Tyrone Poole is no stranger to the pressures of competition. A former cornerback in the NFL, his stats over his 13-year career include 432 tackles, 18 interceptions, and six sacks. Tyrone also played in two Super Bowl games in 2003 and 2004 as part of the New England Patriots, and he’s got the rings to prove it.
All that means he was cool as a cucumber when he decided he wanted a shot at the American Ninja Warrior course. Now, football players have a hit or miss history on the show. Former NFL linebacker Anthony Trucks has qualified for the LA City Finals three times and he’s probably experienced the most success of football players on the show (jump down to the comments and correct us if you think we’re wrong). They’re obviously high-level athletes, but the course is a whole other ballgame, so to speak. Tyrone was able to pull it all together and make a run to the fifth obstacle, the Ferris Wheel. His time even moved him into the City Finals. We’ll see his run during the Atlanta City Finals on Monday, July 22 at 8/7c on NBC.
But before that happens, take a minute to get to know this NFL-player turned Ninja a little bit better.
Get to know former NFL player and Ninja, Tyrone Poole
Tryone Poole knows a thing or two about getting ready for the big game.Posted by American Ninja Warrior Nation on Monday, July 22, 2019
We caught up with Tyrone during his time on the Ninja Warrior set to learn more about what it’s like to move from one high-octane sport to another.
Why did you want to do American Ninja Warrior?
TP: Whatever is considered a test, I want to do it. It allows me to find out what I’m made of. Every level of life, I’m looking to overcome every obstacle. American Ninja Warrior, to me, means mind, body, and soul. It’s a complete human effort to overcome challenges.
You’ve obviously been training for a very long time, but how long have you been training for Ninja Warrior?
TP: I’ve been training all my life. I believe the Ninja Warrior course actually has a little bit of childhood, it has a little bit of, once you get to college, professional, also. I think it’s a combination of just life experience. Basically you could say I’ve been training all my life for this moment. It’s just a little bit more of understanding the techniques. But swings, running, jumping, I’ve been doing that every since I came out of my mother’s womb.
Is this similar or different to what you feel on a game day?
TP: It’s very similar to the Super Bowl. The walk through we did was kind of like the day before the game. While I’m preparing to run, after I see other competitors go, that’s just like me seeing the pre-game, the Star-Spangled Banner. Then it’s kick off time. It’s very, very close to the Super Bowl experience.
Does it feel differently stepping in front of the cameras alone versus part of a team?
TP: Playing corner, defensive back, it’s kind of like an island. You’re out there by yourself. All the Ninja Warriors here, we’ve talked. So I feel like we’re a team. Kind of like with the Patriots. We come out as a team, but when we break the huddle, I gotta go out there and perform. I gotta go get on my corner. Be on that island and it’s me against the course.
How are you feeling about the obstacles?
TP: You know what? I feel very good. There’s balance, there’s strength, upper body strength, concentration. I feel very comfortable. I think playing in the NFL, anyone who’s played at a high level, that concentration I think will give me an opportunity to think and not panic. If I do get into a situation, which I hope I don’t.
What do you expect from yourself?
TP: I’m expecting myself to work that thing. That’s my slogan. I’m going to work it to the ultimate success. Hopefully I can get some of my other NFL buddies who are in shape to come on and maybe have a professional athletes American Ninja Warrior contest. But I’m going to do my best and make everybody who’s come to watch me, fans who’ll be watching on television, family who’s coming tonight, I gotta give it my best effort.
Catch Tyrone’s full run on the American Ninja Warrior City Finals!