Less than 6% of all high school seniors go on to play NCAA men's football. In 2017, only 1.5% of all collegiate football players were drafted to an NFL team. The odds of playing at the highest level are even more astronomical when you're undersized and play one of the sport's most physical positions.
Good thing JJ Birden has never cared to know the odds of success.
He was never the strongest guy on the field—and at 5’10, he certainly wasn’t the biggest—but JJ knew how to seize his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and maximize his success through dedication, perseverance, and hard work.
An NFL career spanning almost a decade helped shape the message that JJ Birden now delivers to audiences around the world. After seeing the successes and failures of others at the highest level, he developed a set of principles that others could follow to achieve greatness in sports, at school, at work, and most importantly, in life.
As an authority on human performance and mental coaching, JJ inspires and empowers audiences to seize the opportunities in their lives to achieve the greatness they are capable of. He has traveled the world delivering his dynamic and engaging keynote presentations to a wide spectrum of diverse audiences with different roles and job titles. The one thing that all of his audiences have in common? They want to achieve their brightest and most successful futures.
If you want to unlock your organization’s true potential and performance, JJ Birden has a message your team needs to hear. Some of the key themes and takeaways from his keynote presentations include:
Contact JJ today to learn what his inspiring story and winning strategies can bring to your business or organization.
10 Reasons to Book JJ Birden
Through compelling stories and examples from his wealth of life experiences both on and off the field as a former NFL Pro, husband, father, and successful businessman, JJ demonstrates how anyone can apply his principles of leadership and performance to achieve their own success.
After years of professional speaking, JJ knows how to deliver an exciting and inspiring message that resonates with dreamers, seekers, strivers, high-achievers, leaders, and followers; in other words, he resonates with anyone who has a goal in life and is ready to achieve it.
The underdog is anyone who feels like they don’t have the skills, talents, abilities, or resources to be great. If someone has the desire to be the best and achieve what’s most important in spite of setbacks, obstacles, and challenges, JJ can show them what it takes.
JJ knows the mental gymnastics that occur in the mind of an NFL Pro and how to apply them in other arenas of life. As a mental coach and motivational speaker, JJ helps audiences realize that the power to change their lives start with mastering their mindset, specifically replacing fear, self-doubt, and disbelief with positive thinking.
It’s never too late to be great--it just requires saying YES to opportunities and putting in the work to improve each day. JJ’s message of beating the odds and overcoming adversity inspires his audience to seize the opportunities in their lives to achieve more, do more, and be more.
In business, as in life, the path to the top is riddled with failure, adversity, setbacks, challenges, and obstacles (F.A.S.C.O.). JJ’s presentations help audiences develop the habit of conquering those “setback” moments and seeing them for what they truly are: opportunities for growth, and for greatness.
As a former NFL Pro, JJ knows the importance of teamwork better than anyone. He helps develop strong teams full of individual contributors who understand the importance of their roles, and shows business leaders how to set the pace and set the bar so team members never question their confidence, discernment, resiliency, or decision-making.
In sports, “player-coaches” are the ones who speak from experience and are able to share tips and insights that only come after theories are put into practice on the field. JJ Birden is a player-coach for the moments in life that matter most--when opportunities knock.
JJ’s dynamic, passionate, high-energy presentations captivate audiences, hold their attention, and inspire them to put his winning principles to action ASAP.
No matter what problems your business or organization is facing, JJ has a keynote presentation for you. Each presentation is tailored to the audience he’s speaking to, which means your group will walk away with tools, strategies, and principles that will help them excel in their specific roles in spite of any setbacks or obstacles in the way of success.
As the President of University of Oregon Alumni San Diego Chapter, I had the pleasure of hiring JJ Birden to speak at the 13th annual Taste of Oregon event May 7, 2016. The event raises scholarship money for disadvantaged freshman that will be attending the University of Oregon. Never in all the prior 12 Tastes of Oregon had I witnessed any speaker hold the audience with such rapt attention as JJ did. Even though the event was outdoors, you could hear a pin drop. He combined his remarkable life story with real-world teachings that inspired and motivated all 87 in attendance. It was a remarkable evening. I recommend anyone considering a guest speaker for any size event to hire JJ Birden.
Mark W. Ouellette
President, University of Oregon Alumni San Diego Chapter
VP of Mortgage Lending
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for agreeing to come and present to our student athletes at Lee’s Summit North High School. One of our department goals is to strive for excellence focusing on character and leadership development, preparing student athletes with essential skills to succeed in life. Your presentation on When Opportunity Knocks 8 Surefire Ways to Take Advantage was a perfect way to assist with this goal.
