Highlights Inside this week's FPN
Harvard Launches ResearchKit App to Support Football Player Health

TeamStudy, an app that is part of the Football Players Health Study at Harvard University, uses ResearchKit to help former NFL players and the public better understand brain function, heart health, pain and mobility.
March 17, 2016 – The Football Players Health Study at Harvard University—a series of studies that examine the health and well-being of former football players and aims to develop more effective diagnostic and therapeutic interventions—today launched TeamStudy, an iPhone research app built using ResearchKit, the open source software framework designed by Apple. 

Former NFL players were integral in designing the app to focus on health issues that matter most to them, such as memory, balance, heart health, pain and mobility. For the first time, anyone with an iPhone can support the study of athlete health and help researchers better understand the health issues that matter most to former NFL players. TeamStudy is available as a free download from the App Store.

By engaging the general public, TeamStudy is establishing a control group that includes both men and women, as well as athletes and nonathletes. All study participants can interact directly with the Harvard research team, contributing questions and, over time, receiving results and statistics on the study findings. TeamStudy makes it easy for participants to enroll through an interactive informed consent process, and enables users to easily complete tasks and surveys directly from their iPhone. 

“By bringing the Football Players Health study to this app, we’re able to easily capture data from participants all over the nation, enabling us to better understand the everyday experiences of former NFL players,” said Alvaro Pascual-Leone, the principal investigator of TeamStudy. Pascual-Leone is a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, chief for the Division of Cognitive Neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation.

“Traditionally, we study participants in one location, failing to capture their real-life, day-to-day experience—for example, understanding things like pain and daily activity,” Pascual-Leone said. “Using ResearchKit, we will be able to quickly identify patterns that could lead to treatments for health conditions faced by former NFL players.”

“Assessing cardiovascular health is a key function of the app and a priority of the Football Players Health Study. We need to understand more about heart health among former athletes and work to identify factors that contribute both to health and disease,” said Aaron Baggish, associate director of Massachusetts General Hospital's Cardiovascular Performance Program and co-medical director of the Boston Marathon.

Former players have been involved not only in the design of the app, but also in testing. “As a former linebacker with the Dallas Cowboys for seven years, I can tell you that knowledge is key to progress. When we leave the game, there is not enough information available for us to understand our state of health,” explained Dat Nguyen. “For years, we've asked ourselves these questions: 'Should my joints have this much pain? Is my memory normal?  Should I be concerned about my heart health?’ TeamStudy will allow the Harvard researchers to answer these questions and share the facts with all of us.”

“This app will allow the Harvard team to take its work to another level—reaching perhaps thousands more former players and extending even further to fans, friends, spouses and other communities,” said Mark Herzlich, a linebacker for the New York Giants and a member of the NFLPA Executive Committee. “Across the board, we’re seeing more mainstream interest in supporting player health. TeamStudy will allow everyone’s voice to be heard as app users perform simple activities and answer basic health questions.”

About the Football Players Health Study at Harvard University

Launched in 2014, the Football Players Health Study at Harvard University is a series of studies and research initiatives addressing the whole player over the course of his entire life. The study is funded by the NFL Players Association, utilizing shared resources across supporting institutions at Harvard. With more than 2,800 participants enrolled, it is the largest study of former living players. Several smaller studies supporting novel research and promising treatments are currently underway across Harvard.

To download TeamStudy and for more information, visit:  footballplayershealth.harvard.edu/join-us/teamstudy-app
Twitter: @PlayersStudy
TeamStudy video: https://vimeo.com/157651306

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Former NFL player Brian Urlacher shows off hair transplant
Like a newborn baby, everyone expects Brian Urlacher to always be bald. He’s been like that for years, and honestly, he worked it. He’s got a nicely shaped head. But on Tuesday, he covered that famous dome with hair. From where? Urlacher said it’s his own hair that was transplanted from the back of his head to the top courtesy of a Chicago company called Restore by Katona.
Here’s a better view.
“Ta-da. I got hair,” he told WGN Morning News on Tuesday displaying his new look.

The follicles, however, aren’t that new. Urlacher said he got the procedure done in November 2014 and was able to cultivate his new hair do about four months ago. He revealed his family, kids and close friends all knew about his new look, but he disguised it publicly by wearing a hat, except for this one time when he went through a fast food drive-thru without the hat and was told, with hair, “You look like Brian Urlacher … but he looks a lot older.”
“I’m like, ‘You’re right, thank you.’ So she was basically telling me I look kind of young,” the 37-year-old said.
Although he said he was “happy to be bald,” Urlacher is ecstatic about the new possibilities his new hair offers.
“I’ve got so many things I can do now with my hair,” he said. “I put gel in it sometimes — it’s great.”
Twitter also thought the new look was great — well, great fodder. Urlacher’s former team got in on the joke as did his former Bears teammate Lance Briggs.

See the full post 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:
7 Ways You're Holding Yourself Back From Becoming a Huge Success
By Samuel Edwards of Inc.

It’s easy to identify all the external factors responsible for keeping you from achieving your goals. Maybe you chose a degree in an industry that has seen a recent decline. Maybe your boss doesn’t appreciate your work. Maybe your business idea was leveraged by another entrepreneur before you had a chance to patent it. Most of us can list these types of factors if prompted, without much hesitation, but it’s much harder to identify the ways we’re keeping ourselves from success—and usually, these factors are much more significant.

