McCoy, who starred at the University of Notre Dame before playing 11 years with the Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders and New York Giants, spoke to students at Notre Dame and Xavier College Preparatory high schools, and junior high students at St. George, St. Hyacinth Academy, St. Catherine of Siena, Our Lady of the Assumption, St. James and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Indio.
“We are not born winners and losers,” McCoy told the students. “We are born choosers in life.”
The importance of friends in decision making was a highlight of McCoy’s talk. He illustrated this in a role playing exercise where a blindfolded student attempts to navigate through a series of chairs with verbal assistance from another student. To show the competing voices in a young person’s life, McCoy loudly instructs the blindfolded student to go in directions that lead them to crash into the chairs.
McCoy specifically addresses alcohol, sex and drugs as “land mines” in a young person’s life.
“Alcohol is a legal drug but it is also a lethal drug,” he said, later describing his father’s alcoholism and his own brief struggle with alcohol.
A close relationship with God is the key to navigating those and other “land mines,” McCoy said. He invited students to join his Proverbs Club, in which they commit to read one of the 31 Proverbs each night before bed for a month.
At the end of the one-hour talk, McCoy asked each student to fill out an index card with feedback about his talk, naming an issue that was most holding them back in their life, and a pledge to give themselves anew to Jesus Christ.
Following his football career, McCoy enjoyed many successful years in business before founding Mike McCoy Ministries, which he now operates full-time. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia but travels nationally speaking to Catholic school students at the junior high and high school level.