This section of PPD Mag bring articles on some of a host of issues, independent writers are encouraged to contribute to this section.

The Welfare of Footballers and Athletic Identity

Since 2012 the PFA has provided dedicated service to help its members wellbeing, and the numbers taking advantage of that are on the rise. According to the PFA website, the dedicated approach was taken because “we felt a lot of onus was being placed on the physical aspect of playing football and not enough emphasis on player’s emotional well-being, and I think the two go hand in hand,” said Michael Bennett, PFA Head of Welfare. The numbers of players receiving counselling are growing from previous years, and that number will continue to rise due to, the stress and pressure that comes with being a professional footballer and the overall business of football. Examining this rise in counselling with a misunderstanding of Athletic Identity and the personal developmental process of footballers from all ages could result in a higher demand for qualified helping professionals.

Mental health and Well-being have become a topic of conversation on the academy, and professional level of football. The overall field is in its infancy stage. This can explain why the terms Mental health and Well-being are used simultaneously with athletes. However, when a footballer or any professional athlete has issues or challenges associated with sports participation, traditional approaches and services concerning Mental Health and Well-being should not be considered. Since conventional Mental Health and Well-being services were never developed or designed for footballers.

According to the NHS, mental health services deal with a wide range of issues. Unfortunately, none of these legitimate issues deal with the root and essence of footballers daily problems and challenges, which is deep rooted in Athletic Identity. However, some of the services address the outcome of issues and the effects of Athletic-Identity. Traditional mental health services do not holistically address the core of footballers daily emotional and developmental state of mind.

Well-being is specific to addressing an individual’s emotional state such as anger, moods, anxiety, fear, stress, and trauma. Positive mental well-being means feeling good – about yourself and the world around you – and being able to get on with life in the way you want. Thus, only a small number of footballers or any athlete experiences a career in sport the way they want. Therefore, how are welfare officers and counselors addressing this critical component of life for the footballer?

Mental health services and well-being approaches are essential for the general public but fall short of providing a holistic approach for aspiring and professional footballers. While it seems footballers experience issues that appear identical to the general public, such as but not limited to depression, stress, anxiety, and alcohol abuse. Footballers are not part of the general public, due to their lifestyle, the process of becoming a professional footballer and the way the world around them revolves.

Why are sports specific mental health and well-being services essential to the youth footballer? Because sport is a business and at the academy level your dealing with kids, who in most cases can’t separate their emotional state from the business side of the game. According to one parent “Some academies do not care about the welfare of the boys,” said one mother, whose son was recruited by a Premier League club at the age of six and released at 13. “They just throw them on the scrapheap, ruin their confidence then turn to the next kid showing a bit of promise.” Unfortunately, finding the next Premier League professional requires casualties which is part of the business.

It’s important to note footballers at all ages experience a unique set of issues and challenges throughout a career which is deep-rooted in Athletic Identity and Post Traumatic Sports Disconnect (PTSD). According to David Conn both the Premier League and Football League, whose clubs have 12,000 boys in intensive training from the age of eight, much more in “development centres” from – preposterously – the age of five, pride themselves on providing a “holistic” experience for the children.

English football is proud to have a network of 8,500 welfare officers across the grassroots youth game, supporting safe and fun environments for everyone. However, is there a complete understanding of Athletic Identity and PTSD varying stages within the welfare officers community? A holistic, proactive approach to the personal development of footballers will continue to progress slowly, and the need for services will increase. Unless we begin to educate footballers, coaches, welfare officers, and counsellors on the unique areas of sport-specific mental health and well-being services.

The number one reason youth athletes and professional footballers progress or fail to advance to the next level of development on or off the pitch is due to the number of expectations placed on them as well as the expectations they put on themselves regarding sports participation. Education is essential for all on the subject of Athletic Identity combined with a detailed personal player development scheme, which is supported by three balanced pillars of an individuals personal, social and professional development. This scheme, if implemented, would eliminate the need to use traditional approaches when proactively attacking daily issues and challenges of footballers. Thus, moving the sport specific Mental Health and Well-being industry further in a positive direction.

Dr. Mark Robinson is the author of Athletic Identity The Personal Development of Athlete. 



