Delegation Allows This Pro Linebacker to Make Time For His Family

Delegation Allows This Pro Linebacker to Make Time For His Family
When it comes to athleticism, Shaq Thompson is a phenom—he was drafted by the professional baseball team in Boston but, after a year on their rookie team, he chose to play football instead. In college he was twice the recipient of the Paul Hornung Award, which is given to the nation’s most versatile college football player, and followed that up by becoming a first round pick in the 2015 draft. Despite being a professional linebacker who routinely leads his team in tackles, he makes time every day to play with his two young children, walk his dog, and manage the Shaq Thompson Legacy Fund, which helps provide children from low-income families with access to dental care.

shaq thompson working out for smoothie king

Thompson’s days start before 6 a.m., when he gets up to walk his English bulldog, Smokey. During the season, he’s at the stadium for work by 7 a.m., but only after his daily COVID test, which is part of pro football’s current protocol. Then he’ll get to work on some physical therapy—these days, he’s focusing on a groin injury that he’s rehabbing, and by 8 a.m. he is eating breakfast. His favorite of the moment consists of eggs, bacon, pancakes, and fruit, which fuels him up for a day of hard training.

High Intensity Workout Veggie Mango

His training hasn’t changed much in the pandemic, despite the masks and social distance. “It’s just a little minor adjustment that I have to make,” he says, taking it all in stride. In fact, Thompson has found a silver lining: The mask, he says, “has helped me learn to control my breathing,” which is a critical component of any athlete’s arsenal.

shaq thompson for smoothie king

After training, which can range from contact drills to weight lifting, he’ll head home at around 3 p.m., but not before stopping at Smoothie King first. His go-to order is a High Intensity Workout Veggie Mango smoothie that has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. The blend of mangoes, spinach, almonds and bananas, and FITAID with paleo protein creates a 40/30/30 balance of carbs, fat, and proteins that fuels his body with key nutrients critical for muscle recovery.

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Once Thompson puts his two kids to bed, often after a game of soccer with them and his partner, he breaks out his computer and gets to work managing the Shaq Thompson Legacy Fund. The nonprofit helps kids access dental health resources in Sacramento, where Thompson grew up, and Charlotte, where he now lives. He was inspired to give back by his mother, who would open her house to “any and everybody” when Shaq was growing up in Sacramento.

“My mom wasn’t able to take us [Shaq is the youngest of four brothers] to the dentist and get our teeth cleaned every six months,” Thompson says of his childhood. When Thompson found himself in a position to follow his mom’s example and give back, he knew just how to do it. Lack of access to dental health, he says, can weaken an individual’s confidence, and has even been linked to mental health issues. “Nowadays, bullying is crazy,” he says. “I want to help kids who can’t afford to get their teeth fixed, and help build self-esteem.”

shaq thompson for smoothie king

Previously, he’d end his day like many of us, tapping away at his phone and updating his social media feed. When he ran his own social media, he says, “I was just on it, on it, on it, for like 3 hours and not even knowing time went by.” He recently decided to take a different tack, and scale back, outsourcing his social media upkeep to a professional agency. “In this profession, you have got to find time for your family,” he says. So he’ll wind the day down with his phone plugged in, fully focused on his partner, and planning the next day’s long to-do list.

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