From a torn meniscus weeks before his Pro Day to a broken hand shortly before we recorded this podcast, Brandon Copeland—a linebacker for the New York Jets—has had his share of injury-related setbacks.
Brandon considers himself much more than a football player; he’s an entrepreneur, philanthropist, father, professor teaching financial literacy, and more. However, being a pro athlete makes all these other endeavors far easier. So, he maintains a detailed—but flexible—routine to stay healthy, mentally and physically.
All this has allowed him to continue playing for seven years in a sport that’s not exactly easy on the body. He was kind enough to share his story in an interview for our book Rebound—and joins us again on the Injured Athletes Club podcast this week to expand on it and update us on what he’s been up to since.
Brandon told us:
- How injuries are viewed in the NFL—where, he points out, there is essentially a 100-percent chance of getting hurt (5:11)
- His strategies for preventing them when possible, and managing them when they do happen (7:50)
- How he realized his pain threshold might be different from everyone else’s (17:17)
- How his first major injury—a torn meniscus—came at the worst possible time for this then-future NFL career (19:13)
- How he used mental skills to manage that comeback, including reaching out for support from a surprising place—the school’s track coach (23:47)
- The way he allows himself time to be disappointed after each injury, then moves on (26:25)
- Why he says it’s important to have different forms of motivation available at different times, and how he cycles through them (29:41)
- What he names his motivational playlists (hint: one matches the title of this episode) (31:39)
- How he handles haters—including why he screen-shots their comments and saves them (35:48)
- What injury has taught him about himself, as an athlete and a person (44:23)
Resources/links we mention:
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