BC142. Andrew Franks – NFL Kicker – From D3 To The NFL

Brian sits down with current Kicker for the Miami Dolphins Andrew Franks to discuss his journey from playing Division 3 Football at RPI to kicking in the NFL.  Andrew’s drive and determination to be great make him one of the top peak performers ever interviewed on the podcast.

 

You will learn…

  • Why Andrew chose to attend a D3 school.
  • The routines he has in place to succeed in the NFL.
  • The experiences that have shaped him into the player and man he is today.
  • And much more…

 

Follow Andrew on Twitter @A_K_F_3

 

 

PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

Everything comes with a sacrifice. You want to be really good at something you’re going to have to give up something else typically. You want to be better at football? Well you’re going to have to move some more weight. You’re going to have to practice more. So that’s going to take up more of your time. Understanding that cost, understanding that sacrifice is really one of the defining characteristics I think of high level athletes.

Cain: Hey how are you doing? Brian Cain your Peak Performance Coach here with the Peak Performance Podcast. Today our guest is a master of the mental game, maybe excelling in the most mental position in all of sports: a placekicker in the National Football League. Andrew Franks is the current placekicker – which means he does kickoffs, field goals, and PATs – for the Miami Dolphins.

Franks path to the NFL is not your traditional path through a BCS powerhouse program. The Carmel, California native attended the Division 3 school of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – AKA RPI – in Troy, New York, and signed with the Dolphins in 2015 as an undrafted free agent. Franks, whose legend grows by the kick and grows by the day, used to take on the freezing temperature of Troy, New York, by going out and shoveling off a rectangle of snow in the middle of their turf field so he could practice kicking in the winter months when he was in college. People looked at him and thought he was crazy. Now they look at him and think he’s unbelievable as he’s starring in the NFL.

In this podcast Franks talks about his drive to succeed, why he chose to attend a Division 3 school, and the routines and mindset he has I place to succeed as a placekicker in the NFL. It’s my honor and privilege to welcome Miami Dolphin placekicker Andrew Franks to this edition of the Peak Performance Podcast. Franks, thanks for being with us buddy.

Franks: Thanks for having me. That’s quite the introduction.

Cain: Yeah well you deserve it brother. Tell us, how did you end up from Carmel, California – which for the people that don’t know it’s right next to like Pebble Beach. Is that right?

Franks: That’s right. It’s right there.

Cain: That’s right where I got engaged. I got engaged at the Lone Cypress which is right there near Carmel, California. So near and dear place to my heart. But how did you end up going from Carmel all the way to RPI?

Franks: It was one of those weird coincidences really. For me living in Carmel it’s a really insulated place and so growing up in high school I realized I’ve got to get out of here, I’ve got to try something new, and I wanted to try the East Coast. So I had my mind and my heart real set on the East Coast in general.

For me coming out of high school I wanted to play football but I knew I wasn’t really – I wasn’t going to get many D1 offers so I made a decision that I want to get a biomedical engineering degree. That was a big thing for me. RPI was one of the few places that told me “yeah you can get this degree and you can play football.” So I visited there and happened to really like it. They had renovated all their athletic facilities and I really fell in love with it. So for me it was choosing the fact that I wanted to get my academics as well as athletic career sort of jumpstarted.

Cain: Biomedical engineering. Is that right?

Franks: That’s right.

Cain: How about that. How many guys in the NFL actually have a college degree let alone a college degree in biomechanical – biomechanical or medical?

Franks: Medical.

Cain: Biomedical. Even better. Biomedical engineering. Unbelievable. You were actually in New England weren’t you? Taking a tour of some of the Ivy League schools and your mom called and said “hey Andrew I think you should go check out this place called RPI,” is that right?

Franks: Yeah we were in New York City. I think we had just sort of toured around Columbia University. We had a few days off and mom called me up to say “hey check out Troy, New York, you have no idea where that is but it’s only a couple hour drive.” We were like “alright well we’ve got some time to kill” and just rode over and sort of the rest is history I guess.

