Danny Clark is a valued member of the Insightful Player® team. To be named to this team, one must be a person of integrity, such as a current or former NFL player, who shares their personal message of hope for the sole purpose of lifting the spirits of all, especially children.
NFL Former Player, Danny Clark
Leaves a Positive Legacy
Every Time … He Leaves a Room!
Every morning when Danny Clark wakes up, he decides to be happy. He has developed the habit of mentally setting an internal reset button when things go awry.
Danny takes the idea of leaving a positive legacy very seriously. He is so committed to leading a life of significance that he sets out each day with the intention of leaving a positive legacy every time he leaves a room!
He passionately believes his calling is to inspire others, especially kids, to take the road less traveled and be all they can be and help others to do the same.
Danny grew up in Country Club, Illinois, one of five boys raised by his father. Danny discovered his passion for football at the age of eight. His father respected that passion and leveraged it to inspire Danny to hit the books. C’s were not acceptable; Danny had to be great in school in order to play football.
”My father always encouraged me when I got knocked down both on and off the field. He inspired me to get right back up and fight stronger and longer.”
Danny’s father also taught him the importance of humility and respect. The elder Clark was consistently polite to others even in situations where most people would lose their temper. “His example of treating people with respect, no matter what, rubbed off on me at a very young age,” Danny said.
Danny is grateful for everything about his life. His road wasn’t as easy as you might imagine. He was a great student in high school and an all-conference quarterback and linebacker in high school. He was ecstatic when he received a football scholarship to the University of Illinois. However, his dream of going to college and playing football with hopes of making it into the NFL almost came to a screeching halt because he became a father to a baby girl at age 19.
Danny’s father helped him gain perspective and realize that his daughter was his priority, much bigger than football and college.
Danny became wholeheartedly committed to making sure his daughter had the best life possible. She gave him comfort and the confidence to figure out a way, with the help of the baby’s mother, to do it all – put his baby first, go to school and play football.
Danny credits his daughter, Dasia, for his becoming a professional athlete. She inspired him to work his tail off both in the classroom and on the football field.
“I want kids to know that adversity always brings you something great.”
He learned on the football field that when things are going great, don’t get too high; when things are tough, don’t get too low. He has worked out a way to keep things in perspective – he gives himself 24 hours to celebrate a win and 24 hours to mourn a loss.
He created the “Danny Clark 55 Foundation,” inspired by his son, Daniel Clark the 5th (Nicky), who was born in March 2002. Three months premature and weighing just 1lb., 13 oz., Nicky was given a 35%-40% chance of living. Danny prayed hard that Nicky would grow and be healthy. Their prayers were answered and today, Nicky is a healthy boy.
Danny was impressed with the level of care his son got at the hospital neonatal intensive care unit but noticed that more support was needed for the newborns’ families. He started the foundation to help families affected by premature births and eventually broadened its services to underprivileged children. He runs several events a year including mind, body and soul retreats for kids and an annual fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House of New York.
For several years, every Monday night during football season, he held a fundraiser where teammates and the public watched Monday Night Football together. His teammates also supported his annual “Shop with a Jock.” At Christmas time, they took kids from group homes to Wal-Mart to buy gifts for themselves.
Danny Clark is truly an Insightful Player® team member who is filled with love and gives of himself freely.
Instant replay of Danny’s guiding principles:
- Place God in everything you think, say and do.
- Choose happiness every day, regardless of what happened the day before
- Inject your greatest passions into all your responsibilities in life and strive to be your very best.
- Treat everyone with respect, always.
- Look for the blessings inside adversity.
- Gain wisdom from mistakes.
- Grow your talents and mentor others to do the same.
- Dramatically expand your perspective of what’s possible – let your passion guide you.
The Insightful Player® series is brought to you by Coach Chrissy Carew, Hall of Fame Master Certified Personal and Business Coach and Author of INSIGHTFUL PLAYER: Football Pros Lead A Bold Movement of Hope. Chrissy has been deeply inspired by her father, the late Coach Walter Carew, Sr. Her father is in several Halls of Fame as a high school football coach and baseball coach (as well as high school and college athlete). He used sports to help kids build strong character and teach them valuable life skills. The Insightful Player® initiative was created to help make our world a much better place by inspiring youth. To contact Chrissy Carew visit http://www.insightfulplayer.com or call 603-897-0610.
©2009 Insightful Player, LLC
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