SE72 | Montee Ball and Derek Bylsma on Antonio Brown, Transfer Portal, and NIL

Wisconsin Badger Superstar Running Back Montee Ball and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and nationally board-certified counselor Derek Bylsma are the featured guests of this SportsEpreneur podcast — hosted by Eric Kasimov, founder of SportsEpreneur.

They talk about the complexities surrounding Antonio Brown, the college football transfer portal, and NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness).

Montee and Derek bring insight, experience, compassion, and much-needed dialogue to these important sports topics related to athletes’ mental health.

More about the guests: Montee Ball and Derek Bylsma

Montee Ball

Montee Ball played college football for the Wisconsin Badgers and was then drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 2nd round of the 2013 NFL Draft. His NFL career came to an end after two seasons due to issues stemming from his alcoholism, anxiety, and depression.

Montee now sits on a handful of committee boards for recovery organizations in the state of Wisconsin and also nationally. He aims to tear down the stigma that surrounds substance use disorder with a strong focus on peer support. His goal is to continue enhancing engagement within the recovery community and also to teach the importance of strengthening the foundation. He is now a certified recovery coach, recovery coach trainer, public speaker, author, the co-host of his sobriety podcast Untapped Keg, and provides peer support for those who are struggling with what he faced.

Connect with Montee Ball on Twitter

Derek Bylsma

Derek is the Executive Director of Millennium Counseling Center and heads the 3A and Sports divisions at Millennium. He is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and a nationally board-certified counselor. He is also fully trained in EMDR Therapy.

In addition to two bachelor’s degrees, one from Kalamazoo College and the other from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Derek also holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Roosevelt University. After a successful career in business and with strong family ties in the helping professions, it became apparent that Derek’s true calling was to help those struggling with life’s many challenges.

Derek specializes in recovery-related work, mood disorders, co-occurring disorders, and issues unique to athletic performance. He is particularly enthusiastic about leading the sports division at Millennium Counseling Center as it marries two of his life-long passions; helping others and athletics. As a soccer player, Derek was a two-time college All-American and All-Big Ten player and after graduating, went on to play professional soccer in the U.S. More recently, Derek’s ties to athletics shifted from player to coach and he has been recognized as one of the top High School soccer coaches in Illinois. His experience as a high-performing athlete and coach, as well as his extensive experience in the mental health field, provide clients in Millennium’s Sports and Performance Wellness Division unique benefits.

Derek draws from his own life experiences and insights to help others see the power of having choices in life. He believes “It all works out in the end. If it hasn’t worked out, it’s not the end”

Connect with Derek on LinkedIn

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