A question many young adults ask themselves when they end their sporting career.
If they made it (played professionally) for an extensive period of time they would have some options on the table:
Coaching Career/Radio/Television/Working for a brand.
But, what if they didn’t really make it? Or made it, for a short period of time?
What Now? is the question they ask themselves…and more often than not, they don’t have a back-up plan for strategy for going forward in life. I am aware that in the current environment teams implement career planning a next steps. But because of the pace and emphasis they have to attend to, it’s often just a sideline thought.
The reality is, if you are playing pro sport, you could lose your ability to play, in a mili second.
Most young athletes are highly committed individuals. Who are able to place incredible focus in their “game” 24/7…In many ways they become the game. They walk/talk/eat/sleep their game. And if they started their career in high-school they often transition into senior sport very quickly and very often, don’t study or develop their skills further.
I was one of those young athletes…Played rugby union in school, moved to play for a university team, and found myself in the UK playing the following year. 5 years later and i sat in New Zealand with very little to show for it all. I had navigated through 3 continents and was not able to break through completely. I found myself under increasing pressure to make it, and ultimately self destructed.
I was 24, and didn’t have another option…So, i got work in a carpet cleaning factory. (as you do?)
I had lost my identity…Actually, only my idea of my identity… I felt that i had lost my purpose completely. All the training, supplements, gym memberships, money, travel…All for nothing…(or so i thought)
I couldn’t even watch rugby on television. My mates would be playing for their country and regret would set up shop in my heart. It became self destructive…it’s terrible…
I had a wife. And would soon be the father of a little girl. But i didn’t have a career…I was stuck. My resume only contained the odd job here and there. But without any clear direction.
I was blessed to engage in something very different, and sit in Melbourne, Australia today on a clear journey with what i am currently doing. But i know, with sport being a much bigger option for young people, there is possibly a whole generation that is suffering similar pain. And possibly many more to come.
So, in the next couple of weeks i will work through some content to share my journey and a “how to” guide for young/old sport stars looking for the next step. If this resonates with you, please send me a msg or comment.