Cain: Unbelievable. I grew up in Williamstown, Massachusetts, probably about an hour/hour and a half away from Albany, New York. I’ll tell you when you go to RPI – and that’s where we met years ago when I was speaking there and then working with the football program – their football facility might be the best in Division 3 in the country. It’s off the charts good. Did that attract you there when you went there? Did you walk in and go “whoa this is different?”

Franks: Yeah that was – after touring some D1 schools, some D2s, and some other D3s, coming to RPI and seeing this giant stadium, brand new strength facilities, athletic training facilities, in my mind I thought to myself “this is better than some of the D1 schools I’ve visited” and to get this from a D3 standpoint this is crazy. This is awesome.

Cain: Totally. Not to mention their RPI education which is like an Ivy League education.

Franks: Exactly. Those were my thoughts exactly.

Cain: At what point here, Franks, did you decide “hey man I want to be an NFL kicker?” Not necessarily that it could be a reality for you because I think deciding “I want to be an NFL kicker” and then getting to the point where you go “wait a minute I’ve got a legit chance here” that’s another step. But go back to the first step. When did you make the decision to say “I want to be an NFL kicker?”

Franks: So I think – it starts, I think, even before I had NFL aspirations. When I went D3, when to Troy, New York, at RPI my mindset going in was “I want to be the best kicker I can be regardless of what division, the goal posts are all the same.” So for me I really wanted to focus on I want to be extremely good at my craft so I can compare myself to Adam Vinatieri, some of the great kickers in the world, in the NFL, in college, in our Division, regardless, our goals posts are the same hashes. They may differ a little bit here and there. But for me I was always trying to pursue to be the top, the best of the best.

So working on that I kept on getting better and better throughout the years and then right before my junior year actually I had a chance encounter with a buddy of mine name Justin Medlock.

Cain: This is junior year of high school or college?

Franks: College.

Cain: College. Got it. Okay.

Franks: Yeah. So right before my junior year during the summer I was taking a summer class at RPI. I met a buddy of mine, Justin Medlock, who he kicked two years in the NFL and kicks in the CFL now. He was just in the area for a week or so, messaged me on Facebook asking me if I wanted to kick one day, I’m like “alright” and I looked him up real quick. I’m like “sure yeah this would be awesome,” a cool opportunity to be next to an NFL kicker and really get a side-by-side comparison and see where I stand really.

I kicked with him 3-4 times during that week. the entire time I was thinking to myself “I’m kicking it just as hard as this guy, he is a little more accurate than me I’ll give him that but I’m kicking it just as far, just as high, I think just as well.”

So that was really where I thought in my mind the ball started rolling. Like “if he can do it why can’t I?” Regardless of where I’m at if I can kick a ball well I can kick it anywhere. So that was really where my mind really started to change from maybe an engineer is not what I want to be when I grow up for the next 30-40 years. Maybe the NFL is a career path that could actually happen for me.

Cain: So you’re kicking. You start working out with this guy who was a current NFL kicker – current at the time, now he’s kicking in the CFL.

Franks: Yeah.

Cain: And you’re hanging with him. At that point did a switch flip inside of you that said “hey I can do this and I need to start changing a couple things?” Is that when you started to shovel off the field? Or did you kind of – you alluded to earlier where you said “my goal was to be the best kicker I could be,” did you have that work ethic and drive before that moment or was that moment a key tipping point for you?

Franks: I think my work ethic was one of the reasons I got that chance opportunity. For me I really wanted to work on my football craft and I sort of made the decision to take one summer class so I could stay at RPI, stay over the summer and stay at the facilities, work out, train, do all the things that will hopefully make me better as a kicker and also get ahead for that fall semester for football so I can sort of take it easier academically. So that was my mindset that led up to that encounter. If I just went home, took it easy, tried to do my normal basic training back home I would have never met Justin Medlock and would have never had that side-by-side comparison. So I think my desire to be great really led up to that chance encounter.

Cain: Did you always have that desire to be great? Was that something you had in high school or can you actually go back to a moment in time when that desire where you were like “hey man this was the tipping point in my career, this is the line I drew in the sand and I stepped over and that was the difference between me being the old Andrew Franks and the new guy who is on a mission to kick professionally?”

Franks: I can’t really say there was a tipping point there. I’ve always just been a competitive guy. For me it’s always I think the old adage is you hate losing more than you like to win. I hated losing regardless of what sport I played in high school – football, soccer, and baseball. I always wanted to be competitive in everything I did. So for me kicking I thought that was the best route out of high school. That was what I was probably best at, most competitive at. So if there was a chance it was going to be with that. So that was sort of my mindset going into that.

Cain: How about some advice for the young kickers out there that are listening to this podcast? Maybe they’re in junior high or high school, maybe freshman in college, that want to follow in your shoes and go kick in the NFL. What advice would you give them about pursuing their dream as an NFL placekicker?

Franks: One thing I really wish I did more of especially when I was young was do a lot more film study. For me I was a soccer-style kicker who just liked to kick the ball really far. My technique was a little whack. I went to camps here and there to get help and I definitely recommend those. Those are very helpful, getting the second set of eyes on it. But really looking at your own film, dissecting it and comparing it to current guys that are in the league, current kickers, past kickers, I mean those are the guys that have proven they can kick for a long time, kick successfully, and those are usually winning patterns.

 

I think me looking back that was something I wish I did more of was really look at myself. How do I change this angle? How do I – my follow through is way over here and no one else does that. I should probably change that. So that’s probably the best advice I can really give you is look at yourself. Look at your film. Take video of yourself and really sort of compare yourself.

Cain: What about finding a mentor? When you were growing up I know that – like for pitchers in baseball there are certain places you go to work with guys that are just pitching instructors and they’re going to get you to throw harder and they’re going to clean up your mechanics and that’s what they do. I believe those same guys exist in place kicking. Did you ever work with one?

Franks: Yeah so I mean I went to a decent amount of camps like Kohl’s Kicking Camps. I went to a decent amount of those. I went to like 1-2 Chris Sailer’s down in Southern California. Just going to those camps with a bunch of other high school level guys that we all think we’re really good and we all want to get better, those are usually 1-2 day camps, those are guy that have kicked professionally – the camp instructors, like Jamie Kohl. They’ve kicked professionally or they’ve been in this business for a long time. They know what they’re looking for and they’re going to give you the best criticism, the best help in terms of – like you said as a pitcher the best swing, your best momentum, your steps, stuff like that. I mean those are – that’s the exact place where I think you can get the most help the quickest.

Cain: Let’s kind of now shift gears from sort of how you got to where you are, your advice for kickers, and let’s get into your routine. I think the position that you play is about as mental and about as routine as it possibly gets. Could you take us through on a game day your routine from like start to finish? Whether that routine starts when you wake up and finishes when you go to bed or that routine starts when you leave your house, take us through the game day routine for Andrew Franks.

Franks: Alright. I mean it’s nothing too special. At least in my eyes. For me it’s I get up, I have the same breakfast I always do every game day. It even starts the night before. I have the same dinner every night before just to sort of I know exactly how it’s going to react to my body, how I’m going to feel in the morning when I wake up. I get up, eat my breakfast, go straight to the stadium. Once I’m there I always go straight out on the field, check my surroundings, see how the weather is, look how the stadium is, really absorb the sights.

I’ve played in Hard Rock Stadium for two years now and every time I go in there it’s always the lighting might be different, the clouds might change, something. Really absorbing the whole atmosphere of the place and getting myself used to the fact that this is where I’m going to be kicking today and really absorbing it into the fact that it becomes just nonchalant to me. I can ignore it instantly. It’s just white noise for me. I would just go up and down the field just doing some practice dry kicks on the field just moving left hash, right has, slowly moving back. just imagining myself if that was the game right then and I had to make this kick how I would do it, where I would aim, looking at taking in the wind, all those sorts of things where I would aim on the stadium itself and really preprogramming myself for when that kick comes during the game.

So I do that for probably only 15-20 minutes but really taking the time to absorb everything in there. I go in, roll out my body, get it stretched, do a little extra stretching. The whole time I’m usually listening to some heavy metal music, just something that for me is like calming. I don’t know why that is for me.

