bring out the greatness in others and greatness will follow you.”

  • “Be willing to serve openly and live with an open hand (serve and give away freely).

  • “Stay ready, so you don’t have to get ready.”

  • “Have a winning mindset, and prepare to win.”

As a special message for his own community, JJ thanked the audience by saying, “I would not be this far in my career if I didn’t have your prayers, your support, and your encouragement that helped me through life.” Over the years and through all his accomplishments, he has remained humble and grateful.

During our one-on-one discussion, JJ told me about the time, during his rookie season in the NFL, when he met with a younger athlete. That athlete was DeSean Jackson, who is now a wide receiver for the Las Vegas Raiders. JJ explained their interaction, “I gave him my gloves, had a conversation with him, and told him to keep up the good work. His brother happened to be recording our entire conversation, which was later included in a documentary about DeSean’s life.” This experience is iconic of the way JJ feels called to inspire others, especially young kids. “You never know what will happen when you encourage a kid,” JJ said. “They may be the next DeSean Jackson!”

Here's more of our discussion:

Volume 82: Are you still an ambassador for the Houston Texans NFL team?

JJ Moses: No, that role has changed. I did that for about ten straight seasons. Then after that, I was promoted to their Director of Player Development. I worked with players to help them become leaders on and off the football field. Part of my responsibility was to create a culture that develops players into leaders, while putting an emphasis on life skills, leadership development, career development, spiritual development, and just helping these players become better pros, on and off the field. I was in that role for two seasons. After my second year, I was recognized by the NFL as having the top development program in the entire league. Then there was a change of management, and I was briefly released from my position. But the NFL called me back. And now I work with former players who reside in the state of Texas, and I help them win in every area of their lives. I mainly help these guys as they make the difficult transition out of the NFL.

Volume 82: Interesting!

JJ Moses: I also do a lot of public speaking and motivational speaking for businesses. I enjoy being able to share insight that can help people have a winning mindset in every area of their lives. And I’m involved with the NFL’s “Fuel Up to Play 60” program. There are 74,000 schools, nationwide, involved with this program, and I’ve become a spokesperson for it. The program encourages kids to live a healthy lifestyle by exercising at least 60 minutes a day and eating healthfully.

Volume 82: This is awesome! You also mentioned a special coach in the NFL who you truly appreciated during your career. Who is he?

JJ Moses: Coach Dick Vermeil (the former Kansas City Chiefs head coach). He always treated everyone the same, no matter what. He lived with an open hand, and made a difference in my life.

Volume 82: I see. What else is new with you?

JJ Moses: I’m in the process of having a book published.

Volume 82: Will this be a memoir or your life story?

JJ Moses: No, it will be about life lessons, principles, wisdom, and strategies to having a winning mindset.

Volume 82: I see. An inspirational book.

JJ Moses: Yes.

Volume 82: Your new role with the NFL is nice.

JJ Moses: Yes, I really love helping players who live in Texas transition out of the league. It’s a difficult transition that I’ve experienced myself. Their schedules and routines have been taken from them. I help them discover their next true passions and skill sets. I stay in touch with them regularly and talk to some of them daily.

Volume 82: I’m not surprised! This role fits you. Thanks for everything.

JJ Moses: You’re welcome! Any time!

Photo/The Houston Texans

After catching a pass, JJ spoke to football player-Keondra Owens from his alma mater, East High School, at the University of Northern Iowa's DIS Harvest Conference.



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