He is one of the most talented American football players currently in Poland. He is constantly hungry for success. He believes that professionalism is the key attitude in life. In sport, he continues to be excited by the challenges and how many scenarios and opportunities they offer. We encourage you to read the interview with Darius Robinson – the player of Panthers Wrocław team, who became the face and voice of HAMMER Watch campaign. It is a story about talent coming from America, sport, development, maturity and living in harmony with oneself.
Mateusz Byś: Darius, you are a brilliant American football player. And at the same time, you successfully find your way in the world of music, rapping and modeling. You’re like a renaissance man. How do you manage to combine these passions and pursue them in a professional manner?
Darius Robinson: Thank you for the kind words. Playing American football at a high level takes dedication and lots of hours of preparation. However, I believe everything in life needs some type of balance. This is where my other passions come in. Doing other things allow me to free my mind of the stress that can sometimes come with being a high performance athlete. There are often so many people; coaches, teammates, management, and fans depending on you. Oftentimes I find myself thinking that I have to be perfect because I don’t want to let anyone down. Considering I am the type of person who enjoys the challenge, stepping away from football when needed to engage in other passions allows me to recharge my battery you can say. As far as professionalism, I feel that this is a key fundamental in life and I take pride in representing myself and those that support me the best way that I know how.
Let’s talk about football for a moment. American football isn’t the most popular sport in Poland, but thanks to you and Panthers Wrocław, it’s certainly gaining in popularity. Here, kids largely prefer to practice other sports like football, swimming or volleyball. Tell me, what was your youth story and how did you come to be an American football player?
DR: Yes, I agree it’s a growing sport in Poland. I believe if we continue to find interesting ways to teach viewers the rules and basics that over time we will for sure gain more support. In regards to my youth, I literally have been playing sports since I was able to walk. My dad has an extreme love for American football and got me involved in tackle football at the age of 8 years old. From that point on, for me it was sports all-year long. Because in the US our main sports don’t tend to overlap. I went from football season to basketball season and in my teenage years I added track and field and was a 3-sport athlete. I excelled at all and was pretty much the superstar on every team I played on. Thank God. My abilities in football eventually surpassed my abilities in basketball and track and I became one of the top American football players in the U.S in my class around 17 years old. I earned a full ride scholarship to one of the best universities in America – Clemson University and here we are now.
Running and power training, gymnastics, stretching, physio, diet + nutrients, regeneration… You have to take care of a lot of details that contribute to good results and success. After all, you have to admit – American football is a tough job. What particularly appealed to you about this sport?
DR: For sure. Like I mentioned before, it takes a lot of dedication. As far as what appealed to me about the sport. I believe we all agree that when we accomplish a challenging task that we feel good about ourselves. The game is just so challenging physically and mentally. There are so many moving parts and possible scenarios in the game. The unknown excites me. I found it very stimulating at a young age and to be actually good at the sport brings a lot of fulfillment. I also really enjoy the team aspect of the game, winning is essential to me and to also give the fans a show! I feed off the energy of the environment and I have learned so much about myself through this game.
I think there’s a stereotypical view that football is a very brutal, physical sport. But that’s only one side of it…
DR: Football is a high contact sport making it a high-risk sport. I must admit. However, you can get injured in any sport and life ultimately consists of many risks. Ultimately, the love for the game outweighs the down possibilities. You know tomorrow is not promised and I try to be grateful for the things that I do have while I am here. I have just grown to learn to not be pushed around by the fears in my mind but to be led by the dreams of my heart.
You’ve played in the NFL and in the best teams in Europe. Tell me – if you could compare the realities, the conditions, the show accompanying the games for example in America to those in Poland, what main differences do you notice?
DR: Well, I think the biggest and most obvious thing is just the money disparity between American football in the U.S and Poland. Just having so much money creates totally different conditions. The coverage in the media in the U.S is overwhelmingly favored. This leads to multi-million dollar deals and contracts, as well as high performance athletes and coaches. You have to imagine just the overall revenue it brings to the economy. Very different set up from sponsor based organizations in Europe. Because so much money is involved in the U.S, this leads to higher level resources for the athletes such as facilities, lifestyle, etc, and the list goes on. However, Poland has something I think the U.S won’t ever have and I believe it’s just the genuine connection that those in Poland have to the game that in the U.S often is lost because of the business aspects. This obviously can vary between individuals, but I’ve experienced it for myself with the time I did have in the NFL. Majority after a while only do it for the money because it is such a brutal business. This is surely a topic we could speak on for hours.
I know that you are a professional in all respects. You are constantly hungry for success and your improvement is never-ending. Do you have a way to do it, a patent? What motivates you?
DR: Honestly, it’s simple. I follow the formula of just improving 1% daily in some aspect of my life. I read often and there is a book called “Compound Effect” that talks about how just improving daily in some area over time creates a cumulative result in overall success. So my patent would be:
#1 pray daily and Thank God that I woke up today, because millions of people don’t always see the next day. I believe gratitude is so important. We often complain about the dumbest things when someone else is facing more challenging times and would be thankful to be in our place.
#2 I take a minimum of one hour of personal development time whether it’s reading a book, listening to a podcast, or consuming any positive inspiration I can find. This helps my mood and also my mind which is very important as well. How we feel about ourselves tends to form our reality.
#3 I work out, not just for my sport, but also for my well being. Can’t perform at your highest if you don’t feel good. I’m not perfect in this area as I am a foodie and love new cuisines but I’m aware that my health is a priority. So improving 1% daily in any of those main categories is my focus. The rest takes care of itself.
You are committed but you keep your feet on the ground. You also know that what seems like fun is also a business and an investment. Not everyone can look at it that way. You have a knack for it. Can it be taught?
DR: I believe it can be learned. Not so much taught. What I mean is that, first a person must be willing to self-reflect and accept the truth. Accepting the truth is the hard part for some people. It’s hard to tell yourself how bad you are in certain areas, but I believe this is what “keeps your feet on the ground.” Know one knows you better than you know yourself. I believe that if you take yourself and the power you have seriously then this will pour over to every aspect of your life. I understand that every decision in my life, good or bad, leads to something. So for me, I try to be aware at all times. After a while, it just becomes who you are. I don’t have to act professional or take something serious as an effort. It just becomes who you are. BUT, first you must self-reflect and take the time to learn yourself so that you can grow. This requires alone time – some people say meditate, but people don’t need all that. I guarantee that if a person spent 24 hours alone. Not talking to anyone, no media or entertainment that one will be surprised how much growth will happen in that one day. See, we all make poor choices, but I learned that those who don’t repeat the same poor choices over and over are those who go the furthest. What’s the saying “if you know the stove is hot, why keep touching it?”
Now let’s talk about the HAMMER Watch video put together by the team at John-Weston. You are the lyricist, the actor – you rap about the watch. It came out great, the whole thing is like the best MTV videos! How does it feel to be involved in such a project and to know that in a moment many thousands of people will see it?
DR: First off, I appreciate the opportunity! It’s been so much fun and I’ve enjoyed the creative process. John-Weston did a great job at organizing and executing the plan. I’m just glad I could be a tool and represent HAMMER watch accordingly. I thank Panthers Wroclaw for considering me as well. I think it’s important to say that I actually enjoy the product and that’s what made the promotion side of it worth the time and effort. I am grateful, glad to know that you all enjoy the results because we put a lot of time and effort into it. I’m excited to see it go public and I am sure viewers will enjoy it! I know this is only the beginning and wishing much success and growth for HAMMER!
I know that John Weston agency and you, Panthers Wroclaw, were looking for an idea for a script of a video, how to best show the HAMMER Watch and its versatility. Where did the idea to rap about the watch first come from?
DR: It’s funny you ask. We were having a creative meeting at the office just looking for ideas and the idea of me using my passion for music came up. I was asked if I could write a song for the watch, John-Weston provided the music, and I was able to write the lyrics in less than one hour. The lyrics came to me surprisingly fast. So we knew it was a great idea, and of course something different. Not often do you have a person rapping about a watch and we just thought it would be a great idea. Again most of the magic is due to John-Weston for organizing it all, including the recording studio session that was a lot of fun!
You use the HAMMER Watch during training and on a daily basis. You also have a HAMMER Explorer PRO phone. Tell us honestly, how do you like these devices and what do you value them for?
DR: I really like the watch. It’s grown to be sentimental to me. I wear it everyday when I train, and also when I step out for errands during the day or a night out in the evening. I like the fact that it’s stylish because that’s very important to me. I like the different features. I get really proud when I reach my daily steps. Believe it or not, sometimes I don’t reach my daily goal, I guess I have to work a little harder. But I totally feel comfortable with it on, because it’s light on the wrist but also the face is big enough and gives it that nice sporty look. I don’t get too concerned about it breaking if I was to drop it or spill liquid on it. It’s durable and most importantly it comes from people I have a connection with. I much rather support those who support me than support a random company who don’t even know my name. I don’t have the HAMMER Explorer PRO though, so we have to get me that. LOL. I honestly like the product a lot! Dzięki!
Interviewed and developed by Mateusz Byś