Inside this week's FPN
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Former ECU, NFL player inspires youth and opens a new training facility
By Abbie Bennett

WINTERVILLE — Covered in dust and sweating bullets, Terrance Copper smiles from under a Kansas City baseball cap, a throwback to when he played for the Chiefs.
Jackhammering a batting cage floor and hauling away rubble isn’t exactly where you would expect to find a former NFL player, but Copper doesn’t delegate from a comfortable chair. He knows what it is to be part of a team and the success achieved through collective hard work.
Copper knows it’s that hard work that’s going to make his vision a reality, so he puts on gloves and gets covered in cement dust and paint like the rest of his team.
The Premier Sports Academy is where Copper, 33, a former East Carolina University and NFL wide receiver, will teach others those philosophies — among them teamwork, dedication, discipline, commitment and faith.
It is his faith in God that gave him the vision and discipline necessary to become an NFL player, Copper said. But that same faith gave him another vision — one of giving back and sharing the wealth of knowledge and experience his work and dedication brought him.
“You have to have faith because it’s so tough sometimes, and whatever you’re going through you know (God will) get you through it,” Copper said. “I’m a very faith-based person, so that’s always been so important to me. It’s gotten me through so much. Because of it, I knew I wanted to give back to the kids.”
And for Copper, the vision of creating a way to give back to kids in eastern North Carolina came long before his retirement from professional sports at 31. Copper had no reservations that his professional career would one day end — whether after 10 years, 20 years or after one week and a debilitating injury. He knew he needed a plan for what came after.
“In the NFL, everybody’s good,” Copper said. “Everybody’s fast. Everybody’s strong. But you want to be able to get into something you love when it’s over. Football’s a sport, and I love it. Anything else I get into, I won’t have that same passion. That’s what makes the transition hard for athletes to go from doing something they dreamed of and then trying to find something you’ll love outside that. I’ve always had a passion for kids, always had a passion for sports. I always wanted to give back to kids the passion that I have.”
On March 5, Copper will open the doors to the athletics training facility dedicated to providing specialized instruction for area youth along with leadership development and community involvement. Registration for the academy is open now.
The academy will operate in the location formerly known as “The Zone” on Reedy Branch Road. Copper was covered in the dust of renovations to the facility last week, including an updated gym, indoor batting cages and pitching mounds, an arcade, weight room, space for seminars and tutoring sessions, a full kitchen for a nutrition center and an apparel shop.
Copper has used his professional and area connections to recruit coaches and instructors for the academy, with former pros in most of the sports coming in to coach and review film with students.
“Most of the football coaches are former pros,” Copper said. “And I’ll have professionals come to give talks with the students so they can see what it’s really like — the struggles they’ve overcome and what it takes to perform at that level and, a lot of times, the faith that helped them through.”
The 27,000-square-foot academy will offer yearlong instruction including academic, leadership and other programs alongside the athletic training for football, basketball, softball, baseball and soccer for ages 5-18 and special programs for college-age athletes. But Copper wants to be clear — it’s not just about sports.
For the full article click here

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Football Players Health Study at Harvard University
Partnering with Former Players: A Collaboration

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Learn more about the Football Players Health Study
The Football Players Health Study at Harvard University is now the largest study of its kind. This study will benefit former players for generations to come, let's keep the momentum going! To learn more about the study, click on the video above to watch and go to the website:
I Am The Trust
Listen to former players who have used our services talk about their experiences with our partners and programs.
Duration: 3:58

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How to Work Hard When You Really Just Don't Care Anymore
By Abby Wolfe