Your presentation was well received by many of our student athletes. We took some informal surveys after the event and many kids commented that it was well done. They particularly liked how you talked to them on their level. Sometimes when speakers come in to present, they forget about the target audience. Your presentation was tailored for our student-athletes. They also thought many of your ideas were practical and could be implemented in their day to day lives.
I particularly liked the presentation because it reinforced a lot of what we are focusing on as an athletic department. We have discussed many of the ideas that you presented like the value of hard work, leadership, focusing on what you can control, mentoring, etc. that you covered in your presentation. Sometimes it takes a different voice to be heard, and I believe with your real life experiences and instant credibility, the students listened to what you were saying.
Routinely, I attempt to educate and challenge our student-athletes. I have brought in guest speakers in an attempt to assist with this. You were exactly what I was looking for and exactly what was needed to kick off the spring season. Your professionalism and friendly demeanor were appreciated. I appreciated your flexibility to work with our schedule. Thanks again for the excellent presentation.
Mike McGurk, CMAA
Assistant Principal/Activities Director
Lee’s Summit North HS
Thank you so much for speaking to our office earlier this year. You were highly motivational and communicated with our financial advisors in a way that they connected with. Your humanity, compassion, and enthusiasm really come through in your presentation and it’s clearly one of the best I’ve seen. I was at a dinner party Saturday night and 2 people were talking about your presentation, even though it was several months ago. Thank you so much for the positive impact you’ve had on our people!
Kent W. Baker
Senior Vice President – Wealth Management
Senior Financial Advisor
Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc.
Earlier this month our office had the pleasure of hosting JJ Birden for a lunch presentation. His message was impactful, direct, and relative to all of our employees. He weaves stories from his athletic life and blends it with his business acumen to deliver a presentation that is consumable and enjoyable to a wide audience of people. In addition, he and his wife are kind and responsive individuals.
So if you have a group of employees, students, athletes (really his message can work for any group) I would highly recommend JJ to speak at your next event.
In teaching and coaching for more than thirty years, I worked with thousands of students and athletes. Of all of them, JJ Birdens' story is the one that most needs to be told. He was an inspiration to me when he was a young man, and he is even more so now.
If a person could be assured that every classroom or athletic team would be full of JJ Birden type kids, everyone would want to a be a teacher or coach!
Lakeridge High School Track Coach
When JJ Birden talks everyone should listen. I had the opportunity to see JJ compete in HS and then later coach him at Oregon. He not only had great athletic ability but he also was bright and introspective. He has always had a plan and he was smart to take a steady and thought out approach to be successful. The discipline he brought to practice every day was a major part of his success. He was a quiet leader but when he spoke you knew it was very important. As a coach he was one of those you never needed to worry about doing the right thing. The combo of football, track, and academics were no problem to juggle for he had a plan.
Former Oregon Ducks and St. Louis Ram Football Coach
It’s a two way street.
I believe a true story about an individual will potentially uncover parallels in your own life; put a framework around experiences for personal growth, as well help you see new opportunities to open doors….. And run through them. It is true that JJ was born with some incredible god given gifts which allowed him to become the multi-sport star athlete in High School (Triple jump champion, All-State football player) and then on to Division 1 Track & Football and to a lengthy professional career in the NFL.
Yet for me, as a high school friend and teammate I was privileged to know JJ and be affected by him on the ‘other side’. What I mean by this is after 31 years; to this day JJ tells me I had a positive effect on what he became as a football player. What we accomplished on that 1982-1983 Lakeridge football team; helped him become what he was as a player. What I look back on is how JJ had such a positive effect on me as I moved from high school to college and into my business career. In fact it was what JJ did as my HS receiver that gave back to me; JJ opened doors for me as I went on to college at Oregon and into my first job. JJ helped instill confidence that I could accomplish my own personal goals, by staying positive, working hard and believing in myself; I could be successful in whatever I pursued.
JJ has continued to carry this message from his playing days into his professional career. He manages all aspects of his family life and business ventures with a drive to be the best, to make himself successful; while leaving a positive impact on those we works with and on the businesses they touch together. I am fortunate I had the opportunity to grow up with JJ, spend time with our friends in HS, be a part of him and Raina’s growing family and watch his constant drive to be the very best in all that he does!
JJ’s Lakeridge High School Quarterback
Poise, pride, patience and perseverance. A few come by those naturally, while others only strive, and most never succeed. The 15-year-old JJ Birden that walked into my classroom was already hard at work building those character traits. He was and is a natural leader and teacher who inspires those around him. Both personally and professionally, having the right tools and knowing how to implement them at the key moment makes all the difference.
Lakeridge High School Teacher