Athlete Stories

Athletes have stories to tell, and these stories often contain lessons for all of us in business. Athletes often become the best entrepreneurs—they are committed people, they strive for excellence, and they have a passion for what they do. Enjoy these stories from athletes that you, the entrepreneur, athlete, or sports fan can apply to your life. 

Henrik Hjarsbæk - sports psychologist and mental training for soccer and football players

SE69 | Sports Psychology and Mental Training with Henrik Hjarsbæk

“To be the best, you must overcome your inner and outer opponents.” – Henrik Hjarsbæk.  Welcome to this episode of the SportsEpreneur Podcast where Eric Kasimov has an introspective conversation around soccer (football) and mental training with sports psychologist and mental trainer, Henrik Hjarsbæk.  By going to a mental trainer, you learn to deal with

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Fan Controlled Football

SE67 | Generating Fan Engagement with Chase Baker of the Fan Controlled Football League

The voice of the fans matters! A conversation all about generating unique fan engagement with Chase Baker, former Boise State Bronco and Minnesota Viking, and current Defensive Line Coach for the Fan Controlled Football League (FCF).  In this SE Podcast episode, Chase and Eric discuss FCF, Chase’s playing days at Boise State playing for Coach

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Simone Biles

Why Simone Biles Leaving Nike for Athleta Matters

Simone Biles, one of the most decorated gymnasts in the world, left her sponsorship with Nike for the female-led brand Athleta last week, just three months before the 2021Tokyo Olympics. While it may seem like a simple change-of-contracts to some, Biles is paving the way for female-athletes to choose their sponsorships based on representation versus

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Inside the Business of the NFL with Michael Lombardi and AJ Vaynerchuk

Inside the Business of the NFL with Michael Lombardi and AJ Vaynerchuk

Michael Lombardi and AJ Vaynerchuk Discuss Lessons from the NFL and How they Apply to the Modern Business World Former NFL general manager, three-time Super Bowl winner, author, and podcaster Michael Lombardi in conjunction with athlete management firm VaynerSports co-founder AJ Vaynerchuk reveal what makes the business of football tick. Join us for a panel

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The New Rookie: A Baseball Reporter's Memoir | Whit Merrifield | SE

The New Rookie

On June 13, 2016, Whit Merrifield, the newest rookie of the Kansas City Royals, hit his first major league home run off of the Cleveland Indians’ Carlos Carrasco. Seconds after, on June 13, 2016, I looked at my dad in section 139 of Kauffman Stadium and told him “I’m going to be a baseball reporter

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Podcast SE66 | Name Image Likeness with UREPZ Founder, C. Brett Harrell | App State Soccer Team

SE66 | Name Image Likeness with UREPZ Founder, C. Brett Harrell

Sports and business collide at the collegiate level. A conversation all about Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) with the founder of UREPZ, C. Brett Harrell. Brett Harrell is a marketer, creator, and founder. He has a passion for collegiate athletics and the world around these college athletes. As a former student-athlete himself, playing soccer at App State University,

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Professional Soccer Goalkeeper Talks Readiness | Belgium Goalkeeper

Professional Soccer Goalkeeper Talks Readiness

“It’s about being ready for your moment… It’s good to be pissed off and it’s good to keep that fire burning because ultimately that’s what is going to keep you going and keep you pushing for more.” – Professional Soccer Goalkeeper, Jeff Attinella. In this inspiring SE podcast episode, we revisit a discussion Eric Kasimov

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SE65 | Founders Therapy Session with Matt Wunderli

Personalizing the platform. An entrepreneurial mindset conversation with the Co-Host of the Founders Therapy Podcast, Matt Wunderli. Matt is the epitome of the word entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Publisher Arts and other startups. Publisher Arts is a media science company. As they say, analytics at the core of digital transformation. Matt is also an

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Danny Nessim

SE64 | Discussing The Beauty of Soccer and Competition with Danny Nessim

An episode all about the beauty of sports and competition featuring Danny Nessim, Founder & Owner of A&C Management, a boutique PEO and Insurance Brokerage Firm. We discuss the beauty of soccer, the power of competition, and Super Bowl XXV.  We had the opportunity to host Danny on our Entrepreneur Perspectives podcast where Eric and

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FitLight | Sports Tech Innovation with Alana D’Andrade

SE62 | FitLight | Sports Tech Innovation with Alana D’Andrade

Move. Measure. Motivate. In this episode, we feature Alana D’Andrade, Managing Director at FitLight Training. Alana shares knowledge around improving tech in sports training, stepping up your game as an athlete, and connecting the dots in business.   FitLight is a speed and cognitive training system that is designed to completely transform the way we exercise,

