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Education • Dedication • Life

Captain to Captain: An Interview with Matthew Slater

Posted by Ira Haywood on Apr 24, 2015 5:31:40 PM

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Captain to Captain - Fisher College men's basketball co-captain Ira Haywood goes one on one with Matthew Slater, 2015 Fisher College commencement speaker and co-captain of the 2015 Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, about leadership, building a championship team and his advice for graduating students.

Fisher College Commencement Matthew Slater

Photo courtesy of The New England Patriots

Ira Haywood - "From athlete to athlete, how does it feel to be a champion?" 

Matthew Slater - "Ira, it's a feeling that's hard to describe. Ever since I was a youngster, you always dream of playing in the big game and winning the big game.To have a chance to come here seven years ago and be a part of this organization and to be close for several years and then to finally get over the hump, it really means a lot because you realize all the hard work and sacrifice it takes to get to that point and then to have everything come together - it's an unbelievable feeling." 

Haywood - "Has it sunk in yet?"  

Slater - "It didn’t really hit me until we came back to Boston and the parade and I saw how excited the fans were. The confetti and riding on the duck boats, we got a chance to realize our dream." 

Fisher College Commencement Speaker Matthew Slater of the New England Patriots

Courtesy of ESPN

Haywood - "Don’t you get a chance to visit the White House?" 

Slater – “Definitely looking forward to that. That should be pretty special." 

Haywood - "You’re the co-captain of the Patriots and I’m the co-captain of the men’s basketball team here at Fisher. What are the traits you look for in a teammate?" 

Slater - “That’s a great question. The biggest thing is someone who’s gonna buy into the team’s success and put that success ahead of his individual success. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to make the team successful. Those are the guys who will not quit on you and will give you everything they have day in and day out. He’s gonna empty his tank for you and you can count on him. This year, we had a room full of guys who bought into the team model and when that happens, something special can happen as they did this year.” 

Haywood - "What would you do if you had a teammate who wasn’t like that, but all about himself?" 

Slater - “You have to take it upon yourselves as leaders of the team to pull that guy aside and get him on the same page. There’s a way to go about that. I’m not a big fan of calling out a guy publicly. I think man to man, you can deal with guys one on one and hopefully try to get them to buy into what you’re doing.” 

Haywood - "What kind of responsibilities do you hold as a captain?" 

Slater - “There’s a higher level of responsibility as a captain. You have to be accountable to your peers. I know my job, but I also know how to help the next guy do his job. It also means being there for guys outside of football. It means a lot to the guys if you invest in them as a person. It’s not always about football 24/7.” 

Fisher College Commencement Speaker Matthew Slater of the New England Patriots

Courtesy of ESPN

Haywood - "I can relate. So what is your definition of success?" 

Slater - “Success in my mind is whatever task you set out to do, the way you dedicate youself to it and prepare yourself, regardless of the outcome, that’s success.” 

Haywood - "We’ve all seen the Super Bowl. If it went the other way, would you have still seen the season as a success?" 

Slater - “You know, I would have. It would certainly have been disappointing and I certainly would have felt that we came up short of our goal as a team, but at the same time, we overcame a lot this season. You look back on the season when we were two and two and a lot of people counted us out. I think we showed a lot of character by overcoming that slow start, coming together as a team and getting to the Super Bowl. That would have been successful. Now obviously we wanted to win the game and I’m certainly glad we did." 

Haywood - "I’m glad you did too. Ironically though, I’m a Seahawks fan."

Slater - "That’s all right (laughing). That’s all right."

Haywood - "From a graduate to an up and coming graduate? What’s your advice at this pivotal time?"

Slater - “Two things. I think that you should enjoy the moment. Oftentimes, we’re always looking ahead to next year, or five years from now and the future. Enjoy the time, enjoy the present. As a graduate, you had a journey to get to where you are and I’m sure you worked hard to get there. You should be proud of what you’ve done. Enjoy graduating and that whole experience and the fact that you have a lot to look forward to down the road. Also, there should be a feeling of excitement for the next thirty years. Your future’s ahead of you. The possibilities are endless.”

Fisher College Commencement Speaker Matthew Slater of the New England Patriots

Courtesy of The Boston Globe

Haywood - "What did you get your degree in?"

Slater - "Political Science and History. I was a double major."

Haywood - "After your football career is over, what do you see yourself getting into?"

Slater - "As a man of faith, I’ve always had a passion for ministry and I’ve always seen myself getting involved with counseling and family counseling. I want to help people give back and with the blessings that I’ve received, I want to pass it along."

Haywood - "What’s your motivator for that?"
Slater - "For me, it’s my faith in God. I’m not a self made man. He’s blessed me and put great people in my life that have helped me along the way. I feel like I owe it to the people around me to give back and try to make an impact."

Haywood - "Congratulations on being a newlywed."

Slater - "Thank you. It’s better than winning a Super Bowl."

Haywood - "About Commencement, do you have your speech ready?

Slater - "It’s about half way done. But what an honor it is and I’m really excited about the opportunity to share my life experiences with young people so hopefully I can leave a few nuggets that will help you along the way." 

New England Patriots co-captain Matthew Slater will deliver the keynote speech at the Fisher College Commencement on Saturday, May 16th at 11am at the John Hancock Hall in Boston. Slater was a 2014 finalist for NFL Sportsman of the Year honors for his work on behalf of local mentoring and tutoring programs. Fisher College will also present Mr. Slater with an Honorary Degree during graduation exercises. Previous Fisher College Commencement Speakers have included Boston Marathon Heroes Carlos Arredondo and Jeff Bauman and FOX-25 anchor Maria Stephanos. 


What do you think Matthew Slater should talk about during his keynote speech?  

Let us know in the comments below.


 
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Topics: Boston Campus, Athletics, Day Student Posts

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