Jul 7, 2020
Darren is a Strategic Account
Manager for Ernest Packaging Solutions, but that is not all. He is
also a Mental Performance Coach, and a college Division 1 Men’s
Basketball Referee. Darren was born and lived in San
Diego. At the age of nine, his family left the gorgeous
weather of San Diego to take on Seattle, the “rain capital” of the
United States. It was quite an adjustment, but Darren learned to
appreciate the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
Darren’s love for sports started
at a very young age. He played both basketball and baseball
in high school and continued playing baseball in college. After two
semesters of college, his course changed and he joined the Navy.
The Navy influence sparked a Darren that was more mentally tough
with good habits and supercharged towards learning. So Darren
returned to college and earned a Bachelor’s and later Master’s
degree. During Darren’s time in college, he was introduced to
refereeing basketball first with little kids and then moving up to
the college level. After college, he entered “Darren’s World
of Packaging” and worked for several Fortune 500 companies before
finding his way to North Carolina. Darren is married to Jen
and they are proud parents of a son and
We are so fortunate to have
Darren, Jen, and the kids as neighbors. This puts some
finishing touches on completing our own little paradise right here
in Holly Springs. By the way, if you are up for a pickleball game,
Darren is your guy.
In This Episode:
- [03:07] Welcome Darren Drake
our 12th “P” in the pod[cast]. He is a Mental
a college Division 1 Men’s Basketball Referee, and a Strategic
Account Manager with Ernest Packaging
- [04:46] After two semesters in
college, Darren joined the Navy.
- [07:43] He shares about life
growing up in San Diego and later Seattle. His two favorite
activities in San Diego were snorkeling and boogie
- [08:17] It was a big change for
him moving from San Diego to Seattle. It took a few years for
him to appreciate the beauty of the Pacific
- [08:56] Darren’s dad was
achieving at a high level in everything he did and he instilled
that same competitive determination and drive into
- [09:44] He started playing
sports at the age of five and especially loves basketball and
baseball. Now he loves to play
- [12:15] The Navy was an
eye-opening experience for Darren. He was in the Navy for 2
- [13:35] When he got out of the
Navy he went to college. He had learned to go to class every day,
sit in the front row, take notes as appropriate, and create a to-do
- [14:28] His
actually started with refereeing when he met the VP of Sales of a
local company, at a referee camp.
- [15:59] Darren has worked
in packaging for twelve years.
- [16:45] Darren shares about a
typical day working as a Strategic Account
- [18:27] In five to ten years,
Darren would like to be in more of a leadership
- [19:25] Mental
Performance Coaching is training your mind. Mental
Performance Coaching includes drills and strategies that
help with your mental toughness, fitness, job, and
- [20:35] He focuses on the 3 P’s
of performance: positive mindset, present moment focus, and a
process that helps you get closer to your long-term
- [23:01] Darren shares what it
is like to be a Division 1 Men’s basketball
- [25:21] He does bodyweight
exercises, bike riding, swimming, pickleball to stay fit for
- [25:49] John is currently a
Referee in the Southern Conference, but he also referees some
Division 2, Division 3, and junior college
- [26:44] Growing as a Referee is
just like anything in life. It is a lot of hard work, dedication,
effort, and being in the right place at the right
- [27:57] March Madness is a
phenomenal experience because you have worked all year to get to
- [29:01] All of Darren’s careers
are connected and require him to be a professional at the top of
his game and to be able to perform at a high
- [31:11] Darren shares the fun
story about meeting Jen.
- [33:41] They celebrated their
10-year anniversary on April 10th.
- [34:33] He shares about their
pandemic 10-year anniversary story. Plans changed from their
original plans, but it was a really special
- [36:13] Darren’s nickname was
Double D growing up.
- [36:15] It is a phenomenal
experience having our two kids. Deanna is super sweet, intelligent,
and always has a book in her hand. Dylan has a heart for
animals and is a good athlete.
- [38:25] Why did you choose to
live in 12 Oaks?
- [38:55] Darren’s family has
been living in 12 Oaks for a year now and they love it. They
have made a ton of friends and created a family here in 12
- [39:49] Darren shares his
fondest memories in 12 Oaks.
- [40:25] The fundamentals of
being a healthy human being are eating properly, sleeping, moving,
- [41:18] What are you most proud
- [42:12] When it is time to say
farewell, what would you be known for?
- [43:22] Which actor would play
- [44:13] What would be a
surprise that most people wouldn’t know about you?
Links and Resources: