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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 daughter.  

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 Performance Coach, a college Division 1 Men’s Basketball Referee, and a Strategic Account Manager with Ernest Packaging Solutions.
  • [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 boarding.  
  • [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 Northwest.  
  • [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 him.  
  • [09:44] He started playing sports at the age of five and especially loves basketball and baseball.  Now he loves to play pickleball.  
  • [12:15] The Navy was an eye-opening experience for Darren.  He was in the Navy for 2 years.  
  • [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 list.  
  • [14:28] His packaging career 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 Manager. 
  • [18:27] In five to ten years, Darren would like to be in more of a leadership role.  
  • [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 more.  
  • [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 goals.    
  • [23:01] Darren shares what it is like to be a Division 1 Men’s basketball referee. 
  • [25:21] He does bodyweight exercises, bike riding, swimming, pickleball to stay fit for refereeing.  
  • [25:49] John is currently a Referee in the Southern Conference, but he also referees some Division 2, Division 3, and junior college games.  
  • [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 time. 
  • [27:57] March Madness is a phenomenal experience because you have worked all year to get to that point.
  • [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 level. 
  • [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 day.  
  • [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 Oaks.    
  • [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, and meditation.
  • [41:18] What are you most proud of?
  • [42:12] When it is time to say farewell, what would you be known for?
  • [43:22] Which actor would play Darren Drake?
  • [44:13] What would be a surprise that most people wouldn’t know about you?

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