See more Interviews, Articles or Videos

Back To PPD Mag

The Human side of Sports Management, Athletic Scandals and Athlete Behavior

Sports Management is a field that produces opportunities to work in a variety of sports-related capacities. According to Careers in Sports Management, people who work in sports management are interested in both sports and business. In school, sports management professionals learn about finance, marketing, law, and business as they apply to the world of sports. After completing their education, graduates can work in amateur, collegiate, or professional athletics in just about any type of sport and often find jobs as managers, scouts, coaches, and marketing and public relations specialists.  Stacey Marone, reported, sports management programs focus on the business and administrative aspects of the industry including sales, marketing, sponsorship, branding, operations, and economics.

Sports Management is widely seen as the business of sports. If sports management is the business of sports and athletes are effectively the business, shouldn’t people studying sports management be knowledgeable about the personal development issues and challenges facing their key asset responsible for generating or losing revenue?


“What is the ROI on personal development services for athletes?”


In interviews with college athletic and academic personnel, regarding a serious investment in the personal development for the athlete, the overall consensus seems to be “we cant measure personal development the way we can measure wins and losses or graduation rates.” Quickly followed by, “what is the ROI in personal development services for athletes?” Well, the ROI is becoming increasingly clear to many on the college and professional level. Therefore aspiring sports management professionals should take notice.


Probably the biggest and most recent example of what happens when we underestimate the personal development needs of athletes is Baylor University. SI Wire reported the widespread sexual assault scandal involving Baylor’s football program has cost the university more than $76 million. Bears for Leadership reform commissioned HSSK, a professional services firm, to estimate expenses and lost revenue due to the scandal. HSSK managing director Jared Jordan wrote, according to KWTX TV, “It is my estimation that the financial impact of the sexual assault crisis at Baylor could be as much or more than $223 million consisting of $121.7 million in costs and $101.3 million in lost revenues through 2019,”

Coaches and Administration

Athletes aren’t alone in the need to understand personal development as displayed in the Rutgers scandal. Since 2013 according to USA Today, Rutgers has spent at least $2.3 million on the scandals — a figure that includes settlements, search firms, and crisis management consultants. It’s amazing how we are surprised by coaches behavior but ignore educating coaches on athlete behavior and more importantly athlete needs.


On the professional level, it’s not just the individual athlete that lose financially when ill-advised behavior is exhibited. Shareholders of Nike, Gatorade, and other Tiger Woods sponsors lost a collective 5 to 12 billion in the wake of the scandal involving his extramarital affairs, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, Davis.

What If…
The athlete can be considered the driving force in sports management, without athletes sports would be non-existent. What if we started educating people in the business of sports on the human side of the business of sports management? We have become so consumed with generating revenue and the bottom line of winning and losing. We have misjudged the need to provide education on the personal development and well-being of the business. To such a point that athletic scandals are becoming too common and costly.


A Sports Management degree covers all required areas of running the business of sport but has neglected to educate its potential graduates on athlete behavior and the direct relationship to achieving the goal of managing a successful athletic organization. The answer to the question, what is the ROI on PPD programs and services to the university? The ROI is in the millions if you consider, Baylor University lost $223 million, Rutgers University lost 2.3 million, shareholders of Tiger Woods lost 5-12 Billion and schools such as Ole Miss had to part ways with 7.8 million and UNC-Chapel Hill is missing 18 million. Mainly because they all misunderstood the ROI of the personal development of the key asset (the athlete) of the business of sports.





See more Interviews, Articles or Videos

Back To PPD Mag

Athletic Identity: Transition to Transformation Book

Most athletes enjoy an exciting athletic career with little preparation for the road that lies beyond sports. Research indicates it takes college athletes between 18 months and five years to become fully adjusted to life without sports participation. During this transition to transformation (T2T) process, athletes can suffer depression, loneliness, alcohol and drug addiction, lack of confidence, and unrealistic expectations for life without sports.

Over the years through research, I have read countless numbers of articles on athletes and transition.  I have also worked with athletes through this time consuming and delicate process.  The majority of research is specifically geared towards transition as a career ending process.  However, when working with athletes, my approach has been to prepare them for the multilevel platform of transition, which consists of much more than exiting out of a career in sport.

