About Levi Metheny
Levi Metheny completed his MBA at Murray State University and currently works for the Dow Jones PIB Sales Team. As a high school and college athlete, he excelled on the football field and played linebacker for the University at Albany football team. In college, he was a three-year starter and was named FCS Pre-Season All-American. Mr. Metheny also won the CAA All-Conference award and participated in volunteer initiatives through the school.
Where did your passion for football come from?
Football has always been a major part of my family. My dad played football growing up through high school where he played quarterback and through his college career as well. His passion for sports and football led him to be a physical education teacher and high school football coach where he would eventually coach me at Bethel Park High School. Growing up, I was the water boy for the high school team from the time I could basically walk. This time I spent around the players, coaching staff, and football, in general, is what made me grow very passionate about football. It started at a very young age and continues to this day.
Looking back on the last five years of your sports career, what’s the highlight?
Looking back on the 5-6 years of my collegiate football career, it is hard to pinpoint just one memory that could highlight it all. What does stick out is the bond that was created and made through all the training sessions, study hall hours, practices, film, walk-throughs, dinners, lifts, 6ams, and of course, getting to play next to your brothers on Saturdays. It isn’t the actual event, but the relationships I’ve built over that time. I have been fortunate enough to play next to some really good football players, coached by great coaches, but most importantly meet and build relationships with great people. I can say the relationships I built over that time cannot happen overnight, and I can credit that to my college football career.
What does a typical day look like for you as an athlete?
A typical day for a collegiate athlete can vary depending on the sport and day but for me, it usually started off with a 6 am lift with some treatment either before or after, breakfast around 8 am, and classes from around 9 am- 12p. I would have a light lunch, get some more treatment and get ready for practice which would start at about 2 or 2:30 pm. From there we would go through our pre-practice, stretch, and practice until about 5ish. Sometimes I would have a class after practice depending on my schedule and day. It was definitely a grind and took a lot of time management and prioritization to ensure I had enough time to do well in the classroom and on the field.
How do you think your background has impacted your success as a football player?
The opportunity I had to spend so much time around the game growing up with my father being a head football coach really enhanced my IQ for the game. Football is a very physical game, but it has much more of a mental aspect to it than most people think. It takes a lot of preparation, understanding what your role is, what the role of others around you is, and what the defense is most likely running based on alignment and situation. I was fortunate enough to have played quarterback in high school allowing me to understand what offensive players and coaches look for. I could take this quality and transition it to the defensive side of the ball with the help of some great coaches and great teammates who ultimately turned me into a very successful inside linebacker.
Name the top two or three lessons you learned from your experience as an athlete.
Being a part of athletics has taught me many lessons, skills, and assets that are not only valuable when playing sports, but transferable to the world outside of athletics as well. Preparation + opportunity = success is one thing I have taken with me that is a very important aspect of life. Without preparation, it is very hard to take advantage of an opportunity that presents itself. Yes, the game is what you are technically graded off of, or the test, or the presentation, but it’s the work you put in beforehand that will most likely dictate the outcome. Preparation is a crucial aspect of success.
A second lesson I have learned is to never judge a book by its cover. By that, I mean what is on paper is not what it is always meant to be. For instance, I’ve played with and against athletes that are very strong in the weight room and look like they should be great at football, but just turn out not to be very good. On the contrary, I’ve played against some players that don’t look like they should be very good, or they were shorter than the average player, or slower, but somehow, they are the ones that are always there making the plays. I have also seen this in the business world when it comes to resumes and being a true fit for a job. Just because someone looks to be the best candidate on a piece of paper, doesn’t mean it will pan out the way one thinks it should. It all comes down to work ethic, coachability, and drive which is what every good college athlete has learned over the years. Compete at the highest level possible, and always prepare like it’s a championship.
What are some invaluable skills you have gained in your experience as a college athlete?
There are some great skills I have learned over my collegiate career which I have been able to transition into life after sports. One of them is the ability to accept constructive criticism and be coachable. It isn’t always the way the message comes out but instead what it is supposed to mean. Everyone has their own ways, beliefs, and techniques. There is never a one size fits all approach but listen and learn from others so you can take the bits and pieces that fit you the most.
Communication is also another vital aspect I learned in sports. It is crucial for all 11 members on the football field to be on the same page at the same time. The same goes for relationships, business, or anything that takes two or more people to accomplish something. Learning to communicate and communicate efficiently and effectively is what makes good leaders great leaders. With the ability to communicate comes the ability to listen. Although it is important to get your ideas across to others, it is more important to listen to others and understand where they are coming from with their experiences. Sports have taught me this in many different ways through the various coaching techniques and being on a diverse team with players from all over the country and even in other countries. Although you might not always see eye to eye, it is important to listen, learn, communicate, and grow in order to accomplish a common goal at hand.
What is something you do regularly that you recommend to other athletes?
One thing I would recommend that I was able to do in college is goal setting. Start off with setting a goal that is a long-term goal. Where do you want to go or what do you want to achieve? Once you have that goal down, write it down, put it in your notes, or something so you can come back and see that goal frequently. Once you have a long-term goal, figure out a plan that will help you reach that goal. Throughout that plan should be short-term measurable goals that can keep you accountable and focused on achieving your long-term goals. For instance, if your goal for 2023 is to bench 315 lbs and you can only bench 200 right now, what is your plan for the year to achieve that goal? Where do you want to be in March? In June? In August? These short-term goals are meant to keep you on track for your long-term goals and the ability to adjust so you can achieve your long-term goal. Expect the unexpected, adapt, adjust, and execute.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
If I could give some advice to my younger self, it would be to find someone that is better than you, more experienced, and knows what it takes to be successful at whatever you are trying to do, and listen, learn, and compete with them. Scout team in sports is a role that is not praised and can often be dreaded. But as a young player, you should look at this as an opportunity to go up against the best of the best, learn, and become better at your craft.
This should be the same way for any industry in the workforce. Find a mentor, and learn from their successes, work ethic, mistakes, and tricks so when your opportunity comes to shine, you will be ready. Work hard, have fun, and when things don’t go your way, find a way to overcome them. Just because it was not a part of the plan, does not mean you cannot reach your final destination.
To learn more about Levi, check out his website Levi Metheny.