Charlie Batch is a former NFL quarterback who played 15 seasons in the NFL with the Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Batch is The Trust's Senior Captain who assists in impacting the lives of former NFL players as they transition out of the league. He currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA.
After 15 years in the league, What was going through your head when it came time to retire?
I was 38 years old, played 15 years in the league, and had an expiring contract — it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what was next. Not making the playoffs, the team was getting younger, they drafted a quarterback in the 4th round —all the signs were there. So, I began preparing before I got to the point of that expiration date. As athletes, we all have an expiration date.
As athletes, we all have an expiration date.
Once I retired, my wife, Tasha was like "Okay, I'll let you mourn the loss of football." She gave me a couple of months to mourn but after three months, she made it clear it was time to get up off the couch and get it going.
how did your relationship with your family change after you retired?
I still had my foundation, Best of Batch, and after I retired I was able to be there a lot more than when I was playing.
It was a learning curve in my wife and I's personal relationship. The times that I would've been gone for practice were removed from my life, which caused us to be around each other a lot more. It's harder whenever you work with your wife because it really challenged us from a communication perspective. When you work together all day, you may run out of things to say. It was difficult to ask, "Hey, how was your day today?" and she responds, "What do you mean? You were 10 steps down the hall."
Charlie Batch and wife, LaTasha Wilson-Batch.
Eventually, we had to learn to tolerate each other to a certain degree because we were around each other more. We had to relearn one another because for so long, there were pockets when I wasn't there. Ultimately, it made us stronger because she was challenging me and making sure I was ready to transition to the next step.
What would you say is the most important factor in a successful transition?
Understanding my passion. I couldn't quit football cold turkey— I had to almost reintroduce myself to the football world outside of not being a player anymore. I had to remove myself from the football player mentality and ask myself, "What's the next step for me?" The biggest challenge was walking into that stadium when I was no longer a player for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The biggest challenge was walking into that stadium when I was no longer a player for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
I never knew what the stadium looked like two hours prior to the game. I didn't know what traffic looked like, or even what the security measures were for fans. For 11 years, I used to enter through the side entrance underneath the stadium and now, I'm going through the main entrance. It was an eye opener for me. I said thought to myself, "Wow, I am officially done."