Life After Ball
TRANSITIONING FORMER ATHLETES TO LIFE AFTER SPORTS
Competing in the middle of a packed arena, with thousands of fans cheering you on and millions more watching on TV, is about as far removed from a regular, nine-to-five job as you can get. But the thrills of your sporting career can only last so long and, like every other athlete, you will soon have to adjust to a new life and a new career.
LOSS OF IDENTITY
An individual’s identity may contain numerous dimensions; however, it is possible for one in particular to become dominant or preferred and a lens through which the others are viewed. Athletic identity is described as the degree to which an individual identifies with the athlete role and looks to others for acknowledgement of that role . The neglect or atrophy of other roles as a consequence of the ascendancy of a single role may therefore expose the individual to subsequent identity issues.
DISCOVER WHO YOU ARE
If you’ve always thought of yourself as an athlete, it can be difficult to imagine doing anything else. But by exploring your interests and thinking about what motivates you the most, you can discover a new and exciting career path to follow once you retire from competition.
Start by thinking about what you’d like to do next. You can return to education or pursue professional opportunities. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in the sports industry – Athletes have been known to pursue careers as everything from accountants, doctors and lawyers to actors, politicians and entrepreneurs. You really can do anything you set your mind to!
Once you know which direction you’d like to go in, you can then start looking at what skills you’ve gained as an elite athlete and how these can be transferred into the workplace and develop your game plan for success. You may be surprised to see how useful some of the attributes you have developed in sport can be in other careers!
Every athlete knows that their sports career won’t last forever and those who start planning for life after competition will find that they have a head-start over those who haven’t even begun to consider what they’ll do next.
And while it may seem strange to start thinking about your life after sport when you’re still so focused on achieving your goals on the field of play, it’s never too early to prepare for the transition from competition to the workplace.
By planning ahead, you will give yourself the best chance of making a smooth transition and will be in a great position to begin the next exciting phase of your life.