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Youth Football Helped Washington's Chris Thompson Discover His Love for the Game

By Ryan Holmer, NBC Sports, 08/19/19, 11:00PM CDT

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Though that first season may have not been the most enjoyable experience for a young Thompson, he's forever grateful for his early playing days. Now, being at the highest level of football, he understands the impact it had.


Chris Thompson

Maybe Chris Thompson was always destined to end up with the Washington Redskins.

When the running back first stepped onto the gridiron growing up, the team he played for ended up being the same one he'd enter the NFL with.

“My little league team just so happened to be the Redskins," Thompson told NBC Sports Washington.

From a Pop Warner to the pros, he still carries the memories of his youth football days as they played a major part in molding him into the player he is today. Yet, it wasn't all positives.

For someone as talented and explosive as Thompson, one would probably expect instant success for the running back. However, his first season was quite the opposite.

“My first year, we lost every single game," he said. "So I went home crying every single day. After every single game, because I hated to lose.”

While going through a season with no wins is probably enough to deter a lot of young kids from a sport, Thompson wasn't ready to give up. He ultimately came back for another season and things quickly turned around.

“The next year, we went undefeated," Thompson said. “I literally got tackled one time the whole season.”

As the saying goes, the rest is history.

That experience alone has helped prepare Thompson for his future in the NFL. It was "added motivation" for a young Thompson growing up with the game. 

Throughout his career, he's already had to bounceback from injuries and doubts. He entered the league at an undersized 5-8 and has battled injuries in college and as a professional. Coming back is what he does. 

Though that first season may have not been the most enjoyable experience for a young Thompson, he's forever grateful for his early playing days. Now, being at the highest level of football, he understands the impact it had.

“It’s fun man. I feel like you really start to, you build friendships through sports big time. It’s just those moments back then, even through high school, you won't forget cause it’s just fun," Thompson said. "You’re just having fun, being able to play the game you love and nothing else really matters.”

“I feel like that’s when you really start to love the game of football."


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