Former NFL punter Steve Weatherford beat porn addiction, and now uses his victory to inspire others as a life coach

Steve Weatherford
Steve Weatherford at the NFC Championship on January 22, 2012, in San Francisco. Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Steve Weatherford’s historic punting performance in Super Bowl XLVI was one of the differences that gave the New York Giants a championship win over the New England Patriots. But it didn’t make the difference in himself that he was looking for.

The former Giants punter struggled with addiction to pornography throughout his life and waited for a moment that would wipe away the grief from those struggles. But when the euphoria of Super Bowl heroics didn’t do it, he realized the problems wouldn’t just fade away on their own.

“I had the greatest performance a punter’s ever had statistically in the Super Bowl, and I thought for sure I’d feel different after I won,” Weatherford told Insider. “Then I remember going back to my hotel room later that night.”

“I walked up to the big window and looked out and just saw thousands of people flooding the streets, and I remember thinking to myself, ‘They look so happy.’ I just felt this depression come over me. All these people were at that game, they didn’t even have their best game ever, and they’re so happy … and that’s when I knew there wasn’t anything inside of the NFL that was going to fix the God-sized hole I had in my chest.”

It was the turning point that set Weatherford on the path toward tackling his addictions head on.

Now he uses the victory of overcoming the addiction to fuel his new passion as a motivational speaker, as leader of his own coaching program, “Become the CEO of Your Life.”

Weatherford’s addiction took faith and instruction to overcome

Weatherford first exposed himself to porn as a pre-teen, planting the seed for an issue that later affected his marriage.

“I watched my first porn when I was 13, and I knew it wasn’t something that was good for me,” Weatherford said. “Whenever you’re happy, porn is there. Whenever you’re sad, porn is there. Whenever you feel rejected, porn is there. Whenever you have despair, porn is there. So it was one of those things that you build a relationship with, and you know you shouldn’t do it … but you keep doing it.”

After more than 20 years of struggling with the addiction, Weatherford found help in therapy, guidance, and faith.

Faith was the trigger that pushed Weatherford to overcome his addiction. After the depression that came over him following Super Bowl XLVI, Weatherford decided to renew his lifelong faith, and it gave him the motivation to seek the help he needed.

-Steve Weatherford (@Weatherford5) May 19, 2021

“That really began like a new spiritual walk for me, to really get back to my roots and my relationship with Jesus Christ,” Weatherford said. “That, for me, was the thing that brought all of this together.”

Therapy allowed Weatherford to confront the root of his addiction and release the guilt and shame built over two decades to those who would listen.

“Going through childhood traumas, being able to talk about being sexually abused when I was 12 years old, having those types of conversations … that’s one of the reasons I was able to get through to the other side,” Weatherford said. “There was probably 10+ times that I tried to quit over the last 10 years and was never able to do it until I invited other people into my process with me.”

Weatherford now wants to give difference-making instruction to others

Overcoming addiction inspired Weatherford to relay the same type of guidance that helped him, to others. “Becoming The CEO of Your Life” has become his vessel to do just that. He will be giving one of his biggest keynote speeches to date in front of a sold-out crowd at Rutherford, NJ’s Hilton Meadowlands, on June 28-29.

One of Weatherford’s main goals is to resonate with others who struggle specifically with addiction. He hopes his story and lessons can inspire and guide them toward overcoming addiction, just as he did.

“There’s either going to be people in there who have struggled with addiction, are struggling with addiction, or know someone who is struggling with addiction,” Weatherford said. “So I think to be able to talk about that is going to be very powerful as well.”

-Steve Weatherford (@Weatherford5) August 2, 2020

Weatherford’s method is to teach participants how to instill the same qualities that would be seen in an NFL training camp into their own personal and professional lives. These include self-leadership, time management, and resilience in the face of adversity.

“You can’t create discipline where there is no structure and order,” Weatherford said. “We have trouble putting structure and order into our lives. We may be really good at putting structure and order into our business. So we want to work with people on both sides of the fence.”