Cain: You like Metallica? What kind of – what do you go into?

Franks: It’s not – more – it’s probably like Amity Affliction, like some more nu age alternative metal, that sort of stuff. Usually a lot of yelling.

Cain: Okay good man. Sometimes it’s – it’s good.

Franks: Yeah. So that’s like my game day sort of music choice. I usually have that just blaring the whole time. If I can listen to that and be calm then I can listen to a crowd and be calm. So I listen to that.

At that time that’s when we’re sort of being called down on the field for our program times. We’ll roll out onto the field with me, Matt, punter, and John, long snap. We’ll go out. I’ll usually go and do another sort of mild stretch circuit, the same thing I’ve done for 3-4 years, same stretching routine. I’ll do that, take some no step kicks on whatever end we have to be on and really just go through my basic kicking routine going from no steps, one step, to full approach, and the really taking it slow but trying to take in left right, left and right hashes. So I really do that, flip sides, talk to the other kickers and punters and see how they’re feeling, see if they’ve seen anything differently in terms of looked at the weather for later and stuff like that. You never know, they might have some information you’ll take into account. You never know.

I’ll do that and then we’ll usually go and get the whole gauntlet of me, John, and Matt some snap hold kicks with all of us. We’ll take like 10-15 of those both sides, taking it real easy. We don’t – the worst thing you can do is just tire yourself out before a game. At the end of the day none of these kicks really matter as long as you’re seeing how your ball is flying and seeing how it’s moving and how you’re kicking the ball, how you’re feeling more importantly, taking that sort of in the back of your mind whenever you go out there. So I’ll do that. I’ll usually take 1-2 kickoffs. Those are the most tiring thing as a kicker we do. So for the most part kickoffs are the easiest thing. Just kick the crap out of the ball. At least in my mindset.

So take a few of those and then at that point you really just sort of take a seat on the sideline and watch as sort of the fans start to filter in and really in my mind just keep on absorbing everything and really try to almost dull the moment. Everyone can be – you can be really amped up when there’s a full crowd or you can block it out. For me as soon as the game starts I don’t really see the crowd anymore. That’s why I sort of want to go out there early. We’ll go back in the locker room after 15 minutes after the whole team has finished warming up. We’ll have the pregame speech whatever it is.

For me at that point you’re just checking out, making sure your cleats are laced up right, making sure socks are good. If you feel like your uniform is clean you’re good. Anything that was a little tight, little tight, sore, fix that in the locker room. Once you hit the tunnel, hit the tunnel, go out. I may take 3-4 pregame kicks right before kick off just field goals wise. Maybe hit a kickoff really depending on how you hit them before and that’s really just sort of personal preference. Sometimes I’ll hit one. Sometimes I’ll hit none.

Then really I always grab my kickoff tee (you never know) for the coin toss. If we get it awesome. That means I get to start the game off which for me is like a huge privilege. I love that.

Cain: That’s awesome.

Franks: I get to be the guy that starts the game. That’s cool. Once that happens I kickoffs, do the kickoff, get super amped up for that, then at that point it’s really taking myself down. I worked a lot on trying to figure out like is it even worth trying to bring myself down? Because I’m going to be amped up for every kick out there. I always have been. Is it worth trying to just like get used to the fact that you’re going to be super amped up every time you kick or do you want to sort of bring yourself down and try to stay calmer? For me it was almost I had to disconnect from the game itself and really take into account that regardless of where we’re at in the game, what the stakes are in the game, if I’m calm I can kick the best. That’s what I boiled down to for me.

So I did a lot of diaphragmatic breathing. I do that a lot now. That was something that I wish I did more of as a rookie that I struggled with was calming myself down. So taking that breathing into my belly, really sort of taking control of my body and not letting my body control me, that was a big jump for me I think. But understanding that if I can calm down then I can be the most useful to the team. At the end of the day that’s all that really mattered to me. So once I sort of disassociated from the ups and downs of the game that’s usually when I’m the best. It’s when you get super amped up, touchdown touchdown, lead changes, that’s when I feel like I make the most mistakes.

