Lessons from Cooper Kupp
Sometimes it’s the rivalry between the teams, sometimes it’s the commercials, sometimes it’s the halftime show, sometimes it’s a controversial play or call.
But the story dominating the conversations following the Super Bowl this year has been that of LA Rams’ wide receiver Cooper Kupp who, with 1:25 minutes remaining in the game, caught the pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford to make the winning touchdown for the LA Rams. The journey of Cooper Kupp to that winning touchdown has been one of focus, faith and determination.
Cooper Kupp was born and raised in Yakima, Washington. Both his father and his grandfather had played football professionally, so football was a part of his life from the very start. They inspired and encouraged him with their faithfulness and determination.
When he did not receive a scholarship offer from a top-rated school, Kupp accepted an offer from Eastern Washington University and focused on learning, working hard and winning. He graduated with a degree in Behavioral Economics and a helmetful of records for his play in the Big Sky Conference. His commitment paid off and he was chosen by the LA Rams in the 2017 NFL draft.
In his senior year of high school, Kupp met his girlfriend and future wife Anna Croskrey. They married in June 2015 and now have two sons. They have described their shared Christian faith as the center of their family and are unabashed in expressing their confidence in God’s leadership in their lives.
During the offseason last year, Kupp took his training regime to new levels –combining computer analytics and research with a workout system focused on efficiency, responsiveness, speed and agility. During the regular season, Kupp and LA Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford spent hours together discussing football strategy and how to improve their play together. As their relationship grew, so did their confidence in one another – and their connection impacted the thinking and productivity of the whole team. The combined work and determination paid off with the Rams’ successful post-season and Super Bowl win.
Even though being a professional athlete was never on my personal horizon, I am inspired by Cooper Kupp. His story reminds us that by being true to our values, focused on improvement, and attentive to God’s leadership in our lives, we can also influence others positively and achieve extraordinary goals.