The essence of transition for athletes is centered in the personal, social and professional development of the athlete.   Transitions include but are not limited to: being drafted to play on a team, not making the team, being released from the team, having to play a lesser role on a team, the unexpected injury (short, long and career ending), playing on the junior team to playing on the senior team, management changes, coaching changes, etc.  These are some of but not limited to the transitions that affect athletes competing in sport.

Athletic Identity Transitional Management (AITM) is a component of personal player development.  It has been designed to provide an industry name as well as an explanation of how this process affects athletes and helping professionals.  For athletes to make a smooth transformation (of any kind), they must understand how the athletic environment shapes their thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Understanding these environmental elements directs athletes to one of or multiple, athletic identity T2T perspectives, get your copy and learn more about the transition process of athletes.

Order your Book Today!









Back to PPD Mag

Community College Student Athlete Success Conference Report


On October 28th 2016, the IPPD conducted a student athlete conference on the campus of West Los Angeles College. West Los Angeles College is one of 114 colleges of the California Community Colleges System. The IPPD requested that student athletes attending the conference complete a brief survey focused on exploring student athlete success. The following report highlights the key findings related to California Community College student athlete priorities and definitions of success.

Download the full report here:

Community College Student Athlete Success Conference Report

Back to PPD Mag

Memoir of an Athlete, Brandon Ballard, Part One

The successful journey of the current student-athlete begins and ends well outside of the realm of their performance in their perspective setting of play. History is being made, and records are vanishing due to the millennial student-athlete as well as the black millennial student-athlete. All student athletes that make it to the college level share the same feelings of accomplishment knowing they are the select few that will have the opportunity to continue their athletic career beyond high school or club play.

I genuinely believe there is not a universal comprehension of the stories behind each and every student-athlete that make this enormous accomplishment come true. A student-athlete must meet all sorts of guidelines before they have the choice to accept the opportunity to be a collegiate student-athlete based on their athletic abilities. I remember when my high school counselors and coaches informed the team that it was time to complete the NCAA Eligibility Center, diploma, and standardized test score requirements if you were serious about performing on the next level. Of course, I had no idea things like this existed, but I completed the task because that’s what it took. There are plenty of student-athlete stories that stop there. Not because of their athletic ability but because they couldn’t meet those three requirements stated alone. Who’s to say they shouldn’t have the opportunity to better themselves because of those requirements when they’ve made it so far already.

An important entity we should not overlook is the background of a student athlete, which includes their personal development. Student-athletes come from single, two-parent, legal guardian upbringings from all races and environments, which play a huge role in the personal development of the student-athlete entering college.

The personal development portfolio student-athletes carry with them through their journey is often dormant because their sports desires either over influence them not to speak to someone about their personal growth needs or they are unaware such resources even exists.

Fortunately for me, I was raised by both of my college-educated parents (my mother, who ran track) in a single home with a general sense of self-love and thankfulness to have a solid personal development foundation. Although they were college graduates, the dynamic of being a college athlete in this generation is different, so the foundation they provided me with had to be tinkered with, once I finally made the decision to attend Florida International University, located in Miami, FL and run track their as a walk-on my freshman year.

However, coming out of high school in 2012 being named the “Student Athlete” of the Year I was not informed of the opportunities to personally develop myself that would surround me being a student-athlete in college. The general sentiments of “You made it!” seems to plague college student athletes, not knowing that college is only the beginning. Advising the high school student athlete of the resources they can use to network and build their inner-being before they are sent off to college is critical.

Personal development is needed at the collegiate level. The dynamics my university offered were everything a high school athlete could imagine. However, if it weren’t for my upbringing and constant contact with my parents, my grades would’ve been atrocious. Resulting in me never earning the scholarship I was aiming for since making the decision to go to FIU. Your coaches can control you while you’re at practice and your adviser can guide you through the educational process but when you are alone with your “friends;” who is responsible for providing the personal development facets needed to help you become the best collegiate athlete you can be?

