Employee Spotlight: Slade Norris
Growing up as a 3 sport athlete in Battle Ground, WA, sports have always been a major influence on Slade’s life. After lettering in baseball and football at Jesuit High School in Portland, Or, Slade walked on with Oregon State University’s football program. Upon earning a scholarship and working his way into a starting position, Slade received all Pac-10 honors for his senior season. Leaving Oregon State with a bachelor’s degree, Slade was drafted in the fourth round by the Oakland Raiders. Over the next 4 years, he played with the Seattle Seahawks, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Detroit Lions becoming a vested player.
Life after football has been as exciting as his play on the field. Slade is an entrepreneur in his own right as he started his business in Washington. He co-hosted multiple sports broadcast shows and has applied his sports knowledge, passion for football, and business acumen to further improving Rocksolid. Upon joining Rocksolid in 2015, Slade has been one of the top Regional Sales Manager for the company. He has made it his passion to help Rocksolid preserve the game of football which has given him so much.
Q&A with Slade
Q: What is the #1 thing about Rocksolid that you feel all coaches should be made aware of.
Rocksolid is the future of football. There has to be a change to the way we practice if we want to continue playing our games under the current rules. We are taking a model used by the NFL and bringing it to the high school and youth level. Rocksolid gives coaches a chance to work great technique all year long while keeping the players protected. We can confidently say that after years of successfully changing programs, this directly correlates to more fundamentally sound football adding W’s in the win column.
Q: Why do you feel youth flag football needs soft shell protective headgear.
To me, flag football is going to be the savior of football and Rocksolid is leading the charge nationwide. As I’m sure you are aware, football has been under attack throughout all mainstream media causing a real threat to the future of the sport. Due to this fear of contact, flag football has really begun to flourish around the country. Parents are looking at the “non-contact” safer option as a way to give their children the football experience without exposing them to the risks that arise from tackle football. Many of these kids will grow up into high school tackle players and without the option of flag they never would have been given the opportunity to play the sport. Rocksolid puts this fear to rest providing parents the protection they desire, giving kids the experience they crave, and helping league directors achieve growth they constantly strive for.
Q: What in your past impacted you in your decision to work with Rocksolid.
As an ex-player, I have seen some of the negative aspects of football. I have seen and experienced broken bones, concussions, even watched a fellow player drop into a seizure in the locker room. With all that being said, I truly believe that today’s youth needs football now more than ever. The life lessons that the sport provided for me were truly invaluable teaching me how to push myself beyond a perceived limit, work together to achieve a common goal, love a team mate no matter the race, religion, or back ground, etc. I want this sport to be around for decades to come and upon learning of Rocksolid’s company vision, I have not found any better solution for the problems the sport is facing.
Q: What’s one football tip you want to pass along to players looking to improve their game.
Not everyone can control the physical gifts they are given, however, you can always control your effort. The reason I was able to play at football’s highest level is because I was dedicated to outworking everyone else. I was never the biggest, the fastest, or the strongest, but I can guarantee you that in the fourth quarter my opponent would be worn out, and I would be just getting started. The best compliment I believe a player can receive is that they are relentless. Be relentless.