08 May How one former athlete is changing our approach to, PRACTICE
How one Former College Football Player is making changes in practice schedules and decreasing chances of injury world wide via Virtual Reality
-Who is Jordan Ricks?
Before my injury in 2014, I would have answered by saying, “I’m a University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) football player from Birmingham, Alabama.” But that description hasn’t felt accurate since I saw the business for what it really is on December 2nd of that year when UAB’s football program was cancelled due to “numbers.”
I had sat that season out due to suffering from two herniated discs in my lower back a month before our first game. At that point, everyone on the team was thinking, “Where am I going next?” I was merely months away from graduating college, and my whole life was centered on football.
I knew nothing about the business world, and I knew my life as a football player was over. However, instead of throwing a pity party, I grabbed my journal and started writing out where I wanted to be in 5-10 years, and answering questions like, ”Who is the hero version of me?” In answering that question, I found more than just a football player; I had to reinvent myself.
I’m a work in progress, and I wouldn’t be anything without God. Even when I was at my lowest point, He was there.
-How did you come up with Mixed Reality Football?
I was at home on bed rest watching UAB play then-#1-ranked Mississippi State University. While watching my brothers battle, I saw one of my friends, in the same position I played, catch an interception, and I felt a certain way. I ran that same play so many times; that was supposed to be my interception.
I immediately told myself that I could not allow bitterness to set in my head; so I began visualizing my road to recovery. I played a lot of video games during that time, and spent hours studying concepts and watching film during practices. However, I still didn’t feel mentally prepared to step on a field again.
I honestly picked up on the play concepts much quicker playing video games than I did at practice. So I spent the next few months researching existing technologies that would create my vision.
After discussing the concept with a few business-minded teammates, I knew I had something monumental. I knew I was on my way to bringing the game into a new era.
As for the technical aspect, I contacted one person who sent me to another, and then another. Some of the people were hard to reach, some seemed tedious and invaluable, but in hindsight, all of the meetings really helped my growth as an entrepreneur.
My last major bit of help came from a neurosurgeon who told me my most recent idea would accumulate great wealth for my family. The idea is an eye-tracking helmet visor, made for every position on the field or on ice. This concept is currently being prepared for purchase.
What’s your take on the state of Black entrepreneurism?
Mainly, Black entrepreneurism equates to self-preservation via ownership. We can’t help one another or ourselves if we don’t own anything. I hate that Black entrepreneurship is sometimes viewed as an anti-other group, because it’s not that. It’s truly a need, THE NEED. If you haven’t seen Dame Dash’s “The Breakfast Club” interview (inserted below), it’s a great interview that is not only entertaining, but drops major knowledge that should resonate a change in every adult mindset. My favorite quote from the interview is, “To work for someone else for a long time is selfish. I don’t work for my first name, I work for my last name. I want to be able to pass something to my kids. If you can’t do that, you don’t own it.”
-How has your experience working in the tech space been?
I had nothing to start with except the capacity to know what I wanted, and the determination to stand by that desire until it came to life. I was once uncomfortable being around people smarter than me, now I look forward to it. These are the individuals I want to network with to pick their brains for kernels of knowledge. Eventually I would like to become the first African American Commissioner in the NFL.
-Any advice for Black males interested in making a mark in the tech world?
FAITH removes limitations! Every adversity, every failure, every heartbreak carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit. Neglecting to broaden their view is what has kept some people doing the same thing all their lives.
-How can readers keep up with you?
On Facebook at Jordan M Ricks, and on IG @Godfamfootball.
This article was written by Justin Sims, (IAMMRMENTOR), In hopes of not only inspiring entrepreneurs, but young black males to be the best and the truest version of themselves.
If you like this article and find yourself interested in more positive stories about black millennial age males, please visit WWW.IAMMRMENTOR.CO and follow him on his social media pages IAMMRMENTOR on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Editing By: Ciara Dawson