Can you give us a quick intro on who you are and what you do ?
I am Quinton Alston Jr., born in Philadelphia, PA and raised in Sicklerville, NJ. I played football at Timber Creek regional high school and then played Division 1A football at the University of Iowa. I am a certified personal trainer through ISSA and current NFL free agent after playing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers briefly.
What are your credentials?
Certified Personal/Performance Trainer ISSA Professional Athlete Former Division 1 athlete 2nd Team All Big Ten Linebacker
Can you tell us about your journey in how you got to where you are now?
My journey has had some obstacles thus far in my football career. Injuries, having to decommitt from the school I committed because of 2 head coaching changes in the same offseason before signing day, being a backup in college for 3 years, moving 17 hours away from home to play college ball, family members passing while I’m away at school, among other things. So, my journey so far has had its challenges. During my second year, I was frustrated because I wasn’t playing as much as I thought I would after getting 36 scholarship offers coming out of high school, being so far away from family and missing holidays, going through surgeries, and I really thought about transferring somewhere closing to home and where I could play more. That same night, I went home and I just started writing and thinking like what now. I had a decision to make for me as a young man. Either I can transfer and go to where I can get some playing time now or I could tough this out and live with the decision I already made and just make myself better through this experience. So, I decided to stay and I decided to grow and ultimately turned out to be the best thing I could have done for myself. I started doing more little things every day to make myself the best I could possibly be and when I got my shot I’m going to take it. Every day before lifts I would do footwork, before practice I would hand placement and starts, after practice I would hit the weight room briefly for some more core work, and just do everything I could to be the best. Finally, it paid off at the end. Before starting my first game in college, I was a captain because my teammates saw the work I put in each and every day, I was leading the special teams units because that was my role and thats what the team needed at the time, and I just wouldn’t accept anything less than their best each practice and game. This is not in any way to pat myself on the back or anything like that, but instead to motivate athletes or people in general that are in that same position as I was. Even though, you are not THE GUY or THE WOMAN right now, doesn’t mean your effort and consistency goes unnoticed. That season, I made 2nd Team All Big Ten Linebacker, got a chance to play in the NFL for the Buccaneers, and above all my family got to see the first man in the family to graduate college. While in Tampa, I injured my knee again during rookie mini camp and that lead to me getting and injury settlement and let go from the team. That hurt me, to see myself reach my dream and my body couldn’t keep up with what my mind knows I can do. Again, I got back to work. Instead of feeling sorry for myself and just saying this is how it’s just supposed to be and accepting that, I went back to training. I took it a step further this time too this time, I just started reading everything early in the morning until late at night to learn what I could do to prepare my body this contact and the longevity of the season. I was tired of putting my body and ultimately my future in the hands of somebody else to prepare it for football so I went out and got my certification through ISSA to learn how to make my body explosive as it can possibly be. Found out that this is what I want to do and that this is what I love and while I am training to get back to the dream of playing in the league, I’m going to train other athletes to get the best out of their bodies also.
Did you always know you wanted to do this?
I started football when I was 4 years old and trained with my dad since I was around 7 or 8 years old doing bodyweight work so that’s all I knew. Found out when I got to high school and actually started lifting that this is really what I wanted to do instead of it just being something I am used to.
Who were your influences ?
My dad Quinton Alston Sr., my high school football coach Rob Hinson, coach Jim Reid who was my linebacker coach at Iowa and Tyler Nielson, who was the guy I looked up to my freshman year at Iowa. Little things that I used to watch these guys do as a kid, in high school and throughout college to be great, I took that and rolled with it. They are the greatest men I’ve ever known and I can’t thank them enough for what they have done for me as a player and a man.
When did you know you made the right career choice?
Immediately, I was just thinking great choice. I like to train, train people and teach people how to get the best out of themselves.
Can you share with us a difficult time or multiple difficult times you had that maybe made you want to quit what you were doing? How did you get through that time?
Many, many, many times I thought I was going to quit and say it’s enough. When you think that, you just gotta think back to why did you start. My memory of why I started, even though I was a very little kid, it was just because it was fun and you have to find the little things in every situation to turn any situation into a positive. Couple of times were when I got hurt, my grandmother passing during my first college summer, and just simply not being a starter for those 3 years. In life and in sport, you must find something to be excited about each day and must find the positive in every situation.
What do you think was the main factor that contributed to your success?
Positivity and doing more. It’s not the the most complex method, but it definitely works. Every day just say and think positively and do a little extra to better yourself.
If you could tell your younger self something, what would it be?
Take care of what you need to take care when you need to do it. Don’t wait until tomorrow or later on today to do what you should be doing right now.
Wrapping up, any advice for others trying to get into your field?
Whether it is football or training, make sure you really love it and create a circle of like minded people around that you that will hold you accountable. There will be times where you don’t want to, feel like you can’t or feel like there’s just no time, but they will keep you accountable to what you need to get done.
What new things are you working on ? I know you always have things you are working on.
Training to get back to playing football again, wedding planning and making connections with local gyms to see how they started theirs so that I have knowledge when I open my own in a few years. Just a lot of planning right now going on.