Inside this week's FPN
 
PLAYER NEWS
Naples Financial Advisor & Former NFL Player Raises $16,751 for Habitat for Humanity of Collier County
By Laurel Meny

Winston Justice (home.wellsfargoadvisors.com/Winston.Justice) a Financial Advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors based in Naples, retired NFL football player, and Habitat for Humanity of Collier County board member – hosted a Super Build event on January 23 at Legacy Lakes, which raised $16,751 for Habitat for Humanity of Collier County.

Justice, who played for the Denver Broncos, the Indianapolis Colts, and the Philadelphia Eagles, and several of his former NFL teammate volunteers including Chris Maragos, Philadelphia Eagles; Adewale Ogunleye, Chicago Bears; and Chester Pitts, Houston Texans; and Derek Touchette's NFL Combine Training athletes, attended the Super Build and the Pre-Build Party hosted at Naples Luxury Imports the night before.

“We are truly grateful to Winston and his wife Dania for hosting this successful Super Build. Their generous donation will allow Habitat for Humanity of Collier County to continue to build attractive, affordable housing for those in need in our community,” said Rev. Lisa Lefkow, Habitat for Humanity of Collier County’s Executive Director of Development & Administration.

Habitat for Humanity of Collier County is one of the oldest and largest producing Habitat affiliates in the world. More than 1,850 families who once lived in substandard housing now own a simple, decent home of their own, having broken the cycle of poverty through their partnership with Habitat Collier.

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Meet the 16 Contestants Set to Compete this Season on ‘American Grit’
Former #NFL player Tony Simmons to compete on Fox's American Grit reality show
by Cody Schultz 

With the series premiere of Fox’s ‘American Grit’ less than two months away, Fox has finally unveiled the 16 competitors set to compete this spring!

Get ready to meet the sixteen men and women about to be put through the ultimate tests of strength, endurance and intelligence! Fox has released the names and photos of the sixteen men and women set to compete in the debut season if the network’s survival-themed competition series American Gritand this cast is as diverse as they come.

Among this season’s competitors are a set of personal trainers, a professional wrestler, a retired police officer, a registered nurse, a former NFL player, and the CEO of a nutrition company.

Hosted by WWE Superstar John Cena, American Grit will test its competitors’ strength, endurance and intelligence through a string of military-grade and survival themed challenges on location in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. Cena will be joined by an elite group of mentors comprised of members of the nation’s most elite military units including Navy Seal Commander Rorke Denver, Army Sergeant Noah Galloway, Marine Gunnery Sergeant Tawanda “Tee” Hanible and Army Ranger Nick “The Reaper” Irving. Together, the group of mentors will work to push the competitors beyond their limits while instilling the values and ethos they’ve acquired through their service.

Without further adieu, here are the 16 men and women set to compete in the debut season of Fox’s new original series American Grit: http://hiddenremote.com/2016/02/25/meet-the-16-contestants-set-to-compete-this-season-on-american-grit/

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FOUNDATION AWARD CONTEST
Are You Inspiring Healthier Communities Through Sport?
 
Apply for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports Award
 
If your organization has an innovative and collaborative approach to making your community a healthier place to live, consider applying for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports Award.
 
Background

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health. The RWJF Sports Award recognizes the ways in which sports influence healthy change in communities. Approaches may include: using sports to help children with social and emotional learning, providing spaces for children to be active, and utilizing sports to help children with mental health challenges.
 
All winners will receive a cash prize of $7500 and have the exclusive opportunity to attend a private ceremony at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation headquarters in Princeton, NJ on September 28, 2016.
 
Eligibility Criteria

Those eligible to apply are making communities healthier through sport in one of the following categories:

Category 1: A foundation based in the United States or Canada.

Category 2: An individual athlete or professional coach’s foundation based in the United States or Canada.
 
Application Deadline April 6, 2016 (5 p.m. ET)
 
For more information visit www.rwjf.org/sportsaward or contact Alisha Greenberg at sports@rwjf.org.

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MEMBERSHIP REWARDS SPOTLIGHT
Members receive discounts to the Walt Disney World Resort through our partnership with Union Plus.
To Activate: Visit http://bit.ly/1P1TCOn
 
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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:
http://footballplayershealth.harvard.edu.
BUSINESS
3 Basic Email Mistakes That Make You Look Really Unprofessional
By Stacey Gawronski

Like most of you, I cannot remember a professional life (much less a personal one) where I didn’t correspond via email. For the most part, it’s an efficient and simple way of communicating, and, when used correctly, it saves time, answers questions, and makes connections. Suffice it to say, I don’t believe I could live without it.
Unfortunately, with the ease of email and the speediness to which many of us are accustomed to sending, forwarding, or replying comes a few road bumps, if you will. I have little tolerance for careless errors like misspelled words (most programs alert you to these types of typos with a squiggly red line), and saying you’re going to CC someone and then forgetting to actually CC him or her. That’s amateur territory. (Although, my mother is forgiven for occasionally sending me messages in all caps.)

