Dreaming Beyond Football w/ Tobruk Blaine

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Over the past couple of years I have been seeing a lot of Division 1 football teams start programs that help prepare their athletes for life after ball. However, one program in particular has caught my eye and in my opinion is doing it better than all the rest. San Jose State University’s Beyond Football program should be looked to as the gold standard of this group of athlete preparedness curriculums and I got to talk with the mastermind behind it all.

Tobruk Blaine is the Director of Beyond Football at San Jose State University and serves as the position coach of life on the team. Prior to building the SJSU Beyond Football program from the ground up, Tobruk was an award-winning educator and championship cheerleading coach. In this interview we talk about how Tobruk’s past experiences as an athlete, teacher and coach influenced the structure of her program and she gives us advice on what you can be doing to prepare yourself for success after retirement from your sport.

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Below you will find a list of talking points we touch on throughout our discussion:

  • How Tobruk applies her 10 years of teaching and 15 years of coaching experience to her job.

  • The benefits of being located in the Silicon Valley.

  • The importance of Coach Brent Brennan’s buy in with Beyond Football.

    “If we handle our business off the field then everything on the field will work itself out”

  • Tobruk’s journey to San Jose State and starting the Beyond Football Program from scratch.

  • The similarities and differences between Tobruk’s role at SJSU and Brittany Wagner’s role in Last Chance U.

  • The evolution of the Beyond the Football Program and why community service is an area of focus.

  • Pillars of the program:

    • Explore (Don’t know what they don’t know) – Providing opportunities for exposure.

    • Inspire through service.

    • Cultivate skills, knowledge and relationships.

  • How Tobruk helps her players craft their story outside of football.

  • How Tobruk manages to turn out high participation rates for a voluntary program.

  • Ellen Show Shout Out and how this contributed to some of Beyond Football’s success:

  • Why athletes need a side hustle.

  • The similarities between coaching cheerleading and coaching beyond football.

  • Tobruk’s transition to life after cheerleading.

  • What separates the SJSU Beyond Football program from other similar programs around the country.

  • How the program has benefitted athletes who were forced to retire due to injuries.

  • How Tobruk torn her ACL while coaching.

  • Don’t just go to school

  • Networking advice.

  • Who the toughest SJSU football player is.




SJSU Beyond Football:

Website | InstaGram | Twitter

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