The Freshman Year Student-Athlete Experience

I walked on campus in Miami, moved into my dorm by myself, and was immediately the new track guy.  I had the identity as the new track guy before people could even get to know my name. Maybe because the first day I had arrived I was given an FIU Track and Field hat and rocked it all throughout freshman orientation, but truly it was because I was a student-athlete amongst regular college students. Athletics was number one from the beginning; I was there to perform, get the scholarship and get the degree. I was unaware of the type of advantages I could receive being an athlete and a student.  I separate the words for a moment to emphasize the difference between a collegiate athlete to a full-time student. As an athlete, I was exposed to all the other athletes from different backgrounds and immediately shared bonds and built friendships/connections.  But from my vantage point, the rules and regulations for us are different to the non-student athlete.

My fellow athletes and I walked around campus with a particular mantra about ourselves; you were an elite athlete. At my school, there was a little less than 50 thousand students enrolled but only about 350 student athletes, who for the most part all stayed on campus at a commuter school.

We were loud and proud about our FIU, wearing the gear we received. Of course, we were grinding working our butts off to be the best athletes we could be, but that constant appeal of being the athletes on campus in Miami, FL of all places can be mesmerizing. Too mesmerizing for some as I had probably lost more than two dozen teammates to the “Miami Animal” of endless fun and women/men. I was close to losing my opportunity as well, with a couple of run-ins with the campus police that could’ve ended terribly.


Read Part Two



See more Interviews, Articles or Videos

Back To PPD Mag

Transitional Management Program for Athletes

The Institute for Personal Player Development has launched its Transitional Management program for athletes of all ages.  Most people believe the transition is a one-time occurrence which takes place at the end of an athlete’s athletic career, but that is not entirely true.  A transition can occur as a result of many things such as an athlete entering college as a Freshman, and moving on to Sophomore, Junior and Senior year.  Transitions occur when athletes transfer schools or are asked to redshirt or play a new position.  They also occur when an athlete is charged with a crime or removed from the institution.   But the biggest transition is the final transition, leaving the athletic experience altogether.



For information on the Institute for Personal Player Development, Transitional Management program click here:  Transitional Management Program




See more Interviews, Articles or Videos

Back To PPD Mag

Athletes and Transitional Management

The disturbing transformation of Cliff Harris a one-time All-American high school athlete, Pack 12 champion, and former NFL hopeful is unfortunate but not new.  In fact, athletes self-destructive behavior post career is becoming a common theme for collegiate and professional athletes who are forced to transition out of sports. Transitional Management is a term we rarely associate with sports however the lack of transitional management services afforded to collegiate and professional athletes is at a minimum, and the need seems to be ever growing.

When Michael Phelps retired from swimming, he lost his identity and didn’t have any direction.  According to Phelps “I took some wrong turns and found myself in the darkest places you could ever imagine, that I hope nobody ever goes.”  The reality of Phelps loss of identity will be experienced by many collegiate and professional athletes. Although the athletic community and media witness issues and challenges athletes face, we still have not grasped the formula to assist young men and women who give us their all.”



What’s the cause of athletes spiraling out of control after they leave the game and what is needed to prevent it?  The proper term is Athletic Identity Transitional Management. Consider it a guide to understanding the multilevel platform of transitions experienced through sports participation, with a careful examination of the thought and behavior process associated with a significant change.  When we understand the process of thinking and behavior, we then can begin to work toward a successful transition.  According to Ronnie Stokes, former Ohio State standout, “Transitional support services are vitally important, unfortunately, kids leave college ill-equipped in certain areas, they are thrown out and expected to survive in a number of sectors, and the transition is an ongoing process.”

Some argue why should any collegiate or professional organization provide transitional management services for former players?  After all, when an employee or volunteer is fired or leaves a volunteer position in the workforce, they are never provided transitional management services. My argument is simple, these staff and volunteers that work for a company didn’t dedicate a significant part of their youth and adult life to that profession or that company, neglecting other opportunities in pursuit of becoming the best athlete they can be.

The transition from sports to the real world is documented as a difficult one.    However, athletes experience many transitions before transitioning out of sports, which we neglect.  Collegiate and professional organizations seem to have issues and challenges providing adequate programs and resources to assist athletes when experiencing a transition.  While they have programs in place, these programs are either, out of touch or misinformed on the particular type of services athletes require. Therefore, we are witnessing unfortunate stories of athletes who have everything going for themselves and end up with nothing.