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Ged Doughton | Make the First Easy Pass and the UNC Tar Heels

SE61 | Ged Doughton | Make the First Easy Pass and the UNC Tar Heels

You’ve got great talent around you, just make the first easy pass and move. In this episode, we feature Ged Doughton, the last UNC Tar Heels basketball player to wear number 23 before Michael Jordan. Ged shares his stories around making the first easy pass, good habits, and the power of practice.  Ged played for

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Rafa Mir | Pro Talk with Mo Ali FC | SportsEpreneur

#ProTalk With MoAliFC | Episode 5 | Rafa Mir

Welcome to the fifth episode of the Pro Talk Podcast Series hosted by Mo Ali Heydarpour on SportsEpreneur featuring Rafa Mir of SD Huesca.   Rafa has also played on great teams such as Valencia, Wolverhampton Wanderers & Nottingham Forest. SportsEpreneur is the content platform where sports and entrepreneurship collide! It’s for the deep-rooted and not

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Adnan Januzaj | Pro Talk with Mo Ali FC | SportsEpreneur

#ProTalk With MoAliFC | Episode 4 | Adnan Januzaj

Welcome to the fourth episode of the Pro Talk Podcast Series hosted by Mo Ali Heydarpour on SportsEpreneur featuring Adnan Januzaj of Real Sociedad. Adnan has also played on great teams such as Manchester United, Sunderland, and the Belgium National Team.  SportsEpreneur is the content platform where sports and entrepreneurship collide! It’s for the deep-rooted

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Pro Talk with Marc Klok, Monica Hickmann & World Class Footballers

#ProTalk With MoAliFC | Episode 3 | Marc Klok | Monica Hickmann | Osama Rashid

Welcome to the third episode of the Pro Talk Podcast Series hosted by Mo Ali Heydarpour on SportsEpreneur. Featuring Marc Klok of Persija Jakarta, Monica Hickmann of The Brazil National Team, Osama Rashid of C.D. Santa Clara, and footballers from around the world! SportsEpreneur is the content platform where sports and entrepreneurship collide! It’s for

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Pro Talk with Todd Cantwell, Mark-Anthony Kaye & World Class Footballers

#ProTalk With MoAliFC | Episode 2 | Todd Cantwell | Mark-Anthony Kaye | Kelle Roos | Jorn Brondeel

Welcome to the second episode of the Pro Talk Podcast Series hosted by Mo Ali Heydarpour on SportsEpreneur. Featuring Todd Cantwell of Norwich City, Mark-Anthony Kaye of Los Angeles FC, and footballers from around the world! SportsEpreneur is the content platform where sports and entrepreneurship collide! It’s for the deep-rooted and not so average. If

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Wilfried Zahibo of The New England Revolution, Fafa Picault of FC Dallas, Bryan Jordan of The LA Galaxy, Joao Virginia of Everton FC, Nick Kuipers of Persib Bandung FC, SportsEpreneur

#ProTalk With MoAliFC | Episode 1 | Joao Virginia (Everton) | Nick Kuipers (Persib Bandung) | Wilfried Zahibo (Revolution) | Fafa Picault (Dallas) | Bryan Jordan (LA Galaxy)

Welcome to the Pro Talk Podcast Series hosted by Mo Ali Heydarpour on SportsEpreneur. Featuring Joao Virginia of Everton FC, Nick Kuipers of Persib, and footballers from the MLS! SportsEpreneur is the content platform where sports and entrepreneurship collide! It’s for the deep-rooted and not so average. If you are in or around the world

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8 | 24 | 13 | 9 | In Memory of Kobe Bryant, Gigi, and All Victims | SE

8 | 24 | 13 | 9

This news about Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and those who lost their lives…  This is really tough.  Kobe–I talk about him often with my kids. We all feel like we knew him. His mindset, his work ethic, his passion for the game he loves, his caring, his love of family, and his creations–including his podcast,

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Business Lessons Learned from Frank Reich | SportsEpreneur Podcast

SE35 | Business Lessons Learned from Frank Reich

Taking lessons from the incredible sports figure and human being, Frank Reich. Today we speak with Tony Tennaro, Managing Chair for C12 Greater Charlotte. In this episode, we discuss the lessons we have learned from watching and being around Frank Reich. 

We are excited to chat with Tony Tennaro on the SportsEpreneur Podcast. 

