Evan Oglesby grew up in Toccoa, Ga., and spent his college years in Florence, Ala., attending the University of North Alabama. After college, his talent and ability on the football field led him to the NFL as an undrafted free agent playing for the Buffalo Bills, the Baltimore Ravens, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Miami Dolphins. He spent about five years in the NFL. Now in Chamblee, he helps kids through Protots, his foundation, and more.
How did you come up with Protots?
I was with my daughter at the playground, who was 3 at the time. We were doing footwork drills when about four or five kids joined us. I noticed the parents were watching. When I searched for toddler programs in the area, what came up was soccer tots, musical tots, and yoga tots, but there wasn’t anything for physical activity and training that introduced toddlers to different sports. It took time to find a name to build a business behind. One day back at the playground, Protots came to mind, and it was the ‘aha moment’ of the perfect name for having professional athletes lead the charge of helping the next generation of student athletes.
How do you approach teaching different age groups?
Protots is about giving kids information early, so when they play their first T-Ball game, they’re ahead of the rest of the kids. It’s the physical activity training program introducing sports to 2 to 6-year-olds and the staple of kids’ athletic preparation and acceleration. We make it fun. We add different things to get their minds focused on the footwork, but they’re actually working on balance and control, and they don’t even realize it. For 2, 3, and 4-year-olds, parents are involved. Kids learn drills and replicate them with parents at home.
For high schoolers the approach is slightly different. They're more polished in preparation, exercise, and training. My focus is on minimizing wasted steps. That’s going to make them sharper with their performance. And we work on knowledge of the game and what’s required for positions.
Tell me about the Evan Oglesby Foundation.
In the Evan Oglesby Foundation, the E and O stands for ‘education’ and ‘opportunity.’ Being from a small town, I wanted to make it to the professional level. I promised myself that if I ever made it, I would come back and help kids that have a dream and teach them how to get there.
The Evan Oglesby Foundation is to inspire and strengthen kids to achieve excellence in education and athletics and create opportunities for success. If it wasn’t for my athletic ability, I wouldn’t have been able to pay for my college education. That can happen to so many kids. If we use our athletic ability to pay for that doctorate or law degree – that’s what the foundation highlights – working on things you love and care about while having fun and using that athletic ability to provide a nice future.
How does it feel to work with youth and make an impact?
If I can give them the wisdom and knowledge of my experience to help them get ahead or give them a competitive advantage, that’s what I want to offer. Yes, I want them to win in sports. But ultimately, I want them to be winners in life.
For more info visit protots.com and evanoglesbyfoundation.org.
"Yes, I want them to win in sports. But ultimately, I want them to be winners in life." Evan Oglesby, Owner of Protots