The NFLPA announced a new initiative to provide post-playing support and wellness for former players. It will be doing so in conjunction with Athletes' Performance, a company that has renowned training and rehab facilities at locations around the country.
This program, called The Trust, is designed to help players transition from the field to the workplace and provide a network of resources for their overall health in doing so, focused on brain and body health, career transition and development, education and entrepreneurship, financial literacy and personal interaction, according to the NFLPA.
The Trust is designed to provide a system of support for former players, with an emphasis on overall health and successful transition from professional football. The Trust staff counsels players through a wellness plan across six primary pillars -- including brain and body health, career transition and development, education and entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and personal interaction.
Some of the nation's premier organizations and providers have partnered with The Trust, such as Athlete's Performance, Athlife, Babson College, Cleveland Clinic, Financial Finesse, Hillard Heintze, SCORE, Tulane University and Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine and The University of North Carolina's Brain and Body Health Program.
The program, funded by money negotiated in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement for former player benefits, will provide these services with no out-of-pocket costs to the player. To support this initiative, Athletes' Performance has hired a dedicated staff to provide: diet analysis and nutrition assessment, lifestyle strategies for healthy living, personalized workout plans, physical therapy assessment, injury history review and evaluation, performance training and much more.
The NFLPA is also working with players who have recently transitioned from the game to help implement the program at a grassroots level. These men, dubbed Trust Captians, will be charged with working closely with others who try to navigate this period in their lives, which can be a difficult adjustment on a multitude of levels. Charlie Batch serves as the Senior Captain, while Jeff Saturday, Donnie Edwards, Erik McMillan and Sam Gash each serve as a Regional Captain.
Athletes' Performance has a long history with NFL players, and trains top prospects for the combine and NFL draft. With more becoming known about CTE and other brain and body issues that arise from playing in the NFL, and with the sheer size and girth of many linemen, for instance, creating heart and health problems for players when they leave the game, creating resources to help integrate players into the workforce and establish healthy habits after football is imperative, and the NFLPA and its partners are hopeful this program aids that cause.