The sports industry is a challenging career path. Apart from being very competitive, many professional sports players head down a slow decline towards the end either due to age or injury. Since athletes only have a few decades to give in their physical prime, most careers in sports end as early as forty, leaving pro athletes asking one question towards the end: “What’s next?”
That’s a need that Darryll Stinson looks to fill. As a dynamic TEDx speaker, pastor and certified John Maxwell coach, he is one of today’s most prominent thought leaders on athletic transition. As a previous defensive end at Central Michigan University who played from 2008 to 2011, Darryll knows the struggle of being an athlete with questions about what happens after a life in sports. After suffering a severe back injury that abruptly cut his career in professional Football, he attempted to take his life back.
Darryll’s journey past sports was not an easy one. He went through a process of self-discovery, searching for an identity beyond sports. After years of research, meditation, workshops, and cross-examination, Darryll found his north star. Ultimately, he found his life’s purpose in helping people overcome their struggles in life. Today, Darryll helps people who struggle with addiction, abuse, mental health challenges, and depression. He also carves out a significant portion of his time coaching retired athletes.
“What did Michael Jordan, Princess Diana, Bill Gates, and Oprah Winfrey all have in common? They all used coaches.” shares Darryll. “Even at the peak of their careers, great leaders continue to use coaches to help them achieve more.” The ex-sportsman has dedicated his life to be that guide for athletes everywhere.
The coach’s program called the “After Sports Game Plan” aids athletes in planning a life beyond a sports career. Through one-on-one coaching, Darryll helps them answer burning issues like finding a purpose beyond sports, creating ventures that will help pay the bills after contracts end, discovering destiny, and dreaming bigger even after the sports career dream ends.
Darryll more commonly expresses his life’s work by being the founder and operator of Second Chance Athletes, a holistic transition service for current, former, and retired athletes. Darryll provides various coaching services that include support such as creating a personalized coaching curriculum for clients, weekly and monthly coaching sessions, specific action-oriented life game plans, direct email access, and accountability group work.
On top of his coaching work, he is also an executive pastor of Growth Ministries with Life Church International, where he leads small group ministry, outreach, and attendee experiences. He also works with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, doing work in character development and faith-based guidance for athletes.
In 2019, Darryll was invited to be one of the presenters for TEDx Wiley College, where he delivered a keynote speech entitled, “Overcoming Rejection, When People Hurt You & Life Isn’t Fair.” The presentation’s video has gathered over 33,000 views as of late.
When Darryll isn’t busy changing the lives of other people, he takes time to enjoy music. The coach loves writing and performing rap music. He also carves out a significant portion of his time to enjoy life with his family. He’s happily married to Brittany and has three daughters- Ava, Ari, and Amaya.