November 2022 AOTM: Quentin 'Q' Williams

athlete of the month Nov 01, 2022

Welcome back to TWN’s Athlete of the Month! Each month we are highlighting athletes in our network to share what they have accomplished outside of sports, their contribution to the athletic community and more. Make sure to check out our weekly newsletter to learn more about the athlete, what motivates them, and how to contribute to their cause.

Our November Athlete of the Month is Quentin 'Q' Williams! 

Q is a men’s coach for current and retired athletes, bringing clarity, brotherhood, and accountability to men’s deepest mission after sport. As the creator of the World Class Method, Q is a leading authority on male athlete mental wellness.

He is also the Lead Facilitator of the Beyond Sports program through Athletes Soul. This program is designed to help athletes learn about themselves beyond sport.

Q was a two-sport athlete at Northwestern, where he holds a Master’s Degree in Sports Management and became a Gator Bowl Champion. After sports, he overcame years of struggling with Post-Concussion Syndrome by leveraging his own World Class Method. He went from feeling confused and angry about his concussion recovery to feeling lit up, clear eyed, and committed to thriving and making a world class impact on other athletes.

Q has spoken on countless podcasts, facilitated international men’s groups, and filled venues for live events across San Diego County. Today, he serves as an Official Provider for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Health and founder of World Class where he supports clients via 1:1 Coaching, Group Courses, and Speaking. Check out more about Quentin and his work at his website here

Q came on Timeout with TWN in January 2022. He talked about his journey through college sports and trying to reach the professional level, and how he navigated life after the game. He spoke candidly about his struggles with post concussion syndrome and the lack of purpose he faced after sports. His advice for athletes entering what’s next? Understand who you are. Watch the full episode here. 

“You have to know who you are. Not who you are on the field, but who you are naturally and who you have been since the beginning of time. When you know who you are, you know where you want to go.”

Quentin’s coaching work through World Class Method include programs like Man Up Men's Group, and WHEELHOUSE. These programs are for male ex-athletes who want to regain their true nature. Q also works with Athletes Soul’s Beyond Sports program, a 10-week personal development program to help athletes learn about themselves beyond sports. He helps them learn about themselves outside of sports, develop emotional awareness and coping techniques, build social connections with other athletes, and help set life goals for themselves and the steps necessary for life beyond sports.

He was a part of our conversation on How to Prioritize Your Mental Health During Career Transition during our Prioritize YOU Summit, where he highlighted the importance of understanding what makes you who you are and recognizing your core values. He explained that many times we define athletes by what they do, instead of these core values. He emphasized the importance of meditation and taking time to get to know yourself. 

Here's our full interview with Quentin 'Q' Williams:

Why did you create your own coaching business?
I built my business because I was witnessing the concussion crisis impacting men and athletes everywhere... yet not enough people were talking about it nor addressing it. After my college football career, I sought out my own solutions to my concussion issues, and wanted to deliver real solutions to other guys. The biggest impact I found on my brain health was my mindset, and so my coaching and training focus is on mental performance for men and athletes to help them lead the most fulfilling and effective lives. 

What did being an athlete teach you about the work you are doing now? 
Athletes are taught to compartmentalize their emotional experiences from what needs to get done, which is a huge strength in the real world -- and a massive problem for mental health. Athletes are our most capable leaders... but we must learn to identify and work with our emotions in order to be our most effective selves and lead with empathy and impact. Athletes, when given a clear playbook and roadmap, will execute with excellence. My services provide that blueprint so athletes can simply get to work. 

What is the most important thing you did for yourself to start planning for life outside of sports? 
I created relationships outside of sports. I was always inspired by curiosity and loved connecting with non-athletes. People do things for people they know and like, and your network is your net worth. Building real, authentic relationships is the key to success in any field, especially outside of sports. 

When and how did you decide you were ready to make the transition out of sports? 
I was lucky enough to know more than the average football player about the impact of concussion on our long-term brain health. So when it came time to choose between toughing out NFL tryouts and pursuing a career as an entrepreneur, the decision was an easy one for me. I'm grateful for sports, but my identity was not tied up in sports like many athletes' identities are. I remember taking my helmet off for the last time, walking off the Chicago Bears practice field, knowing it would be my last. It was surreal, but it felt right. 

What advice do you have for athletes around moving on from sports to their next chapter? 
It might seem completely backwards and you may not believe me (that's OK)... but the more you actually cultivate a real life outside of sports, the less pressure you'll feel to perform and therefore you'll actually perform better. Many athletes are like artists - where if/when their craft becomes a business, it no longer is fun or exciting. Instead, it drains them. Don't allow that to happen by ensuring you have a life outside of your sport. Your body will be less injury-prone (my theory), you'll have less stress, and who knows, you might just break some personal records athletically. 

Thank you Q for all you do for the athlete community, your advocacy for mental health and for leading your empowering programs for athletes around the world. We are proud to recognize you as our November Athlete of the Month.

Visit Q's website here to learn more and book her for your next event today!