June 4, 2019

This email is directed at any NFLPA-certified contract advisor interested in how the NFL draft works as well as the months leading up to the draft. Note: We are not endorsed, sponsored, or otherwise affiliated with the NFLPA.
Reality Check
At this point, you've registered for the test but we're still two months away from touching down in D.C. for the exam. Here are a few things you might be going through, and a few things to help you keep your wits about you.
Killing the clock: Every year, I speak to people who register and pay their money in January, but don't receive source documents from the NFLPA and receive confirmation for weeks, even months. That's not unusual at all. In fact, if you've already been confirmed and already have your source documents, that might even be considered early. The PA has hundreds of applicants to sort through, and the union isn't always the most efficient organization, anyway. I've heard of would-be agents receiving confirmation less than two weeks before the exam. Not kidding.
Going it alone: In 2016, three agents with three years or less as certified agents had draftees in the top 100 picks. That same year, one first-year agent, former ITL intern Murphy McGuire, had a player drafted (Dolphins KR  Jakeem Grant by the Dolphins in the sixth round). It may not look like it, but these were huge accomplishments. All of these agents had two things in common. One, they were all independent, and had no connections to big agencies and weren't related to any of the players they represented. Two, they were all ITL clients. If you're like them, alone in the game and trying to figure it out for yourself, my message to you is that you can do this. There were several success stories from independent agents this year, too. You can do it, and we can help. I'd humbly suggest that it's a lot easier to do it if you are  part of our team.
"I thought I knew football:" As you peruse the camp reports excitedly, you might find yourself getting a little confused sorting out  the difference between draftees, undrafted free agents and tryout players. This is just one time you might get a little confused and start to lose confidence in yourself. Don't do that. The business of football can be a little tricky, but take it one day at a time and it will all work out. Every agent was in your shoes at one time.

Get it right the first time: I f you fall short of motivation, realize that the NFLPA did not offer the agent exam the last time it was negotiating a new CBA, so if you fail this summer, you might have to wait two years for a retake. 
Second time around: If this is your second try with the test, you may be a little intimidated. After all, if things don't work out this year, the road to NFLPA certification becomes  a lot harder. It's understandable if you're nervous, but don't be. As long as you study steadily for the next 6-7 weeks and budget your time on test day, you'll make it. 
Maybe this email didn't apply to you, and you don't have any of these afflictions. Splendid. However, things might change, and if they do, revert back to this email. We specialize in trying to keep people taking this exciting leap as upbeat as possible.

Inside The League is the consulting service for the football industry. We work with the contract advisors for about two-thirds of active NFL players as well as the combine trainers, financial planners, scouts, coaches and other pro league organizers that make up the game. Cost is $29.95/month, and you can cancel at any time. To register, click here. Also check out our new free blog, Succeed in Football. Copyright Neil Stratton and ITL.

Sincerely, Neil Stratton
Inside the League

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