After that first kick off I’m trying to bring myself down. I’m usually just watching the game, sitting on the sideline, doing nothing unusual. From the sideline standpoint I’m doing nothing. But for me it’s really just making sure I’m always warm. The one time we’re never really prepared for is if we’re on defense and we get a pick six. It’s not like we’re kicking them in that we’re not ready. It’s one of those times where you can always kick a ball. You never know when we’re going to score, when a turnover is going to happen, so it’s always on your mind that you can never be cold.

That’s like the one weird thing is – as other positions you can maybe relax a little more than us but we’re really – you’re almost on edge the whole time. It’s at that point you really are just waiting for us to get the ball, waiting for us to score. Once we get the ball I have basically the same routine of whenever we’re returning the punt, returning the kickoff, I go straight into the net and always just at least kick one ball into the net because we’re got some dangerous guys returning for us. If they house it that’s an instant PAT for us right there.

So that’s how I sort of – I get that one in. I’ll go and do just a mild warm up stretch just to reactivate everything. It takes like less than a minute. Then I’ll usually kick one or two balls into the net. I might take a look at a couple holds.

Cain: Let me ask you this. Does your routine go by the down? Like you said when we’re receiving a kickoff or punt we’ve got guys that can house it so I put a ball in the net. Do you have a certain thing you do on first down and second down and third down you get in the box and fourth down you go out? Is there a progression based off of the downs?

Franks: Sort of. So like I said whenever we’re returning like any specialty play I always kick one just in case and then into that first down I’ll usually do my warm up during that then usually by that time it’s going to be second down. Second down is usually where I’m going to hit 1-2 more balls. Once sort of third down hits that’s when I really try to calm myself down. That’s where I – I’m leaving the net. I’m walking to wherever we are. If we’re in the red zone at least. If we were just at our 20 yard line I’m not really that anxious into it. I’m not rushing. I’ll kick maybe one ball every 2-3 downs. But until we really cross like the 50 yard line I’m never really anticipating the downs. Everything I sort of do per down depends if we’re going to – if we’re in a scoring opportunity or we’re getting really close to it.

Cain: So let’s say you guys have got a first down, 1st and 10 from the 2 yard line going into the end zone. First down, what are you doing?

Franks: So first down I’m kicking probably 1-2 balls at most. Probably one ball for a first down and really just sort of watching how the play develops, seeing if we went back and went forward how close we are to a second down. Keeping that in the back of your mind. If we get to second down and really like it’s short I’ll kick one more.

It really does depend on how it plays out for the most part. If we get a successful first down right after that I’ll probably just kick one more and probably be done. I don’t want to over kick right before I have to go on the field so I usually try to space it out a decent amount. So it’s really dependent on how I’m feeling, how many kicks I’ve had leading up on that drive. If it was a really long drive I’ve probably had 4-5-6-7 maybe even 8 kicks so I’m probably feeling really good. If it’s a shorter drive I might hit a couple more if we’re getting closer.

Cain: So let’s say you’re going out for a 20 yard field goal. It’s third down and three. They don’t convert. Now it’s 4th and 1. You’re going out for a 20-25 yard field goal. You run out to the field, you go out to where the block is and take me through where the holder spot it. Take me through the steps, the looks, any visualization of seeing the ball or your target, any deep breaths, anything there specifically.

Franks: So probably it starts before that.

Cain: Good.

Franks: Right? So if it’s third down I’ll be on the sideline on third down. At that point I’m doing my breathing, I’m calming myself down, but I’m really taking a look at what hash we’re at, how the wind is moving, how everything is going in. The one thing I want to do when I go out there is not think. That’s the worst thing you can do as a kicker in my eyes is think.

I’m trying to basically base everything off of that third down already. So if I run the left hash I’m thinking to myself “alright left hash, the wind is pulling it a little to the left, alright maybe I’ll just short kick, don’t compensate too much” and sort of just do a quick mental rep my in head. Just close my eyes and think about it and just bang bang, alright, we’re good. Then once fourth down hits and we hear “field goal” my thing is I want to run up behind the ball, behind where I’m kicking, so I can sort of see my approach to the post. So I’ll run up. I usually do a quick just short practice swing as I’m coming up right next to the spot where my holder is.

