Throwing a football with precision can take years of practice, as even the greatest quarterbacks of all-time spent decades honing their skills. But for internet sensation Callie Bundy, that talent came naturally. Best known for her “trick shot” videos, in which she makes unbelievable throws from long distances, Bundy has amassed hundreds of thousands of views online.
A typical video on Bundy’s YouTube channel will feature her doing everything from throwing a football into a basketball hoop from the other end of the court to firing a perfect spiral through an airborne hula hoop. Describing herself as an “ex-jock who just likes throwing things,” Callie Bundy provides jaw-dropping recordings of her unique talent to her thousands of subscribers, dismantling long-held stereotypes about women’s ability on the gridiron. We spoke with Bundy about her sports background, the evolution of her trick shots, and if she would sign a contract with the Legends Football League if offered.
Innovation & Tech Today: Can you give our audience a little bit of background about your story? You’re an ex-jock?
Callie Bundy: Yeah, exactly! I played sports my whole life. I played soccer, basketball, softball, softball in college. I went on to coach. And then from there, as a female, there’s not too many [ways] to keep playing sports, so that’s when I got into fitness.
I&T Today: What is your secret to getting to that level of physique other than hard work and a good diet? Is there anything special you do with your diet or supplementation?
Callie Bundy: I don’t think anyone who is in fitness or is a fitness model has anything revolutionary to say about that answer. I think it comes down to just doing the work, but really figuring out what works for you. I’ve tried everything in the book. Before, when I played sports, I would train as an athlete. When I got into fitness, you train to obtain a look, so it’s a totally different style of training. So, you really have to figure out what works better for you. Is it a high-carb diet? A low-carb diet? A higher fat? There’s so many different variables and everyone’s bodies are chemically different from the start, so what works for me may not work for you. I do better with a little bit higher carb diet, and some of the girls I competed with do better with almost no carbs and a higher fat. If you really want to make progress, you have to pay attention to everything you do and really figure out what works for you because it’s different for everyone.
I&T Today: Do you use any fitness products that you love? Like a Fitbit or anything like that that helps you train and get to peak performance?
Callie Bundy: I’m a little bit old school with fitness tech. I think it’s just based on my parents. My father is a doctor, my mom is his office manager. My whole family is either doctors or medical professionals… My dad was like, “What do you need a heart rate monitor for? If you’re working hard you’re going to know it.” So, I kind of had that mentality.
But these past few years I was lucky enough to try out some products like this cool sports bra that they gave me that measures your heartrate and breathing and all these things. I wish I had started using it before because, especially in fitness, you can easily over-train. When you’re going into a show, you’re doing two sessions a day. Whether you’re doing your cardio in the morning and then you’re going back to lift and then, depending on where you are, you might be doing another cardio session after you lift, so it’s really easy to over-train and just push through things. I wish I would have incorporated some of that sooner, but now I’m starting to get on that boat. I just had my first VO2 test done, and now I’m starting to wear more of the fitness technology and it’s definitely very useful.
I&T Today: We have to ask you about the trick shots. How did that start? How the heck do you do that?
Callie Bundy: That’s everyone’s favorite question. I was doing a food giveaway and I had an empty box…I thought it would be fun to go and throw a football in the box, and say, “Hey, check this out!”
I did sports; fitness is a good distractor, but it’s not sports. There’s nothing that replaces that feeling of playing sports. So, I wanted to go and do something athletic. I was just always throwing a football. I taught myself. We were playing football one day and I was like, “Oh, I’ll be the quarterback,” and taught myself. Ever since then I’ve had a football; I’ve carried one in my suitcase just in case because I thought it was fun to throw.
So I threw this football…and people went nuts. I didn’t understand why! It bounced into the box and then it bounced out. Everyone was like, “It didn’t even go in! It was bouncing.” …So I did it again and the same thing.
And then there was all this criticism because I was out there with my little iPhone trying to film these shots, and the ball was leaving the frame because I would hit play and then [be] turning around and trying to hit this target and it was leaving the frame. And everyone was like, “That’s fake.” So then I’ve got to set my iPhone up, hit play, and make sure that me, the ball, and the target are in the shot the entire time. That’s why I had to film them the way that I did because that’s the only way that I could do it by myself. Everyone was like, “Oh you’re just trying to show off your butt,” and I’m like, “No. That’s the only way that I can prove to you that I’m hitting these shots.”
I&T Today: The internet can be ruthless. I think I remember some of the comments on the videos being like, “Let’s see you do that with a defensive line rushing you down” and stuff like that. Do you read the comments? Do you find them funny?
Callie Bundy: Oh, absolutely. The first time on the first video that went viral. It was crazy. I’ve never had anything like that happen. They were getting like 25 million views in a day or two. It was insane. The thing I found funny was that it was all the same comments on every single site. So all different people, but they all say the same thing. And I’m really interested in sociology studies.
So, I started trolling my own thread. People were like, “Get this girl in the kitchen,” and I’m like, “Yeah, who let her out of there?” They’d say, “That girl’s horrible. Let’s see her get hit.” And I’d be like, “Yeah, by a 300-pound guy!” And then they’re like, “Wait a second. Aren’t you the girl in the video?” And I’m like, “Yeah.” And they’d be like, “That’s so awesome! You’re trolling your own thread. That’s amazing.”
That’s just how fast people got it – guys especially. They were so angry, but it was just so comical to me. I don’t understand how a girl throwing a football can be so offensive to anyone.
I&T Today: If the offer came from the LFL, if they brought you the Russell Wilson contract, the Aaron Rodgers contract, and they said, “We want you to be our quarterback,” would you consider it?
Callie Bundy: Yeah, I think anyone [would] in any industry…I know that if I work with the right people and put in the time…I probably wouldn’t be horrible. At least I can say that, knowing my athletic ability. I love training and I love sports, and I know I wouldn’t be horrible and could at least probably hold on for a year. So, I would probably do it. It’s one of those things. If the numbers make sense and it’s fun for me, then why not?
I&T Today: Do you do your own social media? Some athletes do their own; some have somebody else do it.
Callie Bundy: Yes, I do my own…I think there’s such a personal piece to it that if somebody else is posting you can tell. I enjoy even the negativity. I enjoy interacting with people that are there for whatever reason. I get so many messages from parents about their kids and how they love my football. I appreciate that personal interaction. So, yeah, I do my own.
I&T Today: What other ways can your fans get in touch with you?
Callie Bundy: My fans can always connect with me on Veri, which is video-chat app, and it is not as creepy as it sounds…It’s actually been really cool. I love that personal interaction. It gives me an opportunity to do that with video, which is almost as good as face-to-face. The people I’ve talked with have been really, really cool. That’s another way they can always get in touch with me.
By Charles Warner & Anthony Elio