Mentally, you’re two feet out the door. Or three. Heck, you may even be all the way down the block by now. The bottom line is this: You’re checked out at your job and you just don’t care anymore.
But you need to turn around and walk right back through that door, because even though you may not want to be there, you’re still committed to it.
There are several reasons you shouldn’t let your indifference decrease the quality of your work—for starters, you don’t want to burn bridges and you don’t want to let your team down. But, most importantly, you don’t want to ruin the awesome reputation you’ve built up.
This lackadaisical attitude you’ve adopted does not accurately characterize who you are. You’re a hard worker and a good teammate. And even if you don’t care about the projects you’re doing, you should still knock them out of the park while you’re there. Why? Because that’s who you are.
But how, you ask, do I motivate myself to work hard when I just don’t give a damn? Here’s how.
1. Change Your Mindset
Listen, at the end of the day, whether you care about it or not, this is still your job. You signed an offer letter and agreed to fulfill certain responsibilities. While you may be looking for something new, you have no idea how long that process will take. So for now, this is it. You don’t get to go into two-weeks’-notice mode before you give your two weeks’ notice.
Make a concerted effort to stop thinking of this position as the bane of your existence, and start thinking of it as yet another opportunity to grow and learn. That chance to further your professional development should become your motivation to care. Examples of skills you could actively work on picking up during this period are: learning the ins and outs of commonly used tools such as Excel and PowerPoint, determining the specific techniques that best fuel your productivity, and honing your patience for executing tasks you don’t love (since they will undoubtedly surface at every job to some extent).
As Leandra Medine, the founder of, says on her podcast “Monocycle,” “We have to reframe our methods of thinking. Because everything has the potential to be good. Everything has the potential to be seen as a learning experience and a tool of motivation to make us better.”
This doesn’t mean you have to settle and remain disengaged and unhappy forever. But until you know your next steps, respect yourself and your co-workers by putting your all into your day (most days).
2. Set Up Your Own Personal Reward System
Your employer may or may not have some sort of rewards system already in place, but when it comes to keeping you interested and engaged, it doesn’t seem to be working. Therefore, take it into your own hands by setting up a personal incentive program.
As tasks you dread pile up on your plate, schedule rewards to give yourself upon completion. They can be small, such as a grabbing a coffee with your co-worker, or larger and more significant, such as taking a personal day.
Choose goals you need to reach—finishing a project, staying on top of your inbox, actively participating in a team meeting—and then pick appropriate rewards to go with them. (Appropriate meaning: You shouldn’t give yourself a day off every time you answer five emails.) Be mindful of your budget, though—not every prize has to cost money.
3. Plan Your Next Steps
There’s a chance that you’re just going through a rough patch at work. Maybe the honeymoon phase is over, or maybe your company itself is transitioning and things are rocky. But, that doesn’t mean you have to leave.
You may be able to speak with your boss and others at the company to gain a better perspective on your specific position, opportunity for growth and change, and how you can help out in other areas of the company that may be of interest to you. So don’t sit at your desk, procrastinating every day: Start setting up these meetings.
Or, maybe you’re sure this definitely is not just a tough couple of months, and it really is time to move on. That’s totally fine. But as you start to look for new positions, keep an eye out on what skills they want. And then use your remaining time left to attain those. For example, maybe you’re lacking public speaking experience, so sign up to lead meetings—not to help your boss out (we’ve established, you’re over her)—but to throw another bullet on your resume.
Either way, you need to start taking action to get yourself out of this slump you’ve been in. You’ll probably find that once you feel more in control of what you’re doing and can see an end in sight (no matter what that end will be), it may be easier to cross things off your to-do list.
After all—which of the following makes you feel better? I only have to do this for X more months or I have to do this for…ever.
That’s what I thought.
You can’t control everything in your life (unfortunately). But you can control how you handle it. As JZ Bingham, VP of Acquisitions and Editor-in-Chief at Balcony 7 Media and Publishing explains in a LinkedIn article, “There's nothing wrong with mentally checking out; it happens. But how you deal with it says a lot about you.”
How are you going to deal with it?

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#SB50 NFLPA Trust Locker Room Event
Super Bowl 50 was a great time for current and former players. Check out these fun images from the NFLPA Trust Locker Room two night event! 

Click here to see the photos

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Bodies change as they age and deal with adversity. For former players who have been retired for several seasons, it is important to understand the new challenges that can accompany an active lifestyle and the importance of incorporating movement into your daily life.
1) The older you are, the more important it is to train.

An untrained body tends to reach its physical peak in its early twenties. At 40, muscles shrink and fat accumulates. Strength and power decline rapidly. Starting at 50, the untrained body will lose 10 percent or more of its muscle mass per decade.
2) Hard work doesn’t mean overdoing it every time you train.

You want to stimulate your body during training, of course, but let’s not overdo it—and always consider the role of recovery, which becomes more important in middle age. Too much work with too little recovery will bring down anyone, at any level. Remember to include some recovery techniques with your workout.
3) Decline is inevitable.

Strength and power decline with age, though some people do not reach their physiological peak until middle age.
4) How fast you decline is up to you.

People tend to blame genes in the aging process. And genes have a great deal to do, for instance, with balding and getting gray hair at an early age. Such factors impact the appearance of age, but not how well your body actually is aging. Your workout routine and lifestyle choices can make you as much as two decades younger at the cellular level.
5) If an activity hurts, stop doing it.

Sounds simple, but how many times do you keep up an activity or workout even though there’s pain? Sports or workout-related pain seldom is quick, sharp, and obvious. If you have a pain or a nagging injury, seek medical attention before continuing your training.

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To learn more about the transition offerings of The Trust, visit their website.

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We are "One Team", built around a fraternity of former NFL Players who are aligned, connected and engaged, working together in life beyond football.

800-372-2000 x132

Nolan Harrison III, MBA
Senior Director

Dee Becker
Assistant Director

Lorenzo Kaufman
Senior Manager

Amber Edwards
Membership Services Coordinator

Garrett Wooddell

NFLPA National Office

1133 20th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
9:00am - 5:30pm EST

Free Lifetime Membership
Please update your contact information  to earn your free lifetime membership and to learn more about what the Former Player Services Department offers our players. Renew your membership online through your profile page on 

Thank you for your commitment to the union who has fought for, and will continue to fight for, our rare and special fraternity. You can also call Membership Services at 202-756-9165 if you have any membership or internet questions.

