Dalton Crossan: Mentality Matters

Former NFL running back and current professional lacrosse player Dalton Crossan shares his experiences.

“I’ve always believed in the idea that you make your own luck,” says Dalton Crossan. “I knew anything was possible if I put in the work to accomplish my goals.”

Dalton Crossan wasn’t always the biggest or best player on the field, but he always bet on himself and believed in his own skills and abilities. He grew up in Long Island, NY playing as many sports as he could, but he eventually shifted his focus to playing football and lacrosse after his sophomore year of high school. As he finished high school, he had received collegiate offers for both sports but knew he would always choose football because of his love for the game.

Dalton attended the University of New Hampshire where had an incredible career as a running back and signed with the Indianapolis Colts and an undrafted free agent after the 2017 draft. Unfortunately, Dalton’s professional football career was cut short due to injuries after stints with the Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and some time in the Canadian league. Although injuries altered his course, Dalton hasn’t given up at all, only shifted trajectory.

“Mentality plays a huge role in your success, on or off the field,” says Crossan. “When it comes to injuries, your mentality and mental recovery can be just as essential as the physical aspects, especially if it is a recurring injury. Every injury presents a mental setback. Fears of pushing yourself fully because you don’t want to get injured again or risk it impacts and limits you from playing at your full potential. Overcoming the fears and limitations in your head is much easier said than done, but is necessary to perform at your highest level.”

After his career in the NFL, Dalton began preparing for his next move. Currently, he works full-time in the insurance industry while also transitioning to a career as a professional lacrosse player. Dalton made the roster for the Chaos Lacrosse Club of the Premier Lacrosse League in 2021 with hopes of making it onto the field. Throughout his career, Dalton always dreamed of playing lacrosse again at some level. Having a few friends that were in lacrosse leagues, he began reaching out to teams and coaches just asking for an opportunity to try out. He didn’t let the fact that he hadn’t played competitively in over eleven years deter him, instead, he knew that he wasn’t instantly going to be the most skilled player on the field but he could be the most athletic and bring the best work ethic. His efforts paid off, and when given the chance he made it to training camp with Chaos and made the roster. He continued to learn, working with coaches to understand more of the schematics and conceptual aspects of the game knowing that was where he needed the most improvement.

Off of the field, he brings the same enthusiasm and mentality to business that he does for sports. “Sports have taught me so much and helped in virtually every aspect of my life. Work ethic, timeliness, and competitiveness all translate into my everyday and professional life.” Athletes know what it takes to win. Whether in sports, business, or any other project, it takes work to be successful. 

“My goal is to be the best mid-defensive lacrosse player in the world. Will it happen? Possibly not. But by working towards that goal I will reach my full potential. The same applies to business. I want to be the most successful CEO and as rich as the Elon Musks of the world. Will that happen? Again, possibly not. But as soon as you’re satisfied with just being where you are, that’s the furthest you’re ever going to go.”

Another goal for Dalton is to share his story and his experiences and hopes to make an impact on younger generations. “You see so many different athletes and high-profile individuals that mean a lot to their followers. Using social media and other platforms to tell their stories can be an incredible tool for inspiration. I read books on the players and people I look up to and try to incorporate pieces of their process into my own. It doesn’t need to be a blueprint because everyone is different, but it can be inspiring. There are plenty of things that can motivate you, but motivation only lasts for a day or a short time; inspiration, on the other hand, is what drives you. So my advice to younger generations is to look and listen to the people who have done what you want to, and don’t be afraid to ask. One hundred percent of successful people have had help along the way, and most are willing and want to share and help those coming after them.”

Check out the full interview with Dalton Crossan to learn more about his story and how your mentality and attitude play a role in your success.