I’ll pat down the ground. That has been one of my sort of mental cues I guess is just stomping the ground and making sure my plant foot is good and everything else will follow. So I’ll get the spot, I’ll see it, I’ll take a quick glance up, see where my marker is on the stadium if there is one, just cue that, take my steps back, three back, three left, take a short stutter step at the end, just rotate back to my holder spot, take a deep diaphragmatic breath, and just relax, give him a slight nod, and at that point I’m pretty much locked in.

Once I breathe in, breathe out, and give him the nod I’m locked in. Nothing can really alter my focus. I’m just waiting for him to lift his finger up to basically let me know “this is when you go.” At that point I’m not thinking about anything. I’m just waiting for that. Once he lifts his finger everything is just automatic. I take my jab step, follow step, plant into it, and just swing through and whatever happens after that happens.

Cain: Talk more about the mental rep. We use that term a lot with Brian Cain Peak Performance about mental reps whether you’re coming back from an injury and seeing yourself play or a pitcher seeing a pitch before they throw it or really a kicker seeing it before they kick it. Talk about mental reps. What is that?

Franks: I mean for me before – like when I was saying on third down when I take sort of that mental rep before I kick that’s really taking what I did pregame when I went out on the field out there and there was no one out besides really me on the field, there is no pressure, there is nothing. That’s really taking that rep and applying it to where I was at there. In my eyes that’s sort of my mental rep is just imagining where I was visualizing, how it felt, how calm you felt at that time. In my eyes that’s sort of my visual rep is really seeing through my own eyes what I did, how it felt, and sort of just replaying it quickly just as a simple reminder.

Cain: So let’s say you guys are going to play the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on a Sunday. When do you – you get in on Friday or you get into town on Saturday?

Franks: We’ll get there on Saturday.

Cain: So you get in on Saturday. Do you go to the stadium Saturday to kind of do a walk through or do you not get to the stadium until Sunday?

Franks: We’ll just get there on Sunday. Yeah. So we’ll just be there the day of.

Cain: So like Saturday night do you do any type of – in your hotel room are you doing any type of visualization where you’re kind of when your head hits the pillow closing your eyes and seeing yourself make PATs and field goals and big kickoffs in Foxborough?

Franks: I do probably for a couple minutes at most. The one thing that I personally do is when I’m not in a football facility I try to sort of forget about football. For me it’s so easy to get burnt out on football itself that when I’m – as soon as I leave the facility I don’t want to watch football, I don’t want to hear football, I don’t really want to think about it because you’re doing that for 10-12 hours a day every day for 6-7 months at least and you just keep on grinding it. When I’m at the hotel that night I’ll think about it for a tiny bit, maybe 2-3 minutes, just sort of “alright this is the weather forecast for tomorrow, I’ve played here before, how was it last time, how was the turf, alright, do I need to do anything extra, alright.” Mentally I’m feeling pretty good. Sort of just a quick double check list before I go to bed.

Cain: I love that idea about how as a professional athlete you invest so much time into the game of football but when you’re not at a facility kind of using that as a release from the game so that you’re not burning yourself out. You’ve always got to remember that football is what you do it’s not who you are. At some day and point in your life your career comes to a close so if you’re – it’s what you do and if you can separate what you do from who you are and be able to go back and forth between those two things I think that’s a healthy mindset for a professional athlete to have because, Franks, you probably see it with even guys in the league or guys in your team that they can’t escape that and they’re always consumed by it and they just get burned out. Do you see that a lot?

Franks: Yeah. I think it’s one of those things like especially as a rookie you see it always. We talk about there is a rookie wall. It’s usually like week 10-11-12. It’s a long season. You’re got four weeks of preseason, 16 weeks regular season, then playoffs after that. That’s 24 weeks. That’s a lot of time. Rookies especially always seem to hit it. They’re just not used to it. They’ve been consumed by making the team, always trying to be on top, always having that sort of boogeyman over their shoulder that I could be cut at any time. I think it really takes you almost the second year to take into consideration like it doesn’t really matter. Every single person on this team could be gone tomorrow. The sooner we accept that the sooner we can just sort of move on and do our jobs better.