If we expect athletes behavior in and outside of the sport to improve, our behavior, understanding, and approach to assisting athletes with the transitional phases need to improve as well.  More importantly, accountability for the well-being of athletes must become more than lip service or driven by the buddy system, specifically on the collegiate level.

Athletes dedicate years to the sport and the athletic community as he/she attempts to become the best they can be, meanwhile providing entertainment for fans, alumni, as well as generating revenue. Collegiate and professional organizations have an obligation to provide transitional management services for athletes they encounter, even when an athlete is removed from the institution for a disciplinary reason.  Was Cliff Harris provided any assistance during the  transitions he encountered while providing athletically related services?  Has anyone reached out to offer assistance to him now?

It’s sad when a former collegiate athlete will receive a letter or call from their universities foundation soliciting dollars but never receive a phone call from the athletic department asking how they are managing the transition.

For information on the Institute for Personal Player Development, Transitional Management program click here:  Transitional Management Program




See more Interviews, Articles or Videos

Back To PPD Mag

Athletes Equal Business and the IPPD Partnership

The Institute for Personal Player Development has partnered with Athletes Equal Business to provide preparation and career services for the Institute. Athletes Equal Business is a company dedicated to coaching, counseling and placing highly talented student-athletes into the corporate world. Working in harmony with educational institutions and America’s top companies, Athletes Equal Business helps student athletes make a smooth transition from the playing field, to their vocational field, and find rewarding employment. The Institute for Personal Player Development provides top quality training and development for athletes and athletic staff, with an emphasis on the personal, social and professional development of athletes. The partnership will merge services and offer athletes and athletic staff assistance with post-collegiate career preparation, Transitional Management Assistance and will provide a high school and community college online program.

Research has clearly shown that making the transition from college athletics to the “real world” is a difficult, frustrating and often painful experience for student-athletes. The reason for this, unlike most traditional students, athletes are focused on practicing and competing in their sport well into their senior year. This significantly reduces the time available to participate in career fairs, campus interviews and other programs designed to help them find gainful employment.

According to Scott Cvetkovski Director of Campus Relations for, Athletes Equal Business, the partnership is going to provide a beautiful, holistic support avenue for athletes everywhere. The Institute and Athletes Equal Business share the same values, and we believe this partnership makes us stronger in our cause to make sure athletes are getting the most education and support to be successful before, during, and after sports.

Dr. Mark Robinson, Sr. Director of the Institute for Personal Player Development believes this partnership is another step in building a full-service personal development institute specifically focusing on the athlete and the global athletic community. The partnership provides our growing list of domestic and international Personal Player Development Specialist an in-house option to assist athletes with career preparation and development. The agreement also allows the Institute to move forward and fully implement our Transitional Management Assistance program in all areas, which I am extremely excited about.

To learn more about Athlete Equals Business or The Institute for Personal Player Development contact:

Dr. Mark Robinson





See more Interviews, Articles or Videos

Back To PPD Mag

International Basketball Scams on the RISE: Don’t fall Prey to the Predator  

Since writing my first article on International Basketball Scams, I have received emails about possible scams and I can tell you the Scammers are still at large looking for Dream Chasers like yourself.  I created the International Basketball Workshop for International basketball Dream Chasers. Please invest in educating yourself on the business of playing International Basketball and how to avoid becoming a victim of the popular international scam.

My workshop contains valuable information and allows athletes an opportunity to use me as a sounding board on issues that directly pertain to International basketball.  If you come across a contact or contract that you don’t think is legit, you need to watch my workshop.  Everything you need to know is covered in the International Basketball Success Workshop of join our Facebook group.

ad3 copy


In the meantime, please review some of the emails I received regarding International Basketball scams over the past few months, the threat is real:

My girlfriend got an offer to play ball overseas in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The man sent her an email Sept 23, and she quickly responded. He even said they’ll pay for her ticket just send $110 to whomever. She paid the agent and also went and got her passport.  She is still waiting for a response from him since last week (it’s going on two weeks since she’s communicated with this guy) and she’s been messaging him, and he will not respond. Do you think it’s a scam?

Dr. Mark: Yes this is a Scam!

