Packers Player Development
The Player Development Department is the hub for a wide range of League-sponsored programs designed to meet the needs of players and their families in today's NFL. Since its inception in 1991, more than 9,000 players and significant others have made use of programs administered by the department. Player Development Directors at each club work to ensure the programs are meeting the needs of players and reinforce the departments' commitment to support a culture that delivers a continuum of services to help active and practice squad players succeed in all aspects of their lives.
Player Development is divided into four areas:
Rob Davis, a 12-year NFL veteran, was named director of player development on March 26, 2008 by Ted Thompson, Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations.
Davis, who announced his retirement from the Green Bay Packers following the 2007 season, served as the Packers' long snapper for 11 seasons and played in 167 consecutive games in a Green Bay uniform, the third longest streak in team history. Only Brett Favre (255) and Forrest Gregg (187) played in more consecutive games than Davis.
As the director of player development, Davis will be vital in maintaining locker room cohesiveness and overall player health. He will assist players in acclimating to their roles, both on and off the field and in the Green Bay community.
Vision: To provide players and their families an unparalleled positive motivating environment that sets the standard of excellence promoting growth and balance in all areas of their lives.
Mission: To challenge players and their families to be lifelong learners while pursuing continuous improvement in personal growth, academic/career development, money management, social interactions, and family relations during and beyond their careers as NFL players.
Packer Values (What we stand for)
- Teamwork: Trust, Work Ethic, Communication
- Excellence: Competitive, Professionalism, Preparedness, Superior Service, Focus
- Unique Small Town Identity: Tradition, Community
- Integrity: Honesty / Sincerity Confidentiality, Loyalty
- Mutual Respect
Player Assistance Services
Programs have been created for players to maximize both work productivity and overall life satisfaction and minimize off-the-field distractions, including the Players Assistance Program, Life Skills Seminars and Coping Skills/Educational Workshops.
Players Assistance Program
The Players Assistance Program provides opportunities for players to acquire and/or develop personal skills needed to deal with everyday pressures of life in the NFL and address personal and family issues.
The Players Assistance Program is designed to:
- Encourage players and their dependents to try counseling by making it more accessible; by offering players (dependents, couples, and/or families) confidential connection with selected, screened counselors in team cities, with the first four meetings at no out-of-pocket cost (supplementing players' health insurance coverage), and
- Diminish social stigma associated with counseling and improve understanding about the normative role of counseling in the context of overall player well-being, support, and life skills development. Through:
a) Introducing the utility of counseling at the club level consistently League-wide;
b) Providing information about utility of counseling with more than 'crisis-only' focus, to include proactive, educational, development orientation;
c) Introducing resources consistent with the needs of each club; and
d) Making counselors more accessible to players and dependents
- As outlined in the Players Assistance Program Summary Plan Description (SPD): Four meetings with Program Counselors are available to eligible players and their dependents at no out-of-pocket cost to them. Outlined in the SPD are: (a) Eligibility; (b) Confidentiality; (c) Procedures/Payment; (d) Contact Information (to obtain lists of Counselors).
- To work with existing infrastructure to provide information and education that serves to shift the focus to support and early intervention rather than exclusively a problem or crisis orientation. (e.g., coordination with educational efforts with benefits mailings/presentations, Life Skills programming, outreach efforts with club medical staff).
Life Skills Seminars
Life Skills seminars are conducted for all active and practice squad players during the NFL season. The once a year, mandatory session is designed to assist players in developing skills that will enable them to manage various off-the-field situations. The program addresses topics such as League policies, anger management, relationship issues, substance abuse, domestic violence, gambling and general social skills training.
Included as part of life skills training for rookies is the NFL Rookie Symposium, a mandatory four-day orientation for all drafted rookies introducing them to life in the NFL. League personnel, expert facilitators, training professionals, active players, and former players are involved in delivering a program specifically designed to give incoming players detailed information about NFL and NFLPA services and resources available to them during their career the in the NFL. The program includes workshops focusing on interactive life skills, panel forums featuring current and retired NFL players as well as educational sessions about substances of abuse, NFL policies for players, player benefits, media relations, identity theft and other personal security issues, and sexual awareness. Workshops are provided on substances of abuse, safe sex, domestic violence, anger management, DUI, gambling, personal finance, player benefits and family issues.
Coping Skills/Education Workshops
Player Development Directors are encouraged to facilitate additional workshops for players to reinforce the techniques and address in greater depth issues that are discussed during the yearly club Life Skills seminar with the assistance of the team counselors designated to work with players through the Players Assistance Program. In addition to providing an opportunity for players to become better acquainted with team counselors and the Player Development Director, the workshops enable PDDs to create a program that is better suited for his/her team and meet the needs of all players.