Cain: That’s powerful right there. That’s real powerful. Speaking of that, Andrew, what are some of the things if we had to not necessarily you as a kicker – and I love the routine and the specifics of kicking – let’s go a bit now bigger view of you as the man Andrew Franks. What makes you successful? What makes you the guy that can go from Division 3 football, get a powerful academic degree, and now be kicking in the NFL? What makes you successful you think? What are some of the character traits that you have that make you successful?

Franks: I think one of my things is I don’t like leaving a job unfinished. That’s a big thing for me. If I put my name on it I want it to be a good product. At the end of the day I think that is really what defines me as a person is finishing what I start and making sure everything I do is done well. I think those are two traits that from as long as I can remember really sort of defined me. It’s really – you look at a school project or whatever. Your name is on it. You always want to get an A. You always want to succeed. And keeping in mind you take everything with a grain of salt. You can’t expect perfection from day one but constantly strive for that.

 

Golf is very similar to kicking in that regard. You can always do better in golf. Everyone is always trying to get a better stroke. So really striving for that. You’re striving for that perfect game but understanding that it may never happen. That’s really my mindset I guess for life itself and how my actions define me.

Cain: Love it. Andrew, last question for you here. If you could remove the skullcap of Andrew Franks when he was in high school, when he was in college – or actually let’s change the question here. Let’s take it away from you and say if you could remove the skullcap of everything listening to this, coaches, kickers, people non-football related, coaches and athletes and entrepreneurs, people that are pursuing excellence. If you could remove their skullcap and plant one seed of success inside of there – maybe it’s a philosophical belief, maybe it’s a quote, maybe it’s something you already mentioned about if you’re going to do a job sign it with excellence – if you could plant one seed of success inside of all their heads and they would take it and they would run with it and when they speak about the opportunity they had to listen to you on a podcast this is what they’re going to take home.

Franks: That’s a tough one. There is a lot to choose from. I think one characteristic that really has helped me get to where I am is everything comes with a sacrifice. You want to be really good at something you’re going to have to give up something else typically. You want to be better at football? Well you’re going to have to move some more weight. You’re going to have to practice more. So that’s going to take up more of your time.

 

Everything comes with a cost. Understanding that cost, understanding that sacrifice is really one of the defining characteristics I think of high level athletes.

 

Almost every single person here has given up something important. Most of us – a lot of people, people that don’t make it to where we are, they weren’t willing to give up the time to put in that effort. They’d rather sleep. Sleep is a great example. Most people would rather sleep in, get that nice 10-12 hours of sleep every night versus the guys who get up early and push themselves and are willing to push themselves.

Cain: How much sleep are you getting?

 

Franks: Right now I believe I’m getting a healthy eight.

Cain: Eight. Solid number.

Franks: Yeah.

Cain: You met Dr. James Maas. He is one of our Peak Performance Podcast guests. He’s actually the world’s leading expert in sleep. I believe he does some work with the Dolphins. You’ve met Dr. Maas.

Franks: Yeah. We listened to him I believe when I was a rookie so yes I am familiar with his work.

Cain: Small world. He also was a New York – he taught at Cornell for 48 years. We had him on the podcast here as well. Well Andrew I appreciate your time, I appreciate your inspiration that you’ve provided people all over the country not just in football but in any sport that you can go get a high level degree at an academic institution like RPI and play professional sports. It doesn’t happen often but it is possible. And you’re the type of guy that is paving that path for people to be able to make the decision to say “you know what I can go and invest in my future and get a legit degree and still pursue being a professional athlete.”

So Andrew Franks, thank you for joining us here on the podcast. For our listeners you can connect with Andrew at his Twitter account which is @A_K_F_3. You made it difficult for us. Again @A_K_F_3. Andrew Franks, thank you for being a guest on the podcast.

Franks: Thanks for having me.

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