Michael Strahan Reveals Mantra His Military Father Instilled in Him as Kid

by Thad Mitchell

In the world of media and sports, National Football League Hall-of-Famer Michael Strahan is Mr. Everything.

After an illustrious 15-years career in the NFL that saw him pile up individual honors, he retired after winning a Super Bowl. Strahan’s accomplishments on the gridiron are plentiful. Along with an NFL championship, he holds numerous records, including most sacks in a single season. He was elected to the Pro Bowl on seven separate occasions and earned first team All Pro Honors four times. The Giants retired his number 92 jersey when he was inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor.

Since retiring from the NFL, Strahan has found even more success in the world of media. He has done everything from serving as NFL analyst to hosting a show with Kelly Ripa to hosting live gameshows.

Michael Strahan Lives by Father’s Words ‘When, Not If’

Strahan’s attributes a lot of his success to his father Gene, a military man who taught his son the value of hard work. In an interview with Inc.com, the former New York Giant dishes on the values he learned through his father. Referring to his father as his hero, Strahan says he was taught to be confident in his actions. He says his father told him to not use the word “if,” but to instead replace it with “when.”

“Any time we use the word if we put doubt on whatever comes next,” Strahan’s says of his father’s mantra. “If you say, ‘If I make it off the couch, I might rake the leaves,’ well, that’s probably not gonna happen. We were taught to say, ‘When I do this.’ And just that little difference tells you it can and will happen. I didn’t even realize that my dad was doing that until I was in my 30’s. That’s when I thought, ‘Wow, he’s almost been playing mind tricks on me all this time.'”

The wise words from his father have served Strahan well and the Hall-of-Famer pledges to keep doing it.