Hi, I saw your article on overseas basketball scams, and I have a guy who initially wrote me on Facebook asking if I wanted to play basketball in China. Now, when I asked for the agency the man worked for he told me he worked for Ingle Wood basketball agency based out of the UK. I did some research and couldn’t find anything on this agency.

Dr. Mark: Yes this is a Scam!

I searched the team that was on the form he sent which was called the “Nanjin Army” china- NBL team. So I saw that the team was legit. But I don’t know what this man’s connection is to them. I have tried to speak on the phone with him, but he keeps avoiding the conversation. I think this may be a scam but would like to know for sure?

Dr. Mark: Yes this is a Scam!

This “agent” Raynell Brown has been contacting me for CREFF MADRID women’s basketball team. Today he said I had to fill out a medical form and a copy of my passport.  The insurance emailed me the medical form and he asked me to send him $520 for the tryout to the Western Union.  He called me this morning with an unknown number saying I had to do it today.  I want to play overseas is this a scam?

Dr. Mark: Yes this is a Scam!

Hello, I just got offered to play for CB Salt in Liga Eba in Spain. They said they are paying for the flight, but I have to send them $355 for a Visa. They want me to send it through PayPal to an email address.  The agents that contacted me about this job were Jorge Sanchez and Sergei Fernandez. Does this sound like a scam?

Dr. Mark: Yes this is a Scam!

I was contacted by an agent who claims to work for Leicester Riders can you please let me know if this contract is fake please can you look over it.  Do you think this is a scam?

Dr. Mark: Yes this is a Scam!

I have recently been in contact with a scout/agent who works with Bizkaia  Bilbao  basketball club in Spain asking me to send $400 through the Western Union for medical insurance so I am just trying to see if it is legit and if I should move forward.  If I could forward you the emails, I received from them so you can verify them that would be great.

Dr. Mark: Yes this is a Scam!


Enroll in the Institute for Personal Player Development and watch my International Basketball Success Workshop.

Dr. Mark Robinson competed on the collegiate level for Indiana University and later played international basketball in Europe, Asia and Central America.  He is currently the Sr. Director of The Institute for Personal Player Development and a Personal Player Development expert.  He can be reached on:

Twitter: @drmarkppd






See more Interviews, Articles or Videos

Back To PPD Mag

Follow the Personal Player Development Podcast

The Personal Player Development Podcast presents discussions on the issues in the area of personally developing the athlete.

Why is this important?

Athletes spend much of their time focusing on athletic development and neglect their personal growth. Before we can focus on athletic development we need to concentrate on personal development. Search the internet and social media and you won’t find another podcast dedicated to the personal evolution of the athlete.

Who should listen?

Anyone working with or has and interest in taking a personal approach with a player and developing that player.


Your Host and Guest

12997_10100431826612913_551173430_n copyBrandon L Sweeney is the host of the show. Brandon is a Motivational Speaker, who’s soul-stirring messages has impacted thousands of young people. Brandon is also a Personal Player Development Specialist (PPDS) and provides athletes with the tools to build a blueprint for the future in and outside of sports. Finally, he is the author of the book entitled “Loving The Game When The Game Doesn’t Love You Back.”





marc1Dr. Mark Robinson is Co-hosting the show. He is also the Sr. Director of the Institute for Personal Player Development. Dr. Mark Robinson is a world leader in understanding the behavior and personal development needs of students as well as being a pioneer on Athletic Identity. He has worked closely with high schools, colleges, professional athletes and foreign governments, helping them to understand the intricacies of students and athletes and professional athlete development. Over the course of a 20-year study, Dr. Mark, as he is commonly called, has developed a unique framework committed to the improvement of long-term student and student-athlete success. Finally, Dr. Mark is the author of “Athletic: Identity, Invincible, and Invisible, the Personal Development of the Athlete.” Dr. Mark has been a guest on a number of podcasts, blogs, radio shows and ESPN’s Outside the Lines addressing the issues and challenges athletes face today. Through his experience and success, he offers a uniquely qualified perspective unmatched by most in the industry.


The PPD Podcast features athletes and helping professionals who share their knowledge and experience in the personal player development industry. Log on to Soundcloud to listen, share and learn about the Personal Player Development industry today.



Back To PPD Mag