Our mission is to help former and forgotten athletes find identity and purpose after sports so that they can live with hope and fulfillment in all areas of their life.
Every year, millions of athletes around the world transition out of sports unprepared and ill-equipped to deal with their new life. This not only the case with professional athletes but with college students as well if their athletic dreams do not materialize as they had hoped or if they are derailed by an injury as I was. Athletes with a strong athletic identity define themselves on the basis of their sport. Their sense of worth, self-esteem, and success are all connected with being an athlete.
The psychological toll of this can be serious and can contribute to depression, hopelessness – and in some extreme cases – suicide.
Consider these statistics…
• While there are more than 4,000,000 NCAA athletes in the United States, less than 2% of college athletes play professional, leaving 98% to undergo some serious life re-evaluation.
• Intercollegiate athletes experience greater psychopathology. Examples include more problems with alcohol, and greater risk for eating disorders symptomatology.
• Approximately 22% of athletes have difficulty adjusting to being out of the spotlight and turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the transition.
• 78% of professional football players become bankrupt, divorced or unemployed after leaving the game.
“As athletes, we go through life getting praised and making a lot of money. We create a world where our sport is our life and makes us who we are. When the game is taken away from us or when we stop playing, the shock of not hearing the praise or receiving the big bucks often turns out to be devastating,” said NFL superstar, Brandon Marshall following the 2012 suicide of former San Diego Charger Junior Seau.
• Provide an Athlete Identity Assessment Tool to athletic teams that identifies high-risk athletes so we can offer emergency support
• Create training programs at the high school, college and professional levels that will prepare athletes for success after sports
• Establish online support/networking groups (teams)
• Create a comprehensive library of books, DVDs, CDs, e-books, audio books, interviews, and articles that will help athletes have a successful life after sports
• Train coaches/speakers/leaders to deliver keynotes and facilitate training programs
• Cultivate strategic partnerships with employers who are seeking to hire athletes
• Host live events designed to equip, inspire, heal and transform the athlete from the inside out
• Create a “second chance” scholarship fund to help former athletes retake undergraduate courses or pursue their Masters/Doctoral degrees
• Establish a network of counselors, psychologists, financial advisers, physical trainers and dietitians to help athletes through the transitioning phase
Our ultimate goal is to give current and former athletes the tools they need to make a successful transition from sports. We want them to know that they are more than their sport. They are more than their accolades. They are not what the media says about them. They are fearfully and wonderfully made and there is something amazing for them after athletics. Athletics does not have to be the best part of their life because the best part of their life, my life and yours is always in front of us.
Why I care
I am a former student-athlete who was at the point of suicide after an injury that interrupted my participation in college sports. I had no I idea what I would do with my life either athletically or professionally.
In 2008, I was accepted to Central Michigan University on a full scholarship to play football. Because of my height, size, speed, and talent, many coaches believed I had what it took to play in the pros someday. But at the end of my freshman year, I ruptured a disc in my back and needed emergency surgery to prevent my left leg from paralysis. I did everything I could to make it back on the field – physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic epidural injections, nerve-killing, painkillers – you name it... I did it!
To make a long story, short I succeeded. I signed a physical waiver and worked my way to becoming a starter for the next two years!
Nobody realized that I was highly addicted to pain medications at that point, but eventually, the painkillers were no longer effective and I developed a bad curve in my back preventing me from standing up straight. The athletic trainers told me they could not watch me harm myself any longer. They terminated my waiver prior to my senior year and didn’t allow me to play anymore.
Like too many athletes in my situation, I became suicidal.
I felt completely hopeless, heartbroken and depressed. I didn’t know who I was outside of sports, and my suicide attempts escalated until I was finally admitted to the psychiatric unit at St. Johns Hospital in Detroit, MI.
During my admission process, I was weeping hopelessly in my hospital room when an unknown woman came into my room and said, “I don’t know who you are, and I'm not even allowed to be back here in this department, but God sent me here to tell you that you need to say 'yes' to him.”
From Suicide to Success
That was almost six years ago. I am now happily married to my beautiful wife Brittany and we have two adorable little daughters Ava and Arianna. I’m a pastor, and I own a marketing consulting company. But most importantly, I survived. I survived the psychological and physical obstacles facing athletes with a strong athletic identity.
The critical tactics and mindsets I learned while transitioning from my athletic career to the real world has helped me to go from suicide to success.
I want to share what I’ve learned with millions of others, but I need your help to do so. This ministry will help athletes overcome the challenges that result from the end of their athletic career.
To further the impact of assisting these young men and women, I need your help.
In 2017 we raised a little more than $5,000 to launch SCA. This next round get us to the next phase of our originally, $20,000 goal. Your financial contribution will help us:
→ Publish a tranistion prevention curriculum for high school athletes
→ Offer transition prevention program for high school athletes for free or an extremely affordable cost
→ Provide small stipends for mentors of all sport levels
→ Pay resume experts to help athletes secure good jobs
→ Cover ministry upkeep including, hosting, email service provider, print materials, merchant service and more.
→ Offer scholarships for our premier coaching program to former and forgotten college and pro athletes.
Testimonials: Here is what people are already saying about the Ministry:
“I started crying in my office when I heard about this ministry. Since athletes are supposed to be strong and confident, I thought something was wrong with me for feeling depressed and confused about my identity after sports. This is something nobody is talking about but needs to be addressed.” ~ Whitney Johnson , former Track and Field athlete, Central Michigan University (Click here to learn more about Whitney's story.)
"Our athletic directors need this to do what they do better! Looking forward to working with Second Chance Athletes." ~ Ray, California State Athlete Directors Association
“I love the vision God has given Darryll for his ministry to athletes. I know a lot of professional athletes and I can tell you that his ministry is needed. I’m considering partnering with him.” ~ Tamara Lowe, NY Times best-selling author and America’s #1 Success Strategist
"This is exactly what I needed as I am just now transitioning out of sports at the age of 40 and trying to figure out who I am without sports." ~ Former body building athlete
I’m certain you have played sports, know someone who played or admires someone who plays. These are our friends, our neighbors and our roles model who need our help.
Make an impact
I am asking that you prayerfully consider making a gift to this Ministry at one the following giving levels:
There are 4 easy ways to donate:
1. Check: send to Darryll Stinson, 4830 River Green Parkway, Suite 150, Duluth, GA 30096
2. Phone: Download the Square Cash App and send to username $stinsondarryll
3. Online: gofundme.com/athleteministry
4. Online: paypal.me/stinsondarryll
Your best gift today will make an eternal impact in the lives of current and former athletes. When you make a financial contribution today, you will inspire others to give because they see other people are rallying behind the vision and supporting the cause. 100% of your gift will go directly towards the Ministry.
Thank you for sending your best gift today. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for caring about others. We appreciate your support, and so will the athletes who will benefit from your generosity.
I can’t wait to share this journey with you and the many testimonials of current and former athletes' lives being impacted because of your contribution. Please feel free to contact me personally should you have any questions regarding this ministry or your contribution. I’d be happy to answer any of your questions.
Founder & CEO