Levar Fisher is a North Carolina success story. He is considered to be the best athlete to ever come out of Carteret County. He is a perfect example of what faith in God, hard work and serving others can do in impacting thousands of lives.
As one of the best linebackers at N.C. State University, Fisher was the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Defensive Player of the Year in 2000 and a first team All-ACC selection from 1999-2001.
He led the nation in tackles with 15.1 per game and was a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given to the nation’s top defensive player. He was also an Academic All-American.
Levar Fisher retired in 2007 after a knee injury. Fisher played for the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints.
After three seasons in the National Football League (NFL), Fisher was released from the Arizona Cardinals in 2005. He was then signed by the New Orleans Saints in 2006 where he suffered a knee injury, forcing him to retire from the NFL in 2007. He utilizes the same strength and fortitude that got him into the NFL to inspire people of all ages – especially students – through his ministry.
Having spoken in 45 states, Fisher is recognized as a powerful motivational speaker who leaves an imprint on lives. He recently joined me in middle schools outside Raleigh for two days with our Sold Out School Alcohol Abstinence Program.
With great motivation and passion, his story of personal and professional redemption captivated the students. In a recent interview, he spoke about his love for ministry, students, and specifically, the challenges facing this generation of teenagers and their parents.
Q: What is your national program “FREEZE and Think” about?
A: This program has taken off to a new level, Roman, and I’m loving it. It makes parents, teachers and students aware of the decisions students make right now that are going to dictate their future. “FREEZE” represents an acronym: Focus on what’s important, Realize who you are, Eliminate negative influences, Encourage others, Zone-in on your goals and finally, Expect success.
Q: You have traveled all over the United States speaking to students, teachers and coaches. Do you think we are facing a real challenge with this generation today?
A: There are currently a lot of unique issues and many parents don’t know how to deal with them, especially bullying.
As a young parent myself, resources are helpful, but when something actually happens to your child, ‘What do you do?’
I let parents know that much of it is about the power of your words, letting your kids know you’re with them and beside them through it all.
When parents make themselves accessible to their children, it makes a world of difference.
Q: Why is it so critical that parents and our society take such problems seriously?
A: We can’t make excuses for our children. There are a great number of kids taking their lives every day. And many of these cases have something to do with a bullying situation at school. I was bullied.
I got laughed at, made fun of and picked on. It affects you greatly.
But this generation is taking it to another level. I get letters from students who are hurting themselves or planning on hurting themselves.
We at Fisher of Men, Inc. are in the process of setting up a counseling hotline for students.
Through follow up contact with students we have been able to reach out to some of these kids by helping them and giving them hope.
Q: How are you able to integrate your Christian testimony when you address others with your program?
A: My entire life is my testimony. I share with the kids that God is the reason I’m here today as He directs my every step. When the kids hear that and also about my professional football career, they say, ‘Wow, this is real!’ My testimony always brings them to the question of whether or not they have a relationship with God.
Q: You wrote a book by the same name of your program, FREEZE and Think. Who is the book’s audience, and is it similar to what you do in your programs?
A: It’s for youth anywhere between 6th-12th grade and even college students. This book tells a lot of different stories: from my own life, some of my friends and many others. It involves stories of relationships, drug and alcohol use, bullying, etc.
At the end of each chapter or story we ask questions like, ‘What would you have done differently,’ or ‘How could a student might have handled it him/herself?’
The book puts the FREEZE and Think acronym to use by showing these kids real situations, and helping them find themselves in certain situation. You can find the book at freezeandthink.com.
Q: Why is impacting this generation of students important to you?
A: When I was teenager I almost got into the car with some friends who were drinking but for some reason I didn’t.
That very same night my friend got into a car accident and lost his life. He was drinking and driving. These kids need to hear truth today.
I go into these events speaking the facts, and when I speak I’m testifying about the life that could’ve happened to me. So, by kids freezing and thinking, they won’t get in the car with the wrong people.
Q: Have you applied these principles across other areas your life?
A: There have been several situations in my past where this simple process has saved me, such as in my marriage. I want to help youngsters understand that the decisions they make today are going to shape their tomorrow.
For more information about Levar Fisher, visit his websites freezeandthink.com or levarfisher.com. Parents, schools and coaches can find many valuable resources on these sites. Fisher also responds personally to e-mails.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Roman’s Sold Out Sports Talk Radio program on American Family Radio can be heard in 200 cities nationally or streaming live at afr.net. It’s all about faith, family and sports. Visit his website: soldouttv.com; Facebook page: Roman Gabriel III Fan Page; connect with him on Twitter: romangabriel3rd; email him: [email protected].)