Catching Up with Former Reps: Courtney Hall
Former NFL center and guard Courtney Hall spent 8 seasons with the San Diego Chargers, and was selected to four pro bowls. He began his collegiate career at Rice University where he graduated with a dual degree in Economics and Managerial Studies. We caught up with Courtney and he gave us insight into his life during and after football.
What is your current career?
I’m a Venture Capitalist.
How would you describe your experience leaving the game?
It was a difficult transition. Difficult meaning, I don’t think anyone’s fully prepared to not just give up the physical aspects of football but the emotional side. As I tell people all the time, if you think you’re prepared you’re not. No one’s ever prepared even if the finances are right for leaving the game.
What are you most proud of during your time as a player rep?
I was a player rep from 89 to 97. I came in the year after the strike. Plan B free agency continuing to look out for the players who set the foundation for the game and starting the Players Inc.
How has being a player rep impacted you personally or professionally?
The relationships that you’re able to make off the football field really gives you a peak into the real-world business at a board level. You start understanding the business of football. It’s not just on the field and the numbers in the bank accounts. There’s the politics that are involved. There’s maneuvering, persuasion, and building coalitions. Reading through CBA documents, your rights, and long-term planning for continued viability. Also, there’s the big responsibility of caring for not just the current players but the past and future players. You are the front line in making sure the legacy lasts. It’s like being a parent, you’ve got to take care of your mom and dad in the past, but you’ve also got to make sure the kids you have are going to be prosperous.
What advice would you give yourself looking back?
A few people at each and every point in my life. I had a trainer, who had been to a couple of Super bowls with the Redskin said, “Courtney, obviously you’re going to prepare for the game but make sure you soak it in and take in this moment”. Even with my wife who’s a federal judge would say this is a journey that we’re all on. I have the tendency to focus too much on the point where I’m at and getting kind of freaked out about where I am. Instead of understanding that life is a journey and that you’re going to flow through different stages. To appreciate it and learn from it. Also, to be able to teach people from your experiences. I think that me just understanding the journey of life, flowing through careers, meeting different people, and learning from that made the difference.
Have you taken advantage of any of the services of the PA since retirement?
Absolutely, I’ve taken advantage of the counselling services, conventions, and the discounts. I’m always in regular contact with people at the NFLPA offices. There’s the business with the One Team Collective because of my involvement in venture capital. The YMCA benefits is also great for me as well as the Former Players Meetings. I try to take advantage of as many of the benefits that they offer.
What’s next for you?
What’s next for me is today. Every day is different and as I’ve learned plans can change at the drop of a hat. As I said before, life’s a journey and for me it’s just about being prepared for the next thing that happens. Be prepared but not too concerned. Thing’s change at the drop of a hat, whether it’s venture capital or may be film which I’m working on. There’s a lot of things and I’m just excited for the unknown.