There are two main problems with self-sabotage that make it notoriously difficult to overcome:
  • Identification. It’s hard to know when you’re sabotaging yourself because it often happens subconsciously—and nobody’s there to tell you when you’re doing it.
  • Improvement. Even if you can identify these sabotaging behaviors and habits, they’re hard to fix because they’re usually a natural part of your personality!
I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I can help you with at least the “identification” obstacle. The following are some of the most common ways people sabotage their own long-term potential:

1. You Give Up Prematurely

When faced with adversity, a fraction of people continue and a fraction of people give up; this is true for any obstacle. Anyone who gives up instantly abandons hope of progression, while the people who persevere instantly find another chance for eventual success. This sounds simple on paper, so why do so many people give up prematurely?
Sometimes it’s because the amount of effort required for the next phase is intimidating. Sometimes it’s because they feel defeated and don’t want to suffer that feeling again. Sometimes it’s because they secretly fear success. You owe it to yourself to find out why.

2. You Don’t Cut Your Losses

There’s a psychological principle investment demonstrated by a creation known as thedollar auction game. Here’s the short version: people are predisposed to escalate their investment in known unfavorable scenarios simply because they’ve already invested in it. In the dollar auction game, this means staking more money in an effort to recoup previous losses, to a ridiculous degree. To you, this may be continuing to work at a lousy job you’ve already put eight years into. It’s bad to give up prematurely, but it’s equally bad to keep subjecting yourself to compounding losses.
3.You Refuse to Adapt

Think of your goals as a destination and your plans as a roadmap to get there. When traveling along these roads, you come to an obstacle. What do you do? A conventional traveler would simply re-route the path or choose a slightly different destination. However, in our own lives, we’re more likely to go back to our point of origin and never mention the incident again. Why is this? Because adapting is hard. People would rather give up than adapt, and that makes it nearly impossible to succeed; few goals can be met without obstacle.
4.You Think You’re Good Enough

Most of these obstacles so far have been rooted in a lack of esteem, but too much esteem can also be a bad thing. For example, if you think you’re already good enough for the job, you won’t prepare for the interview. If you think your business idea is good enough to attract investors, you won’t work to improve it. Inevitably, in these scenarios, you’ll hit a major barrier, and you won’t be able to progress. What then, is the solution? Knowing that you always have room for improvement, and constantly striving to achieve it.
5. You Fear Failure

The fear of failure is rampantly common and devastating in effect. Culturally, we see failure as both negative and permanent; if you get an “F” in the class, you’ve disappointed everyone you know and you’ll never have a chance to take that class again. This fear haunts us throughout life; if you start a business and fail, you’ll disappoint everyone and you’ll never have another chance to succeed. Of course, this isn’t rational—most failures in real life aren’t permanent. They’re temporary. They aren’t negative consequences of bad actions; they’re lessons that turn our mistakes into achievements. If you stop fearing failure, you’ll take more educated risks and you’ll be more confident in your decisions.
6. You Choose Comfort

Most of us prefer comfort to discomfort; this is why we’ve created these terms in the first place. Unfortunately, most forms of “success” require discomfort; you have to try new things, go unfamiliar places, do things you’re bad at, and meet intimidating people to challenge ourselves to grow. This doesn’t mean you should always choose the uncomfortable option. Instead, this is meant to illustrate the idea that “uncomfortable” often means “challenging” under the surface, and challenging things help us to grow.
7. You Wait for the “Perfect” Moment

Whether you want to start your own business, quit your job, or invest in a new venture, most of us are crippled by waiting for the “perfect” time to pull the trigger. We wait for a little more money, a little more stability, or a little more information. The problem is, the perfect time never comes. Every moment is riddled with imperfections and no matter how long you wait, there will always be a risk associated with your decision. Stop waiting for the perfect moment and just do what you want to do.

Throughout this article, I’ve highlighted some of the most common and most significant forms of self-sabotage, along with some introductory strategies for how to deal with them. The rest is up to you. It takes confidence, determination, and willpower to successfully overcome these internal mental hurdles, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Know your weaknesses, stick to your goals, and most importantly, don’t give up on yourself.

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Where Those Supermarket Pre-Prepared Meals Really Come From
The meals at the prepared food counter in your local supermarket may look and taste good, but it’s hard to know exactly what you’re getting.
Pre-made salads, pasta dishes, and even rotisserie chicken can make for quick and easy meals, but according to Katherine Hobson at Consumer Reports, there are a few things you should know. When Consumer Reports compared several prepared meals from stores like Whole Foods, Wegmans, Cosco, and The Fresh Market, they found excessively high amounts of sodium in almost every dish they tested. And chances are, that “freshly made” meatloaf or other entrees were made off-site (possibly with processed packaged foods), and then reheated in the supermarket’s kitchen.
Furthermore, supermarkets don’t have to give you the nutritional facts for prepared food yet (the FDA is changing that soon). Consumer Reports also found several instances where prepared meals didn’t list the ingredients, or failed to mention major ingredients (so be wary if you have allergies).
All in all, while grabbing some grub from the supermarket’s prepared food counter may be better than a fast food combo meal, it’s probably not all that fresh or healthy either. And it’s especially not ideal for those who are looking to eat fewer processed foods since you can never tell which is which. The only way you can be sure food fits your diet and is freshly made is to make it yourself. You can learn more about their study at the link below.

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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.

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Nolan Harrison III, MBA
Senior Director

Dee Becker
Assistant Director

Lorenzo Kaufman
Senior Manager

Amber Edwards
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Garrett Wooddell

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

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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.
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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.


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

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