My Journey to the NFL Hall of Fame

Kevin Mawae
Former NFL All-Pro Offensive Lineman

Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019

Kevin Mawae on the Secrets to Winning podcast

What It Takes To Have A Hall Of Fame Career

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony takes place this weekend, August 3rd, in Canton, Ohio. Among those enshrinees of the Class of 2019 is our guest this week on The Secrets to Winning, former 16-year veteran offensive lineman Kevin Mawae. I have known Kevin for a long time as we were student-athletes at LSU at the same time. He was, and still is, a good friend and someone I respect tremendously because of the person he is. Obviously, he was a tremendous athlete and competitor, as well.


In his career, Kevin was named to eight Pro Bowls, six of which came after the age of 30, and he was a first-team All-Pro six times. He was a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, and also the NFL Players Association president from 2008-12. He played his final NFL game at the Pro Bowl in February 2010.


You can't live on the successes you had from yesterday just like you can't harbor on the failures either. You have another performance and opportunity in front of you that is independent of anything you've done in the past.


On this episode of the podcast, Kevin and I take a deep dive inside his Hall of Fame Career to learn how he approached his craft, when he realized he was good enough to have a long NFL career, the mentors that had a tremendous impact on him, and what it is like to now be referred to, forever, as Hall of Famer Kevin Mawae.


Make sure to tune in on ESPN or the NFL Network this Saturday, August 3rd to see Kevin’s enshrinement into the 2019 Class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame!



01:30 – Balancing short-term gratification with long-term vision


03:30 – Overcoming complacency when you have success at the NFL level


05:45 – Separating yourself as a person from who you are as an athlete


08:40 – When did Kevin realize he was really good enough to have a long career in the NFL?


11:40 – What motivated Kevin on a daily basis?


13:00 – Kevin’s mentors and the importance of those people in his development as a person and player


16:45 – How to combat the drama of NFL locker rooms


20:00 – Important advice he received from Hall of Fame Coach Bill Parcells


27:00 – How to deal with the negative energy of teammates when adversity hits


32:30 – Culture building and how to handle team members that aren’t living up to program standards


36:00 – How Kevin handled team members who were only playing for paycheck


40:00 – The issues Kevin sees with parental influence in amateur athletics


44:20 – Sacrifices you have to make to become the athlete you want to become


48:00 – Kevin’s huge change in perspective

I believe that the culture changes when the leaders on the team buy in to the vision of the coach

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