5 Questions with Detroit Lions Football Education Director

Angela Hernandez

| 4 min read

When he's not busy running youth summer camps or safety clinics, Detroit Lions Football Education Director Chris Fritzsching spends time visiting schools across the state as part of the Detroit Lions Play 60 school assembly program, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Coach Chris recently shared some of his own tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle with the MI Blues Perspectives team: MIBP: What would your tell your younger self about the importance of being healthy?
I’m a true believer of the saying “More is caught than taught,” meaning kids will have a tendency of learning by observing what you do more than they will learn by what you are saying to them.
I would have done a better job staying away from the fast food and pop. I often fell for the convenience of it all. Once I understood how I was fueling my body (intake) and how it affected my performance (outtake), I realized my body was more effective and more efficient. I’ve been much better consuming in moderation and as a result, I feel much better about myself and I have much more energy to accomplish other goals and tasks I want to achieve. If I can steer my kids in a right direction at an early age (importance of school work, healthy eating, exercise, financial discipline, etc.) by my good habits, this can help them develop those same good habits even earlier than when I learned them. MIBP: How do you get active for 60 minutes every day? I say active with group training classes, lifting weights, coaching football and taking walks. I wear a Fitbit Charge and my wife and mother also have one. We track our workouts, steps, etc., challenge each other weekly and look to hold each other accountable for taking at least 10,000 steps a day. Monitoring our caloric intake is just as important. Being able to see your progress charts (steps, calories, weight, etc.) over time can provide some tremendous motivation. My family also enjoys playing catch, biking, swimming, basketball, and trivia games (exercise for the brain). We didn’t have the video games and electronics kids have nowadays. We had no choice but to go outside and play sports, stay inside and play games or use your mind to create your own activity. MIBP: How do you continue your healthy habits while traveling? Traveling can be a grind but you can’t let it deter you from exercising or making yourself a better person. I make it a point of scheduling my workout time. Whether I’m on the road or at home, scheduling time to work out and exercise is just as important as eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. Scheduling my workout becomes part of my day, part of my routine. There should be no excuse not to spend 1 hour (or just over 4% of your day) exercising. If you can’t find 4% of your day to better yourself through exercise, you should consider changing your priorities. MIBP: How do you stay motivated? I look at my wife and two kids every day and say “There’s my motivation.” My motivation to become a better husband, a better father, a better person. To make decisions that will impact my family in a positive manner for as many times possible, for the longest time possible. MIBP: How has football helped you to be successful professionally? Football has helped me grow tremendously. From learning what it is like to have to work hard to accomplish a goal to understanding success is dependent on how well you work together, football teaches qualities that can be applied in all walks of life. I’ve learned more than a little bit from every coach I’ve had the opportunity to play for and/or coach with. The game truly is a great teacher of life. These are some of the lessons Roary and I teach at our summer youth football camps across Michigan. To learn more about Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's partnership with the Detroit Lions Play 60 school assembly program visit www.detroitlions.com/play60. Click here to view the Detroit Lions summer youth football camp schedule. If you enjoyed this blog, you might be interested in reading: Mango-Peach Workout Recovery Smoothie Recipe from Detroit Lions executive chef Joe Nader #MIKidsCan: Motivational Quotes from Football’s Best https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs8gx60fPAo
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association