Continuing Education Program
The NFL Continuing Education Program is designed to assist active NFL players to continue their education and complete their degrees. The NFL Player Development staff administers the program by collaborating with colleges and universities throughout the country to develop plans that allow players to return to school in their club cities, original institutions, institutions near their off-season homes, or through distance learning. The ultimate objective of the program is to help players complete their degrees and assess how best to utilize their education to attain meaningful employment opportunities at the conclusion of their NFL careers.
- To facilitate players' completion of undergraduate and graduate degrees by developing plans for their return to school in their franchise city, at their original institution or at another college or university.
- To provide tutorial and advising services for participants' overall academic growth and development.
- To help participants assess how to best utilize their educational backgrounds and abilities toward the attainment of meaningful employment at the conclusion of their NFL careers.
- Academic Advising
- Distance Learning
- Graduate School Advising
- Tutoring Services
- Assessment Testing
- Tuition Reimbursement Program
- Other Educational Opportunities
Financial Education Program
The Financial Education Program provides players with valuable knowledge to manage their personal finances and improve financial decision-making. The objective of the program is to ensure the long-term financial stability of players throughout the League. The program offers players resources and a realistic perspective on the current economic environment. The non-credit seminars are offered during the year and teach players about cash management, insurance, tax planning, estate planning, investments, retirement planning and other related topics.
- To provide players and spouses with sound and up-to-date information concerning financial management.
- To provide educational opportunities for players and spouses to learn basic financial management and investment strategies.
- To reduce the incidence of poor personal finance decisions on the part of players.
- To offer a realistic experience of the economic environment within which the player will live after leaving the NFL.
- NFL Rookie Symposium - The NFL Management Council sponsors an annual symposium for all drafted players. During the symposium, incoming players are educated about lifestyle issues as they relate to financial management.
- Financial Management Playbook - The playbook is a tool designed to give players a fundamental understanding of money management, financial and tax planning, and basic investment concepts.
- Financial Education Seminars - The Financial Education seminars are an opportunity for players, spouses and employees to gain valuable knowledge regarding their personal finances and decision-making.
- NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program - The program is a joint effort between the League, the NFL Players Association and premiere graduate business schools. The custom programs at top-rated business schools seek to improve players' ability to evaluate business opportunities and consist of workshops, stimulating discussions, practical knowledge and its application for NFL players interested in owning, operating or building their own businesses.
Career Internship Program
The NFL Career Internship Program was established to provide opportunities for NFL players to gain exposure and experience in a variety of industries that may be of interest to them now and beyond their playing days. The program offers players assistance with resume writing, interview skills and career interest assessments. Player Development strives to connect players with companies that share values consistent with those of the NFL. Local internships are designed to encourage players to be informed, public spirited and civically engaged in the club community.
There are several internship opportunities at the NFL headquarters in New York City, NFL Europe, NFL Films and the NFL Network, as well as opportunities with corporate partners (e.g., Reebok and ESPN) and with national companies including Merrill Lynch, Citibank, Ernst & Young LLP, the NCAA, and Disney. The primary goal of these internships is to provide players with tangible skills that will assist them in their career exploration.
The NFL Europe Coaching Internship Program
The NFL Europe Coaching Internship Program is a joint venture between NFL Player Development and the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA). The program is designed to provide active players with the opportunity to gain professional coaching experience at the NFL Europe training camp in Tampa, Florida. This program is the NFL's first attempt at training active players for coaching opportunities inside the league. The long-range vision is to create a comprehensive program where all participants receive training, work experience and an evaluation of their coaching abilities.
The High School Coaching Internship Program
The High School Coaching Internship Program is designed to support the NFL's youth football initiative while providing active NFL players with the opportunity to gain football coaching experience at the high school level. The program will utilize NFL resources to train, place and pay active NFL players for working in off-season internships with local high schools throughout the United States. The program is based upon player interest and the ability of NFL Player Development Directors to create internships at the local level. All coaching internships must occur during the NFL off-season between February and June.
The League Office Internship Program
The League Office Internship Program is designed to provide current players with an opportunity to gain experience in the business of football. Some players may choose to experience working in football operations where officiating and game operations are housed. Other players may choose to experience working in other departments such as Marketing, Player Development or Youth Football or at NFL Films.
- To assist players in becoming accustomed to the requirements of the job market as it exists outside of professional football.
- To provide players with training, work experience and practical skills in preparation for meaningful employment options at the conclusion of their playing career.
- To give businesses and organizations the opportunity to utilize the attributes of professional football players in the traditional work setting.
- Work Experience