Chris Canty is a 6’7”, 317-pound defensive end from the University of Virginia who has played 11 seasons in the National Football League. His career began in 2005 with the Dallas Cowboys, before moving on to the New York Giants. He spent four years with each team before landing in Baltimore as a Raven.
May 30, Canty volunteered to speak with local young football athletes participating in the 2015 Bulldogs football camps. The camp featured three NFL experienced athletes: Jake Grove, Isaiah Ekejiuba and Canty. The kids were fortunate to hear these three talk of what it takes to be successful in football, academics and life.
Canty was a baseball and basketball player who simply had a growth spurt which gave him the size that was more suited for football. He embraced his talents and worked hard to improve as a player. He won a Superbowl title during his New York Giants tenure.
Canty approached the first through sixth graders with a non-football message, “The main thing I want to share with you is the importance of an education. Education is really important no matter where you are from.”
Canty then asked his audience a question, “How many of you like being told what to do? No really, how many of you like being told by your mother to clean your room? Well, that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about getting an education that will give you the knowledge and experience needed for you to be able to get away from people telling you what to do in life.”
He went on to say, “Your education is the only thing that will allow you to get away from being told what to do by others. If you learn all you can you will be able to choose what you want to do, or be, in life so take your education seriously no matter if you are an athlete or what.”
When Canty was asked for one piece of advice to give to the young football players — one specific tip over all others — his response was intriguing.
“Learn how to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.” He elaborated a little by saying, “To get good at football or any sport the player must learn to cope with being constantly uncomfortable at practice. The athlete must be mentally and physically prepared to do the extra things, the hard work and whatever it takes to be better.”
Canty was a pleasure for the kids to be around. He answered their questions and told stories about his Superbowl win and even traded jabs with a Seahawks fan, all in good-natured fun.
Canty was born in New York and currently has a foundation bearing his name that is dedicated to enhancing the total development of youth in our communities. He operates the foundation out of the New York area but loves taking his message to other states. For more information on his foundation go to www.chriscanty.com and see all the great work that this athlete is doing for America’s youth.
Reach Allen Earl at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @pitchadude.