AMHERST, MA - On Sunday, March 24th, Joe Cardona, long-snapper of the New England Patriots joined Amherst LEADS student-athletes for an afternoon filled with tips for leading under pressure and behavioral assessments.
A native of El Cajon, California, Joe Cardona grew up playing a variety of different sports; but his interest lay with football. After high school, Joe attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School for one year before enrolling in the Naval Academy where he majored in Economics. At Navy, he was a four-year starter in football as a long-snapper, where he was not charged with a single bad snap.
On May 2, 2015 the New England Patriots selected Joe in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft making him the fourth pure long-snapper to be drafted in NFL history. Since his draft, Joe has continued to be an impact for the Patriots. In the 2016 and 2017 season, Joe played in all 16 games, was part of both of the Patriots’ playoff wins, and went on to play in the Super Bowl.
Beyond being the long-snapper for the New England Patriots and an officer in the Navy, Joe goes above and beyond providing support and dedication to the community. In August of 2018, Joe received the 2018 Ron Burton Community Service Award for his outstanding commitment to giving back to the community. He was the 16th player to receive the award and the first to do so while also serving as a Lieutenant Junior Grade.
Joe first joined our Futures Junior cohort for a lecture on leading under pressure. Before the lecture, student-athletes participated in an activity to highlight the impact of leading under pressure. After engaging in the activity, the student-athletes turned their attention to Joe. Joe spoke about his formal classes at the Naval Academy, which focused solely on leading under pressure. He then transferred this knowledge to sport mentioning that pressure in sport is self-inflicted. To harness this pressure, he advised the student-athletes to know their role, ask for help when needed (even though it is a hard thing to do), draw attention to one’s breathing, and focus on what one can control.
Following the Juniors, Joe headed over to Liption Lecture Hall in the Science Center to speak with the First-Year Initiative student-athletes. Here the FYI student-athletes received their results of the DiSC Assessments. The DiSC Assessment is a framework to help individuals understand and build stronger relationships with others. DiSC focusses on behavior (your tendencies and needs), rather than personality traits. The FYI student-athletes took the DiSC assessment as a measurement to help them recognize areas of their behavior that are conducive to leadership and also areas that may need improvement.
We were honored to have Joe join Amherst LEADS for the afternoon to share a bit of his wisdom with the student-athletes!
What’s next for Amherst LEADS?!
- Sunday, March 24th– Captains Honors Night