Media Training: The Business of the NFL

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Image is everything and what you say - better yet - what you don't say could cost you millions of dollars.

Lee Gordon was invited by the NFL and Athlete's Performance Institute to train the potential stars of tomorrow at last weeks Senior Bowl.

"What is the Christian Ponder Brand?" asked Gordon.

Media training has become as essential as weight training and if you know how to brand yourself in the public eye, you're able to control your message.

"Christian Ponder is driven, a winner, every time they write about you and talk about you, they're going to use those words too," Gordon continued.

The players come in to the hour long session not quite sure what to expect.

"It was a lot of small things, but it added up to be a big deal - because I went in, thought I was pretty good had it all figured out," said Former LSU linebacker Kelvin Sheppard.

They leave with a new sense of how to control their brand, which the great ones all know how to do

" I've already met with some of the teams already, and trying to incorporate the words and get off my brand to those guys," said former FSU Quarterback Christian Ponder.

"You guys taught me about my brand and some key terms that I can use with it. With that, I'll definitely be using it for interviews and interviews in the future," said Former Cal Defensive End Cameron Jordan.

The training focuses on key words that an athlete can use to describe themselves in a positive light.

Then they are put to the test, fielding a multitude of rapid fire questions, forcing them to use what they have learned and the tricks on how to answer a question without having to do damage control.

Media training can't help you lift more, run faster, or hit harder, but what it can do is give you an inside look at how you can make yourself marketable outside of the game.

"Body posture, you know being confident, keeping your word short and sweet. They did a pretty good job of preparing me...really good job," said Former Clemson Defensive Lineman Jarvis Jenkins.

One of the most interesting parts of the media training is the social media--you won't believe how many athletes accept friend requests of people they don't know. And a racy picture can cost these guys millions of the dollars off the field.