Robert Steele returns to speak at Collier Library

 Robert Steele gave a speech to students at Collier Library during National Library Week April 9. 

Former UNA wide receiver and Dallas Cowboys player Robert Steele spoke at the National Library Week event in Collier Library April 9.

Steele recently wrote a book: “Steele Here: An Underdog’s Secret to Success.” He shared some of the ideas behind the book, as well as a few experiences and stories found inside it. With the book, he found a way he could help get involved at UNA.

“When I found out about the move to Division I, I started having conversations with Dr. Cale, Mark Linder, and others and decided that there was a way that I could contribute to the university,” Steele said. “I was selling the book for $24.95 and decided to take it down 20 percent to $20 so that it would be easy math, and I said that every book we sell, $10 would go to the university and $10 would go to pay the cost of the book—that’s just what I chose to do.”

A statement Steele made during his presentation was to set goals, push yourself to meet those goals and push even further. He went on to share stories of his injuries that occurred while he was playing football at UNA and how his particular situation with injuries actually made him a stronger, faster, more efficient athlete.

Nevertheless, hardships can either be a green light or a red light on an individual, depending on the person that is being affected. Some are meant to slow down after an injury and others are destined to hit their peak, according to Steele.

“I was talking with a young man just the other day who had dealt with some concussions, and what the boy thinks is that he can play again,” Steele said. “What I told him is, ‘look, if football truly is your passion, then play if you want to play, but there is life after sports.’ One of the things you have to do is invest yourself in all the things around you, not just the athletic par. There’s nothing wrong with investing yourself with athletics.

“There are wonderful things that can come from that, but in his particular case, though, he will probably have to do something other than football.”

Steele shared about the difficulty of writing the book and the extensive amount of time he put into it. He said he actually completed the book on a combined 10 airplane flights, because airplanes are the only place he can write

“I re-wrote my book about 10 times,” he said. “(Books really are) like a painting—like a Rembrandt or a Van Gogh. Painting, whether it be a book or an athletic endeavor, or anything that you do in life, is it worthy of your signature?

“You think about being an author, a painter, a sculptor—they in many cases never feel that it is good enough. But when they finally see that it becomes good enough, then it becomes worthy of their signature, and so what I say is do everything so that it is your canvas, and make it worthy of your signature.”

Steele encourages students to work hard and develop their own mental strength, spend time in libraries, gain knowledge, apply it and use it.

“When other athletes were falling like flies, I just kept running,” Steele said. “When others were already tired, I hadn’t even broken a sweat. I will work as hard as anyone you will ever meet.”