Life after sports is not always easy for athletes, but a little preparation can make things a lot easier. Here are four simple things any athlete can start doing now to transition smoothly to a second career.
Think in Advance
Whether it’s pacing themselves during a game or identifying a rival’s weak spots, all athletes develop the ability to strategize. This skill comes in handy as they plan for their future after sports. While they are still active, athletes should start building the narrative that will drive their post-sports careers. Some questions they can ask themselves include:
- What leadership lessons have I learned as an athlete?
- What moments or achievements best exemplify the qualities I bring to the table?
- What unique skills have I acquired that are useful/transferable to other types of job?
Show Proof of Your Competence
While an athletic career helps hone skills that can be useful in the workplace, athletes should complement their unique background with other activities that allow them to offer a more rounded set of talents. University degrees, courses, and internships are some of the proofs of competence they may consider acquiring (ideally while they are still in active competition) to make their post-sports transition as smooth as possible.
Build a Network
Sports are by definition a social activity, and as such, they offer myriad opportunities to make personal connections. Athletes should keep their eyes open and their hand extended during their careers. Administrators, journalists, sponsors, and even other fellow athletes can be invaluable contacts when the time comes to transition to life after sports. Building a broad network of acquaintances can help pave an athlete’s way into a successful and vibrant post-sports career.
Start Using LinkedIn NOW
We addressed networking in the previous paragraph, but LinkedIn deserves a section of its own. First off, if an athlete is not on LinkedIn yet, they should create a profile NOW. What makes LinkedIn so special? This social media platform is focused on building professional contacts, allowing athletes to network without having to sacrifice practice time or even leaving their house. If you don’t believe us, just take a look at this partial list of former athletes who are now big LinkedIn fans: two-time NBA All Star Baron Davis, Tony Gonzalez, Pau Gasol.
New Tech Outreach: Empowering Individuals and Changing Lives
At New Tech Outreach we assist athletes at all levels and the public at large with counseling, coaching, life skills training, and financial education. We aim to change lives by empowering individuals to achieve the goals they have set for themselves.
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