On April 3rd at Helix High School in San Diego, California West Virginia punter Tyler Sumpter and Idaho wide receiver Mekhi Stevenson held their first event for their company, Psychletes. It was a football camp on paper, and a number of young football players were there putting in some work on the football field, but at the end of the day, this event will go down as a life changing retreat for many young individuals. The camp consisted of positional football drills for quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, offensive linemen, defensive linemen, linebackers, defensive backs and specialists, 1 on 1 battles and a 7 on 7 competition, but where the camp made its biggest impact, and will bring athletes back to Sumpter and Stevenson’s company for the future was the connection period at the end. Sponsor of the camp, Chris Bailey of FanView said, “It was amazing.” explaining the situation, “you saw all of the kids play football, they were doing drills and stuff, it was like you were at a football practice, but at the end of all of the football stuff, they gathered in a circle and were able to talk about themselves as people and not just football players. Katie, who was there as a sports psychologist, asked all of the kids what they are interested in outside of football, and everyone raised their hands, a lot of them mentioned arts, like theater, and singing, music. It was nice to see that, and see the kids have an opportunity to talk, and be appreciated for more than just football.”
Bailey’s takeaways from the first Psychletes perfectly represent why Tyler Sumpter started Psychletes and is a true testament as to why it will become a successful platform in the future. The name of the platform, “Psychletes” was created with the words “psychology” and “athletes” with the goal of showing that athletes are more than just athletes. Just because they play sports, and are great at sports, doesn’t mean they don’t do anything else, or that they aren’t great at other things. Psychletes will be the platform for growth for athletes, where athletes can come and not only grow their name, image and likenesses in their respective sports but show that they are more just an athlete and put a spotlight on some of their skills outside of their sports. The first two psychletes, and the founders of psychletes are perfect examples of people that will grow with the platform. Tyler Sumpter graduated from Troy University in Psychology, and has learnt a lot about people, and the human mind as a whole while playing football at a high level, playing division one football and making a name for himself as a creative mind off of the field with his content as a videographer and video editor. Similar to Sumpter, Mekhi Stevenson also has found his niche in the content industry, having launched “Overly Competitive Productions” in San Diego while also being an artistic mind in music, and creative director playing wide receiver at both UNLV and Idaho.
Psychletes has been created with a purpose, and it will be successful. The proof is in the results of their first event, which both Sumpter and Stevenson are extremely happy about. It may not have been on the same levels as a Nike Open, or a Rivals camp, but for their first event, the Psychletes camp in San Diego on April 3rd left a positive impact like it was meant to, and it opened doors for a lot of athletes. “It was fun,” Sumpter told JZ Media’s Jordan Zlomislic, “it was a bad day in San Diego, the sun wasn’t out, but we made it a good day.” Mekhi Stevenson explained, “It was the coolest thing I have ever seen in my life. Usually when you go to camps and stuff you see college scouts, and a lot of coaches recruiting and stuff but ours was different. You had the football drills, and it was a football camp, but it was also a retreat. Instead of college scouts recruiting for new talent, there were actually companies there scouting kids to be a part of their companies.” He talked more about the event, “The main goal of it was to have kids understand psychletes, to understand what we are about, and to be a part of it long term. We did a lot of different things at this one, but the ones that we will do in the future will be bigger. We are just getting started. We want to help the kids and we’re going to change the game. Kids at this camp, some didn’t even have a college offer yet, but came away with a brand endorsement deal.”
West Virginia Punter Tyler Sumpter launches company: Psychletes, “It will be the most impactful company in sports”
The first event for Psychletes was a success. Sumpter and Stevenson are well on their way to build a big company and a full blown platform for athletes of all levels. What will have a big impact on the growth of psychletes and the vision moving forward though will be their next events. Some would say that you have to start with a bang to be successful, or to have a bright future, but really it is about patience. Psychletes’ first event was about starting. About getting the vision across and to have room to grow, and expand. What they will be doing in the future though, there will be no room to grow. It will be perfect. Stevenson talked about the plans for future Psychletes events, “Psychletes is a one stop shop for athletes, so that’s what we’re going to make the camps, and they’re going to be retreats, not just camps. You’ll have two or three days worth of things, from concerts, to mental health seminars, brand development opportunities to the opportunity to meet with pros of all different kinds of fields to the football camp itself, it’ll be game changing.” Sumpter adds his excitement to the future of Psychletes, “I want it to be hype, but also helpful. There are alot of different camps and stuff that generate hype for all these guys to go to, but they don’t really benefit from being there. These Psychletes events are going to do that.”
After the very first Psychletes event, not only did the founders and partners of the platform come out successful, but so did some of the first campers. The football players that attended the first Psychletes came out having a great time, and excited for more. 3 star 2023 receiver out of Santa Fe Christian, Zack Marshall had an amazing time at the camp, he told Jordan Zlomislic, “It was a blast.” and explained, “it brought all of us together again, and we’re a very tight knit group so it is always great to see everyone and compete, but it also went in deeper than just competing on the field which made it that much better of a day.” A friend of Marshall’s and a quarterback from Granite Hills High School Parlan “Hollywood” Sanders was able to explain and elaborate more on what made the camp an enjoyable experience for him as well, “it opened my eyes to opportunities outside of football too.” he said, “at the end of the camp and once we finished the football drills and one on ones we were able to talk to eachother and talk about mental health a little bit which was good but also just the conversation that football is not our entire life, and that there is more to us than just football was great.” At the camp, some players even got to get their hands on opportunities outside of football. With companies like Grind Gear, Just Cash and Fan View in attendance, players actually were able to get a real brand endorsement at this very first Psychletes event. Jackson Daniels is among the players that came out with a deal. “I’ve never been in that position before,” is what he said about it, “it felt good. Like Parlan said, it opened my eyes to the possibility of more things like this, because now I know I can do a lot more than just play football.”
Daniels’ teammate at Helix School, fellow receiver Randy Evans Jr added some final words regarding the event and the future of Psychletes which he and everyone affiliated with Psychletes is extremely excited for. “The camp was great. It was competitive, alive, and it brought out more than just our skills on the field but our personalities and interests too.” Evans Jr capped off the interview, “talking about myself outside of football was a very cool part of the event, and knowing the plans that they have with it, I’m excited for the next event, and the next opportunities I can have with Psychletes.”
Psychletes has an extremely bright future, and with plans of changing the game in so many levels and ways for athletes, it can only get the sports world excited for what’s to come. With plans of doing more events and creating a virtual platform for athletes, all I can say as a part of the Psychletes family with JZ Media is stay tuned, and get your popcorn ready. It’s about to be a movie.