Seriously though, because the forum is often the number one way you have ofcommunicating with a client, boss, or networking person, it’s imperative that you get it right. And not just for the sticklers out there, but for yourself—you’d hate for the recipient to miss the point of the message because he or she’s focused on an (avoidable) error. Today a typo loses you a little bit of respect with a co-worker, tomorrow it could very well lose you a job opportunity with a person you meet at a conference.
Ahead, three incredibly basic mistakes you may be making without realizing how very unprofessional they’re making you look to the reader.

1. Forgetting to Attach

Career Coach Rajiv Nathan is deeply grateful for the prompts in Outlook and Gmail that let you know you’re about to send a message without an attachment when you explicitly state that you are, in fact, attaching something. Why? Because, before they existed, he regularly committed the egregious error of not attaching—not once, not twice, but three times!
Nathan admits that early on in his career, he had a terrible habit of rushing through work. The result of that led him to frequently send emails saying, “Please see the attached file,” without actually attaching it. Nathan remembers sending the necessary follow-up: “Sorry about that! Here you go!” Unfortunately, it didn’t always end there. “Finally, on the third follow-up (and fourth email total), I attached the damn thing,” recalls Nathan.
“Definitely not a good look,” Nathan acknowledges. In fact, it was such a regular problem that during one of his performance reviews, he was flagged for needing improvement in that area. From that point forward, Nathan taped a strip of paper to the top of his screen that read: “Did you attach the file?”

Be extra diligent about mentioning the “attached” so that the handy prompts (“You said attached? Send anyway?”) appear before your email is sent. Everyone is allowed a slip-up here or there, but make a habit of this careless behavior and you’ll start to get a reputation for being unable to accomplish this basic task. 

2. You Go On and On

One of my closest friends is an attorney who bills by the hour. As such, she is accustomed to writing sparingly and not droning on. I could take a lesson from her.
Jenny Foss, Muse Career Coach, stresses the importance of saying what you need to say and no more. She explains, “The inability to say what you need to say—succinctly and with the recipient's time in consideration—can easily annoy someone who may have been willing to hear you out, or even glad to hear you out.”
This is especially true if you’re “sending an email looking for a favor, or input, or support—or even just to touch base or ask a question.” In spite of how useful shooting messages back and forth can be, it’s gotten to be a real drag for some people, and Foss cautions you to “keep in mind that the person at the receiving end very well may find email (in general) the bane of her existence. This person could be up until midnight most nights just trying to excavate herself from a barrage of emails.” That’s why she says you've got to present your ideas neatly or risk looking “unprofessional or downright inconsiderate.” And, along the lines of Nathan’s mishap that resulted in sending several consecutive attachment-less notes, “don't, for heaven's sake, send three emails back-to-back. Get your thoughts together and send one,” Foss concludes.

Getting the hang of saying only what you need to in a straightforward manner may take practice, but it’s worth the effort in the long run. Read through what you write before sending and cut anything unnecessary, such as any words, lines, or even whole paragraphs that are only repeating or regurgitating what you’ve already said. It can be tempting to over-explain, but more often than not, your attempts will just seem repetitive. Learning to write with purpose and a sense of direction will serve you well in your many professional email correspondences. Your reader will thank you for the brevity and will be that much more likely to respond in kind—instead of letting your too-long message sit unread in a competitive inbox.
 
3. You Spell the Person’s Name Wrong

No, just no. There’s absolutely no excuse for writing to someone and misspelling his or her name. We all have our pet peeves, and this is mine, but I’m sure I’m not alone. Here’s the thing, my name—and the correct spelling of it—is in my signature and in my email address, which is all right there out in the open for the sender to see. I’m so sensitive about this issue that I regularly double-check the spellings of names that typically have more than one option (Kristin, Stephen, Mark, Carrie, and so, so many more) before I press send.
Does it take two extra seconds? Sure. But, obviously, in the grand scheme of things, that’s no time at all. I’d much rather get it right the first time than have to apologize for my careless error. If you’re so busy that you can’t even get the name of the person whom you’re addressing right, then what else are you bound to do hastily? That’s what your reader will be wondering. This small and unarguably simple mistake speaks volumes of your other capabilities. So, double check your work and address the person correctly.

You likely send and receive a lot of emails in any given day. Avoid making small, careless errors that send the message, above all else, that you’re not as professional as you really are. Don’t sacrifice quality in the name of speed, and for Pete's sake (or is it Peter?), don't lose respect points because of an avoidable email mistake.

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HEALTH
Identity Crisis: Discover Your Identity
BY ERICA CARR

Whether you’re questioning your identity or just haven’t taken the time to develop your own identity to begin with, getting to know you is an important part of living a full and happy life. Here are some helpful tips to get to know yourself. Keep in mind to approach this as a fun adventure. These tips can be used in any order, as they’re all about finding your voice and comfort zone.

