Aaron Rodgers' Advice to Himself at 17: Lessons In Perseverance and Appreciation

Jonathan Daniel

The Packers' quarterback published advice to his younger self in ESPN the Magazine.

As Green Bay Packers fans, we should feel lucky to have a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers leading our team. He is arguably the best player at his position in the world, and he has won basically every major award and championship available to him in professional football. Despite all this, he still appears to have remained remarkably personable, clever, and grounded, and in the wake of undesirable actions coming to light by players around the NFL, it is reassuring to know that there are still plenty of good guys out there.

Rodgers recently wrote a letter which contains messages meant for himself twelve years ago, at the age of seventeen. Along with eleven other professional athletes' similar letters, his was published in this week's issue of ESPN the Magazine's "Kids In Sports" issue. In it, Rodgers advises himself to persevere through difficult situations and enjoy the experience along the way.

Here are a few excerpts from the letter, which can be found on ESPN's website both in formatted form and in its raw, handwritten copy.

You're gonna sneak into your high school library and log on to Rivals.com thinking, Maybe I'll see my name on the list of top college recruits. You won't find it. At one point you'll get so frustrated that you'll actually consider giving up football altogether to pursue a baseball career. Bad idea.

As a player who takes every slight, whether actual or perceived, as motivation, it is not difficult to imagine a young Rodgers becoming agitated when not being recognized or recruited for his play in high school. Let's all be grateful that he indeed decided not to switch to baseball.

Rodgers regularly refers to his time in junior college as a learning experience and a confidence-builder, and does so again here:

Remember that everything at this time of your life (junior college) is an opportunity, so make the most of them.

Because here's the thing: You're gonna gain so much confidence at Butte.

Rodgers wraps up his entire letter with a statement that is every bit as appropriate as it is cliche. Well, that almost wraps it up, but he cannot resist adding in just a little bit of his trademark humor at the end.

And all the frustration, heartache and disappointment in between will have been worth it. The journey is sweet. So try to enjoy it as much as you can.

And if that doesn't work? The winning numbers to the $600 million Powerball in May 2013 are 10, 13, 14, 22, 52 and 11. Never mind. It's gonna work out.

All in all, this shows to me a superstar athlete who knows where he came from, who knows who helped him to where he is, and who knows how lucky he is to play a sport for a living. We as Packers fans should never take his attitude for granted.

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