Back in April, Damon Sheehy Guiseppi was sleeping on the ground outside the NFL Combine training facility of Pete Bommarito in Miami Florida. He couldn’t afford a hotel room because Sheehy had just spent his last $200. on Bommarito’s training services in preparation for a scouting tryout the Cleveland Browns were holding in Miami.
Did I mention Sheehy wasn’t even invited to the tryout?
Because he wasn’t.
How did he get to participate?
He showed up early and told the man in charge of the event that he knew Cleveland’s vice-president of Player Personnel Alonzo Highsmith and was supposed to be on the tryout list.
Then after doing so he went and found Highsmith (who he didn’t know at all), introduced himself and talked his way into a tryout on the spot.
It earned him an opportunity to run the 40 yard dash. And run it he did…
To the tune of a 4.3 which if you didn’t know is insanely fast by any standard.
Which earned him an opportunity to show them he could catch punts well…
Which then earned him an invitation to Berea Ohio for a workout at the Browns facility a week later.
The only problem was the plane ticket he bought from his home in Arizona down to Miami for the tryout was a one-way ticket. So he had to kill a week in Miami.
He slept on a patch of grass outside Bommarito’s training facility, charged his phone at a nearby laundromat and showered at a 24 Hour Fitness using some free guest passes. And get this, he scored his meals from walking up to side street cookouts, sometimes only eating once or twice a day.
He used his mom’s frequent flyer miles for a ticket to Berea Ohio for his workout with the Browns.
Before we finish this story, let’s rewind a few years first…
Sheehy never played football in high school, got cut at the first junior college he tried out for and technically got cut at his second stop, Phoenix Junior College too. (Don’t worry, I never heard of it either)
The only reason he was able to make the team at Phoenix College was because even though he didn’t get a call back after trying out at a prospect day, he somehow managed to get his hands on a summer workout schedule and showed up for summer workouts. Every. Single. Day. Seeing his work ethic and talent, by the end of the summer, the coaching staff simply couldn’t say no to him.
When an assistant coach asked him if he could return kicks, Sheehy said yes even though he never returned kicks before in his life! He wasn’t even supposed to be there either and basically talked his way onto that team.
But he was able to walk the talk on the field through sheer force of will and determination.
After turning himself into an All-American return specialist two years later he didn’t have a single scholarship offer at a four year college.
So, Sheehy dropped out of junior college, applied for a credit card and maxed it out traveling with his game film in hand to every major Division I school from Arizona to Florida. His only request when he arrived at the coaches offices… Watch my game film.
After all that he still had no offers, only one year of eligibility left and was nine credits short of being eligible and no money left to pay for those nine credits.
So he bet on himself. Again…
He trained in Arizona for two years straight, volunteering to run routes for quarterbacks preparing for the NFL combine and draft to sharpen his skills but also to make as many NFL connections as possible.
Okay, now fast forward to a couple weeks ago…
After not playing a down of football since 2016 Sheehy impressed the Browns enough at his workout that he earned himself a contract.
And last week he had an 85 yard kick return for a touchdown in his first preseason game as a Brown.
My point with all this?
Browns WR Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi is living out his dream.
He bet on himself when no one else would. He went all in on his professional development. Literally down to his last dime.
Most people have exponentially more resources than Sheehy but they don’t have a fraction of his resourcefulness, courage and commitment.
What is it that you “really want”?
Now would you invest your last $200. in professional development for that?
Knowing it meant:
- Sleeping on the street
- Asking strangers for meals
- Your only water is at a health club and your only electricity at a laundromat
And you do all that just so you could attend that professional development, in order to then…
Try to talk your way into an opportunity to showcase your skills to a potential employer or customer?
With no guarantee of anything.
And all of this after hundreds of doors were slammed in your face, your credit card maxed out and your bank account was down to zero.
I don’t know about you but I want more people like Sheehy in my world. Underdogs who go all in and bet on themselves when the rest of the world won’t.
When you’re hungry enough, you’ll find a way.
When you’re not, you’ll find an excuse.
To surround yourself with other hungry underdogs who bet on themselves, join us here:
P.S. I just told you about everything Sheehy did. Tomorrow I’ll tell you about what he DIDN’T do. To be continued…