In the past week we have been exposed to yet two more tragic incidents in the world of professional sports. There was the murder suicide in the Kansas Chiefs organization and the DWI vehicular homicide involving two Dallas Cowboy teammates and friends. Most all would agree that these incidents continue to mount and are almost becoming ‘the new normal’ in regards to the actions and activities of aspiring, as well as accomplished professional athletes.
And let us not forget the torrent of sexual and physical abuses that go unreported and contribute to a culture of athletic acquiescence in our collegiate ranks. A blind permissiveness that has birthed such despicable episodes of a Penn State or a Notre Dame, where just two short years ago, Lizzy Seeberg, a 19-year-old freshman at Saint Mary’s College, across the street from Notre Dame, committed suicide after accusing a Norte Dame football player of sexually assaulting her. Story of the cover up, as usual, was rivaled only by that of the original unprosecuted crime!
As the CEO and Founder of the Professional Athletes Wellness Group, I do not portend to have definitive resolutions or de facto interventions that I can say our programs offer that will totally eradicate the reoccurrence of incidents like these. What I can say, most assuredly, is that there exists a tremendous need to address issues of athletes general ‘wellness’ as it pertains to personal responsibility and accountability in all facets of his/her life; social, emotional, familial, fiscal, and of course, physical. Not only at the professional level, but elementary (yes elementary!) middle, high school, as well as amateur and collegiate career plateaus.
The physical, emotional, social, and personal collateral damage to lives, friends, families, communities and the organizations/institutions these athletes represent is far, far too high a price to pay for the poor decisions that are often the result of a lack of a athletes social skills and personal development.
And that is why I established The Professional Athletes Wellness Group-(PAWGroup).
We offer one on one counseling, career, fiscal and social skill development workshops, ’parenting the talented athlete,’ anti-bullying and effective self- marketing sessions, physical skills (aka) combine style mini-camps, etc. Our stable of contributors include former professional sports athletes, Olympian winning athletes, skilled facilitators and community based partnerships, who all collaborated to really deliver a ‘holistic’ athletes wellness forum. It’s exciting, engaging, pragmatic, and essential, to borrow a few quoted words from satisfied participants and attendees.
Too often we see careers cut short due to making poor decisions off the field of play that in many cases have been repeated incidents which have been over-looked due to the individual’s athletic ability. We believe that you will find Professional Athlete Wellness Group interventions and programming is one viable solution to this aspect of this rapidly growing problem. We offer an assortment of services for the aspiring, and established athletes that helps them, and their stakeholders, be better positioned to be successful on and off the field of play.
They say life is less about what you do and more about how you respond. The ability to respond in the athletic arena does not always translate well into life’s arena. In other words, athletic skills do not equal life skills…and visa versa. The well balanced and socially adept athlete requires that he/she strengthen the mind while simultaneously strengthening the body. Hence, you have the philosophy behind The Professional Athletes Wellness Group. Too often we strengthen our bodies and forget to work on our minds. In that regard, we can be looked at as “decision trainers” and “judgment coaches”.
We help players and their families by giving them the tools they need to sustain a healthy lifestyle either in or out of organized athletics.
Rory T. Edwards
Professional Athlete Wellness Group