Academic Keynotes

Aspire To Be Great - A Step by Step Game Plan


Greatness comes in all forms - and only YOU can determine how great you want to be. Chris Ward, former NFL player, author, personal coach, community leader, and speaker shares his heartfelt story of being homeless after a very successful NFL career.


Seven years after retiring from the NFL, Chris found himself at a crossroads in his life. Both of his parents had passed away, and he decided to make the ultimate life change. Chris packed up everything he owned and headed west to Los Angeles for training to become a minister. After six months, Chris ran out of money and was forced with a decision: go home to Ohio or follow through with his plan. Chris made the hard choice and stayed - living out of his car for the next three years while finishing his training. 


Chris was able to overcome his dire circumstances by looking for - and finding - his purpose. Discovering your purpose, your gift, and your reason for being can be a very long process. Chris shares how to help expedite finding your purpose by walking audience members through his simple, clear, and understandable life plan - which he himself follows diligently. Chris passionately discusses how knowledge - from experiences and opportunities - can significantly change the trajectory of your life.

When Chris speaks to school students, he discusses what it means to make a plan and follow through with it - no matter what. He teaches students to do whatever it takes to take that next step in their lives, and motivates them to continually be better at everything they do. Using his Three P's Motto - Patience, Perseverance, and Persistence - students will see that they too can overcome any obstacle put in their path, just as Chris overcame being homeless and living out of his car.


As Chris always says, "Preparation meets opportunity, not luck." He'll share heartfelt stories with students how hard work and preparation make all the difference in life, and when opportunities present themselves, you "take them and run to the sun!"


"Sure, picking up a fumble on the one yard line and running it 99 yards for the win can make you the MVP, but how did you get there? What about the preparation before that game - the up downs and the time spent in the weight room? It's the hard work before that moment that allowed you to shine." - Chris Ward

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Chris Ward