I had the honor of interviewing Tank Calais of the Arena Football League, he recently signed with the Pittsburgh Power.
I conducted the interview on the topic of faith, family and football. This interview was so intense that it could have been multiple posts written on it. He has a lot to share and I believe there will definitely be more opportunities where he will be able to share on bigger stages. But for the sake of time we wanted to shoot it to you straight and grab some leadership out of it.
Tank Calais is a very interesting person. His passion and determination was contagious from the start. Either though I conducted the interview via phone. I could feel the rumble in his voice. I quickly discovered three things right away about Tank.
He has strong faith in God. He communicates very well. He loves his family.
What do people discover about you within 2 minutes of conversation?
As we continued the conversation it was very clear that my discovery was dead on.
Tank talked a lot about his childhood and why he has a very strong passion to take care of his immediate family (son and girlfriend). Tanks childhood started in Patterson, Louisiana. He and a few of his siblings were primarily raised by his grandmother due to some parental inconsistencies. Either though that was not ideal for Tank he learned some values and principles that he would take with him on his life’s journey. His grandmother taught them how to depend on God and move ahead in spite of life’s circumstances. Tank and his siblings didn’t live in the best of neighborhoods growing up. He could have easily been influenced by his environment but due to the history of his family he was inspired and motivated to pursue his dreams and earn an athletic scholarship and go to college.
Tank has very rich family history in sports. Tanks father played safety at LSU and His uncle Ike Hilliard played for the Florida Gators and in the NFL for the New York Giants and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His great-uncle Dalton Hilliard played running back for LSU and his uncle Mike Calais played linebacker for LSU as well.
Not only does Tank contribute a lot of his development to his grandmother. But he contributes a lot to his uncle Ike Hillard who was a first round draft pick in 1987 who is now an assistant with the Buffalo Bills.
In high school Tank went to live with his uncle to become a better person, athlete and to gain a new perspective on life. His uncle was very successful and at that time Tank needed a model and a mentor to show him what it would take to provide a better life for him and his family. Tank ended up receiving a football scholarship to play at Louisiana Tech University excelling in football.
He was faced with a dilemma towards the end of his career with an injury that would hinder some of this productivity. He was not selected in the NFL Draft but ended up signing with an Arena Football Team. I asked Tank what he thought about the opportunity to play in the Arena Football league, He stated, “this is my opportunity to show the scouts what I have and prove myself. I have to provide for my family and I am going to work, all I know is work. If God has brought me this far I know He will take me ever further.”
Talk about your faith in God? My faith in God is very strong. He’s the reason I’ve been able to move on and make the best of my life in spite of life’s difficult circumstances.
If you had a chance to give a kid some advice what would it be? WORK, Work hard and good things will happen. All I know is work.
For more information about Tank Calais visit: Follow Tank Calais on Twitter
To all athletes: Sports do not define you, they incline you. Sports do not destroy you, they deploy you into your destiny.
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