Super Bowl winner talks mental health during luncheon
Palm Beach State College welcomed Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandon Powell to the Lake Worth campus April 5 for a Lunch & Learn presentation titled “My Life, My Journey.”
During the event, sponsored by Student Activities for National Stress Awareness Month, Powell discussed his childhood, his time in the National Football League, and how he deals with mental stress on and off the field.
According to Powell, whose team won the 2022 Super Bowl against the Cincinnati Bengals, maintaining good mental health is the greatest challenge most athletes deal with today and one he faces in the NFL.
“You’re working 10 to 12 hours a day,” said Powell, a University of Florida graduate who grew up in Deerfield Beach, Fla. playing football in the streets with his seven brothers. “My rookie year, I didn’t like it. I wanted to go home at four. You had veteran guys stay till six or seven. That’s why they’re making 20 to 30 million dollars a year because they put all their time in.”
Powell, who has also played for the Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons and Buffalo Bills, also turns his phone off at times and stays off social media to help maintain his focus.
“Social media influences a lot of players. It has ruined a lot of careers. You have thousands of followers. It’s a lot of people telling you you’re good, you deserve this, but they don’t really know you or your situation.”
He believes this good focus is what has led to his success in football and will lead to the success of others who want to follow in his footsteps.
“I focus on what I have to do, what I’ve been studying and what the coaches have been saying,” said Powell. “If you do this, be yourself, work really hard and be a good person to your teammates, everything else will take care of itself.”
Powell also noted that his motivation as an athlete comes from the people he touches.
“Seeing little kids come to watch me on the field and then ask you how they get to where I am is what impacts me the most. They are the people who I really want to share my journey and inspiration with.”
One of Powell’s highlights with the Rams was on Dec. 27, 2021 when he returned a kickoff for a 61-yard touchdown, summersaulting into the end zone and earning the title NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
He remained an explosive weapon for the Rams for the remainder of the season which earned him a new contract for the 2022 season.