Business Lessons Learned from Frank Reich Headlines
Reich’s time in Buffalo
Frank’s Time in Maryland
Learning to Win and Lose from Reich
Not Settling for the Status Quo

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Be Like LeBron James: Responding to the Getty Fire | SportsEpreneur

Be Like LeBron James: Responding to the Getty Fire

(“Be Like Lebron James: Responding to the Getty Fire is a guest post from one of our editors, Caroline Ailanthus) The Monday before Halloween, strong winds broke a branch off a eucalyptus tree in LA and sent it flying 25 feet into power lines. The resulting spark ignited the Getty Fire, prompting the evacuation of

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Derek Bylsma | Mental Health in Youth Sports | SE Podcast

SE33 | Derek Bylsma | Mental Health in Youth Sports

Controlling the mental health side of youth sports. Today we speak with Derek Bylsma, Executive Director of Millennium Counseling Center in Chicago, Illinois. In this episode, we discuss how important it is that parents help control the mental side of their young athletes.

With today’s tools, youth athletes are hearing the noise from all angles. Derek and Eric discuss avenues for you to help your young athlete succeed both on and off the field. 

With Derek’s athletic background and knowledge around mental health in sports, we are excited to have Derek back on our podcast to share his thoughts with you.  

As always, we are excited to feature Derek on the SportsEpreneur Podcast. 

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Derek Bylsma | Awareness Around Mental Health | SE Podcast

SE30 | Derek Bylsma | Awareness Around Mental Health

One of the best things going on today is the awareness around mental health. Today we speak with Derek Bylsma, Executive Director of Millennium Counseling Center in Chicago, Illinois. In this episode, we discuss how important it is that mental health has come to the forefront of people’s lives. 

Derek specializes in recovery-related work, mental health disorders, and issues unique to athletic performance. He is enthusiastic about leading the sports division at his group as it marries two of his life-long passions; helping others and athletics. 

With Derek’s athletic background and knowledge around mental health in sports, we are excited to have Derek back on our podcast to share his thoughts with you.  

As always, we are excited to feature Derek on the SportsEpreneur Podcast. 

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Jeff Attinella | Portland Timbers Goalkeeper Has Many Stories | SE

SE27 | Jeff Attinella | Portland Timbers Goalkeeper Has Many Stories

“Goalkeeping is 75 percent mental.” In this episode, we chat with Jeff Attinella, goalkeeper for the Portland Timbers of the MLS. We talk the mind of a soccer goalkeeper, the Portland Timbers, and an athlete creating content.  All of this and more with Portland goalkeeper, Jeff Attinella. 

Jeff led the Timbers’ team to the 2018 MLS Cup. He played college soccer in his home state at the University of South Florida. His junior season he was an All American and Big East goalkeeper of the year. In the MLS, besides playing for the Portland Timbers Attinella also played for Real Salt Lake and was a backup goalie during their MLS Cup run in 2013. 

Besides being a goalkeeper, Jeff is husband, father and a content creator. A creator in the sense that he is a podcast host and children’s book author. You can hear his podcast From J to Z on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. His children’s books can be found on his publishing platform, ItHadToBeTold.com or Amazon. You can see links to his books below. After you spend time listening to Jeff and learning about his story, you will absolutely be drawn to his content.  

One thing that really stood out in this chat is Jeff’s mindfulness. We believe you’ll come to understand what I mean after listening to this conversation.

We are excited to feature Jeff Attinella on the SportsEpreneur Podcast. 

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James Cotton | A Buckeye Transitioning in Sports, Life, and Business | SE Podcast

SE26 | James Cotton | A Buckeye Transitioning in Sports, Life, and Business

Taking your game to the next level in sports, life, and business. In this episode, we chat with James Cotton, founder of Buck-Icon and former Buckeye football player. We talk Ohio State football, life transitions, and accountability. All of this and more with Buckeye great, James Cotton.  

Buck-Icon’s mission is to become a premier apparel and merchandise retailer and provide resources for former members of the Ohio State football program and all individuals to enhance their careers which will help them transition into professional life in Corporate America, athletics, society, and the community.  

James Cotton was a defensive lineman for the Ohio State Buckeyes. In 1998 he was a part of the Big 10 Championship team that went onto win the Sugar Bowl. 

Cotton was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 2000 NFL Draft. He also is a Canadian Football League Grey Cup Champion.  

If you need help navigating the transitions in your life, let this conversation be a resource as James brings experience both on and off the field, and it is clear early on in this chat that James is here to help. 

With that, we are excited to feature James Cotton on the SportsEpreneur Podcast. 

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Thomas Wilcher | Leadership from Cass Tech High School Football Coach

SE25 | Thomas Wilcher | Leadership from HOF Cass Tech High School Football Coach

A no-nonsense approach to leadership. In this episode, we chat with one of the top high school football coaches in the country. We talk leadership, growing up, and being great. All of this and more with high school football coach, Thomas Wilcher

Thomas Wilcher is the head football coach at Cass Tech High School in Detroit, Michigan. Thomas is an NCAA Division 1 Track and Field National Champion in the indoor 55-meter hurdles and a three-time All-American in track and field for the University of Michigan.   