1. Seek the journal

I’m not talking about the Wall Street Journal, what I mean is the all-about-me journal. Oftentimes, people who have always focused on others feel selfish to take time for their needs and wants, hence their lack of defined identity. Time to get over that misconception and designate a journal that’s just about you and for you. Yes, it’s OK that this is about you. That’s the point. If it’s uncomfortable at first and you don’t know what to write, that’s perfectly fine. Start with a list of things you like, such as your favorite food, time of day, perfume, where you’d love to travel, favorite song or film—anything. Just let it flow. This may sound sophomoric, but it truly releases the flood gates and introduces you to your most basic self. Your list could also include things that you don’t like. That is oftentimes just as telling when establishing an identity.
When I began this exercise, I didn’t know my favorite flower, TV show, or many of my most basic preferences, never mind what I wanted as a career and traits in a quality partner. These baby steps helped me learn about me, allowing me to keep growing and establishing my identity. This can be liberating and accomplish success, thus igniting the desire to continue on the exploration of who one truly is at their core.

2. The wish list

This is actually not wishes but authentic wants. List 50 or 100 things you want. The quantity is important, as it really forces you to search yourself. When I did mine years ago, I easily hit 20 or 30 and then really had to dig deep to reach 50 and above. This was suggested by an advisor many years ago. I still have my original wish list from 2004, as well as subsequent ones from 2008 and 2013. It’s amazing what such an exercise reveals immediately and later on. Happily, this acted as a goal list, unbeknownst to me at the time, as well as a great identity development tool. It feels wonderful to look back and see that I accomplished wants, or dare I sayunidentified goals, just by making this list and anchoring them in my heart and mind.

3. Character development

Another tip to getting to know oneself is to consider what characters you admire and what you like about them. It could be someone you know, a movie character, activist, anyone whom you admire or find interesting. As a 30-something woman, I realized that my identity was based on what others wanted and that I acquiesced or adapted to other’s hobbies and interests. So, when divorcing and facing life alone, I had no idea who I was or what I wanted. Not an easy feat to figure out. It was easy, however, to think of people that I admired and what specifically I liked about them, which provided real insight into what I actually possess or like about me. It’s a creative and different way to learn about you, especially if you’re not a list maker.

4. Take action

It’s important to look at this like an exploration or adventure. You’re on an expedition to discover yourself, like Indiana Jones searched for the Holy Grail. Embark on your journey. This is great for hands-on people. Do whatever piques your interest. If you like art, go to a gallery and see which pieces of art you like. Investigate those pieces and artists. Whatever your interest, just do it. Try things. I like to take field notes when I discover new places. Usually, there’s some little nougat that I uncover from such treks, even if as a whole I didn’t enjoy the adventure. If you’re more introverted, you can still dive in and search online for your interests. I encourage trying new things with a learning approach. You’re out to gather information—your likes and dislikes. I now know from escapades that I don’t care for opera and would like those 3+ hours of my life back, however, Ido thoroughly enjoy poetry slams—especially judging them. That identity information was gleaned from taking action.

I encourage staying positive and in exploration mode. Learning what one doesn’t like and the journey of self discovery can be just as valuable as quickly knowing what one does like. Everything is a learning experience. The most important thing is to be aware and present. You are the subject, and a very worthy subject at that. Be open and try new things. You will be rewarded for it.

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THE TRUST CORNER

SPEAKING YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR'S LANGUAGE
Do you feel like your financial advisor is speaking a foreign language? It sure feels that way to several people. Greg can get you and your advisor speaking the same language.

Have a financial question? Send it to Ask Financial Finesse.

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I Am The Trust
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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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
Administration

NFLPA National Office

1133 20th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

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

800-372-2000
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 NFLPA.com. 

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
877-506-0078
NFLLifeline.org
Upcoming Events
Health, Career, Education and Lifestyle Programs for Former Players
866-725-0063
info@playerstrust.com
Bahati VanPelt | Executive Director
www.PlayersTrust.com

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

www.yourPAF.com
Former players can sign up to receive a questionnaire by clicking here.
Monetary grants for qualified vested former players experiencing hardships.
800-635-4625

NFL Player Benefits Office

Baltimore, MD
NFL Benefits Office for T&P, Disability, Plan 88, pension, second career, annuity and other benefits filing.
800-638-3186

Former Player Life Improvement Plan

Joint replacement, discount prescription card, assisted living and more.
800-NFL-GOAL
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 NFLPA.com 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 formerplayers@nflpa.com. 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 hearthealth@mayo.edu 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.

Education

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.

Social Networks

@NFLPAFmrPlayers
NFLPA Former Players
Connect on Instagram
NFLPAFormerPlayers

NFLPA.com

Don't forget to visit the NFL Players Association's website for updates and information about all players. One Team!
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Contact Us

NFL PLAYERS ASSOCIATION
1133 20th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036
www.nflpa.com

 
EDITOR
Nolan Harrison III, MBA
Senior Director, Former Player Services
NFL Player 1991 - 2000
nolan.harrison@nflpa.com
Twitter: @nolanharrison74


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