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Updated NFLPA FPSD Resource Book!
The new resource book with information on NFLPA Former Player Services, The Trust, the PAF and other important resources is now available to view on your smart phone and tablets. Click this link for easy access. 
Player Emergency Help
NFL Get Help Hotline
Upcoming Events
Health, Career, Education and Lifestyle Programs for Former Players
Bahati VanPelt | Executive Director

Benefits Department

Available to answer player benefits and insurance questions.

800-372-2000 x155
Miki Yaras-Davis | Sr. Director
Bethany Marshall | Director
Chris Smith | Asst. Director
Adora Williams | Sr. Manager
Brian Francis | Coordinator

Professional Athletes Foundation

Gene Upshaw Players Assistance Trust (PAT)
Helping players  in need.

800-372-2000 x166

Andre Collins | Executive Director

Tyrone Allen | Director

Caryl Banks | Manager

Leslie Isler | Coordinator
Former players can sign up to receive a questionnaire by clicking here.
Monetary grants for qualified vested former players experiencing hardships.

NFL Player Benefits Office

Baltimore, MD
NFL Benefits Office for T&P, Disability, Plan 88, pension, second career, annuity and other benefits filing.

Former Player Life Improvement Plan

Joint replacement, discount prescription card, assisted living and more.
Off the Field is the national football player wives association 
Click HERE for more information on Off The Field Players' Wives Association

Membership Rewards

ONE TEAM Shop is the official online store of the NFLPA, and features name and number product for EVERY current player.  Former players be sure to check the Member Benefits section of for your 30% discount code.
Former player members receive a 20% discount on purchases at NFLShop and 877-NFL-SHOP
Links Unlimited provides 20% to former player members.
Save 40-50% through Callaway Golf's VIP Program. Email your name and email address to We will set up your online account so you can begin shopping immediately.
Union Plus is brought to you by Union Privilege, established by the AFL-CIO to provide consumer benefits to members and retirees of participating labor unions. Learn More

Transition Resources

Featured Partners

Athlife provides assistance to former players with all aspects of their education goals and helps players develop degree completion plans that allow flexibility to not return to campus or transfer. 

All former players are eligible with an NFLPA Former Player Membership. (Former players with 2+ credited seasons are eligible through The Trust.)

To access the membership benefits of Athlfe, please call:
(202) 756-9132.
The YMCA believes in strengthening individuals and communities. With a presence in 10,000 neighborhoods across the country, the Y has the reach and ability to help you transition to life off the playing field.

All former players are eligible with an NFLPA Former Player Membership. (Former players with 2+ credited seasons are eligible through The Trust.)

To access the free YMCA membership, call today:  
(202) 212-6188

Health Partners

Mayo Clinic would like to reach out to invite former player members to receive a proactive comprehensive heart health evaluation at one of their locations.  Schedule an appointment by contacting Elva Ortiz (Program Coordinator) at or call 480-301-8216
If you and your family do not have health insurance, the NFLPA is proud to recommend Working America Health Care.  In collaboration with GoHealth, Working America Health Care offers you:
  • information about health care law
  • an easy way to shop for health insurance
  • the lowest rates available
Don't sit on the bench and miss out on this unique opportunity.

Call 800-907-8683 or visit the NFLPA specific website.

Business Mentoring

With over 13,000 volunteers in 347 chapters, SCORE has the expertise you need to succeed.

Use the Chapter Locator to find a SCORE office near you and request a free face to face mentoring meeting.


The NFLPA has partnered with Penn State World Campus to support the educational needs of NFLPA members. The World Campus offers more than 100 accredited graduate degrees, undergraduate degrees, certificates, and minors.

Penn State ranked as the No. 1 institution in the nation for producing the best-prepared, most well-rounded graduates who are most able to succeed once hired, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal.

Penn State World Campus offers NFLPA members a tuition reduction benefit for all degree and certificate programs. Learn more about how you can receive a top-quality education, completed at your convenience, from one of the world’s most renowned universities. 
The NFLPA has partnered with the University of Phoenix to provide former player members with educational opportunities that can provide you with skills and knowledge to help you excel.  To learn more , visit our University of Phoenix member page.
American Public University (APU_ and the NFLPA have teamed up to offer former player members flexible and affordable online degree programs and career services.

Former player members also have access to a variety of career services, including career coaching, mentoring and networking opportunities, as well as university-sponsored job boards and career fairs.

Visit APU's former player website for more information.

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Contact Us

1133 20th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

Nolan Harrison III, MBA
Senior Director, Former Player Services
NFL Player 1991 - 2000
Twitter: @nolanharrison74

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