Wilcher was also a running back for the Michigan Wolverines football team from 1983–1986. Thomas is a member of Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. 

During this chat, Thomas was driving to practice. His schedule is non-stop so we weren’t going to let audio quality get in the way of a great conversation.  

With that, we are excited to feature Thomas Wilcher on the SportsEpreneur Podcast. 

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Marques Sullivan | The Pride of Being a Buffalo Bill | SE Podcast

SE22 | Marques Sullivan | The Pride of Being a Buffalo Bill

Providing insight into the positives of playing for the Buffalo Bills. In this episode, we discuss Buffalo, New York, an NFL career, and building a business that helps high school athletes reach their dreams. All of this and more with former Illinois and Buffalo Bills offensive lineman, Marques Sullivan.

Marques and Eric met on Twitter after Marques made his thoughts felt about someone hating on Buffalo, NY.  Marques wasn’t having any of that. As someone who was born and raised in Buffalo, Eric was drawn to his commentary. From that, he’s come to learn about all the amazing things Marques is doing. So it’s an honor to chat with Marques on this podcast. 

With that, we are excited to feature Marques Sullivan on the SportsEpreneur Podcast. 

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Chimdi Chekwa | Ohio State Buckeye For Real | SportsEpreneur Podcast

SE19 | Chimdi Chekwa | Ohio State Buckeye For Real

Ohio State Buckeye great gets real on being a Buckeye and becoming an entrepreneur. In this episode, we chat with Chimdi Chekwa, a current NFL free agent and entrepreneur. The discussion focuses in on life in the NFL, sports and business, and the Ohio State Buckeyes culture.

Chimdi is a former Ohio State Buckeyes football player and current entrepreneur as a co-owner of The Pit BBQ Grille in Columbus, Ohio. He also has his hands in other ventures that we touch on in this chat. 

You may remember Chimdi from his days with the Ohio State Buckeyes, where he was a first-team All American cornerback. After college, Chimdi was drafted in the fourth round by the Oakland Raiders in the 2011 NFL Draft.  

Through much perseverance and motivation, Chimdi gives us insight around why he is so passionate about sports and entrepreneurship. And of course, we discuss all things Buckeyes and college football.

With our love of business and sports (and Eric’s deep-rooted Buckeye background), we are obviously excited to feature Chimdi Chekwa on the SportsEpreneur Podcast. 

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Derek Bylsma | Overcoming Mental Health Struggles | SE Podcast

SE16 | Derek Bylsma | Overcoming Mental Health Struggles

Sometimes you just have to talk it out. Today we speak with Derek Bylsma, Executive Director of Millennium Counseling Center in Chicago, Illinois. In this episode, we discuss mental health in sports and specifically, overcoming mental health struggles. 

Derek specializes in recovery-related work, mental health disorders, and issues unique to athletic performance. He is enthusiastic about leading the sports division at his group as it marries two of his life-long passions; helping others and athletics. 

With Derek’s athletic background and knowledge around mental health in sports, we are excited to have Derek back on our podcast to share his thoughts with you.  

As always, we are excited to feature Derek on the SportsEpreneur Podcast. 

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Stu Stone | Jack of All Trades | SportsEpreneur Podcast

SE14 | Stu Stone | Jack of All Trades

Taking you back to the baseball card era. Today we speak with Stu Stone, Director of the sports documentary, Jack of All Trades. In this episode, we discuss baseball cards, authenticity, and Jack of All Trades  

Stu Stone is an actor and writer from Ontario, Canada. He is best known for his work on Donnie Darko, The Boys Club, and Jack of All Trades.   

Jack of All Trades is a documentary that gives an investigative look into the baseball card scandal during the 1990’s. This documentary, of course, has a major left turn. 

Stu provides behind the scenes stories from his time directing and creating the documentary to his story growing up in the card collecting era.

Stu’s success on and off the screen has us excited to feature him on the SportsEpreneur Podcast. 

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Derek Bylsma | Mental Health In Sports | SE Podcast

SE13 | Derek Bylsma | Mental Health and Sports

Raising awareness around mental health in sports. Today we speak with Derek Bylsma, Executive Director of Millennium Counseling Center in Chicago, Illinois. In this episode, we discuss mental health in sports. Derek specializes in recovery-related work, mental health disorders, and issues unique to athletic performance. He is enthusiastic about leading the sports division at his group as it marries two of his life-long passions; helping others and athletics. With Derek’s athletic background and knowledge around mental health in sports, we are excited to have Derek back on our podcast to share his thoughts with you.  As always we are excited to feature Derek on the SportsEpreneur Podcast. 

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