In 7 Words, Kansas City Chiefs Tight End–and Taylor Swift Boyfriend–Travis Kelce Gave Some Heartfelt Advice…

In 7 Words, Kansas City Chiefs Tight End--and Taylor Swift Boyfriend--Travis Kelce Gave Some Heartfelt Advice...


What should you do when you get a unique opportunity, one with the potential to change your whole life? Don’t let it overwhelm you. Know that you’re there because you have the potential to succeed. And learn as much as you can.



That advice comes from Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who helped lead his team to a Super Bowl victory this year, and is perhaps best known for his romantic relationship with Taylor Swift. And although he gave this advice to new Chiefs player and Welsh rugby star Louis Rees-Zammit, Kelce could also have been giving it to himself.

Rees-Zammit comes to the Chiefs via the NFL’s International Player Pathway program, which was launched in 2017 and is intended to bring more players from outside the United States into American football, helping to raise the game’s visibility overseas. Non-US players are obviously at a big disadvantage, as they don’t grow up watching or playing football, as most American players do. So the NFL created an incentive for teams to take a chance on IPP participants. During the pre-season, when teams are allowed a roster of 90 players, those who sign IPP players can have a roster of 91.

Only five IPP players have made the active roster.
That incentive goes away on August 29, though, when each team must whittle its pre-season roster down to 53 active players. At that point, the IPP player takes up a regular roster slot. Since 2017, only five IPP players have made it onto the active roster of an NFL team.

So Rees-Zammit knows he’s something of a long shot, and that he has a lot of catching up to do. “Obviously the odds are against me,” he told NBC News back in January. Still, he said, he “came to the real realization that, if I don’t do it now, I’ll probably regret it for the rest of my life.”

The Chiefs announced the signing on March 29, and by the time Kelce recorded this week’s episode of New Heights, the podcast he co-hosts with his brother, former Philadelphia Eagle Jason Kelce, he had already spoken with Rees-Zammit. Kelce shared the advice he gave his new teammate with the New Heights audience.

Try not to let it overwhelm you as much as it can. And just know that everybody believes that you have the potential to be able to play. So just absorb as much as you can.

While this is great advice for Rees-Zammit, it could also be great advice for Kelce himself, who is facing the great fame and increased opportunity brought on by dating the most famous woman in the world. He was certainly high-profile before he connected with Swift–he once had his own reality series, and hosted Saturday Night Live. But Kelce’s involvement with the pop icon has kicked his celebrity to a whole new level.

Thanks to legions of Swifties, New Heights won Podcast of the Year at the iHeartPodcast awards, and is now worth $100 million, according to one estimate. Meanwhile Kelce recently signed on to host a new game show called Are You Smarter Than a Celebrity on Amazon Prime. He’ll undoubtedly do a great job, but he might not have gotten that opportunity without the extra fame that dating Swift has given him. (In one small example of the Swift effect, the brothers noted in the episode that their green New Heights baseball cap had sold out after Swift was seen wearing it when she attended Coachella with Kelce.)

Kelce’s advice to Rees-Zammit is something we probably should all keep in mind when we come upon a huge new opportunity–a new big customer, an exciting new role, or the chance to stand on a larger stage than we have before. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Know that you’re there because you’re capable of success. And learn as much as you can.

There’s a growing audience of readers who receive a daily text from me with a self-care or motivational micro-challenge or tip. Often, they text me back and we wind up in a conversation. (Want to learn more? Here’s some information about the texts and a special invitation to a two-month free trial.) Many are entrepreneurs or business leaders who have seen great opportunities of their own. Remembering not to let it overwhelm you and that you’re there because you’re up to the challenge can really help you in moments like those.

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