I had the pleasure of being able to interview Chicago Bears left tackle Jermon Bushrod prior to his upcoming charity gold tournament down in King Goerge, Virginia.
Jermon’s charity is called Visualize and Rize. You can find out more information at VisualizeandRize.org
The 3rd annual Visualize and Rize Charity Golf Tournament will be held on Friday June 14th at Cameron Hills Golf Course. The money raised at the event will go towards book scholarships and athletic programs for local students and for the local YMCA.
A free youth football camp will be held the following day for kids ages 6-14. The purpose of the camp is to help build character and teach each child the fundamentals of football.
What made you start the The Visualize and Rize Foundation?
The visualize came from my offensive line coach. He was always preaching to me day in and day out that you have to visualize yourself doing something. He brought it to my attention on more of a football term, dealing with getting your technique down, doing this or doing that. He was saying you carry that on into life. When I figured out we wanted to start this charity organization and now getting into this foundation status we kind of took that and have taken it into everyday life. If you can’t see yourself getting good grades or getting things turned around in the right manner or having good relationships with your family and friends….if you can’t step up to the plate and do it, it will never happen.
What do you enjoy the most about working with the kids at your football camp?
Just getting out there and showing them that getting out and being active with each other outside on the playground or on the field or on the grass or on the dirt. It really doesn’t make a difference as long as your active with your peers and having a good time and when they can see these NFL players doing it and showing the time and effort. It puts a big smile on their face and just motivates them to be better off.
What advice do you give to the young people who you come across that want to play in the NFL?
I tell them at first straight up that you got to get the grades first, you have to graduate. You have to make sure you’re not getting into trouble. As long as you’re taking care of the school stuff and you try to carry yourself in a positive way to the best of your ability outside school and stuff like that. Football is a privilege and can be taken away from you. We don’t have to play football. It’s not like anybody is pressuring us to play. It’s just a privilege to play this game and it comes down to the training and doing everything that you’re supposed to do. Working on those weaknesses and strengthening those strengths and just having a passion and love for the game because you know this game is tough, the training is tough, practice is tough, playing in games is tough. Your body is sore, it doesn’t feel all that good. You got to have a passion, and a want to get it done.
What made you choose to sign with the Chicago Bears?
They showed a lot of interest. That made me feel good at the end of the day. This is a great organization. I had the opportunity to play under a great organization, a great coaching staff, we had a great locker room in New Orleans. Then the fact that I get to come here to Chicago. Unfortunately we couldn’t work things out in New Orleans, but the quicker you come to grips with things and realize that change is not a bad thing the better off you’ll be and you can start to move forward.
What did you learn during your time with the Saints?
Just how to be a pro. You know how to work together. How to make sure you’re ready to play come Sunday because at the end of the day it’s just about doing your part to have success.
Is the Bears offense a lot different from the Saints offense?
A little bit. Different terminology, different techniques here and there. For the most part it’s the same philosophies. It’s just about everyone getting on the same page now.
What do you attribute your success in the NFL to?
Just making sure I’m ready to go come Sunday. Studying my opponent as much as I can until the game hits. Just doing whatever I have to do to make sure that this team is succesful. Just doing my part, working hard with the team.
What’s your secret to staying on top of your game during the offseason?
Well, you got to get after it pretty good with the training and all that good stuff. Like I said earlier with strengthening your strengths and definitely strengthening your weaknesses. Trying to figure out the things you have to work on in the offseason so you’re fighting not to make the same mistakes next year. Really honestly it’s about taking care of your body. You get those messages during the weeks, getting stretched, chiropractor if needed. Honestly whatever you need to do to make sure you feel good physically and making sure you feel good mentally going into each game.
What are some of your goals for the upcoming season?
My goals really don’t change. My goals pretty much stay the same. I write them down at the beginning of the year. It’s strengthen my weaknesses and strengthen my strengths. Continue to study my opponents to the best of my ability week in and week out. I just want to be mentally prepared I want my body in the best shape it can be. I want to work together with my team. Try to get better day in and day out. I don’t want to lose any day, I want to win the day as much as I can and that’s really what’s important to me.
Once again it was a pleasure interviewing Jermon and I want to thank him and his agent Brittany Gilman for their time.