I have been researching and focusing on athlete transition for over 6 years and it’s been great to see the upward trend of greater awareness and information on the topic, from articles to TV programs.
What frustrates me is that I commonly read or hear that ‘more has to be done’ to help athletes with their transition to life after sport. REALLY??
The solution is out there by an increasing number of services providers, including myself, and it really is quite simple, but yet obviously a challenge to athletes.
The solution is to step up and ask for help.
That’s it, plain and simple. Take charge and do something yourself to get the help you need.
Too often the responsibility is placed to sporting organizations and institutions to do something – to create a program, to pay for programs, to provide counseling, etc. Those programs do exist.
The first step of my Success beyond Sport program is about taking responsibility. It’s part of what I call Pre-Season Training. You know, the training you do to get in shape for competition. Taking responsibility is the foundation of any success.
The most successful athletes have a ‘do-whatever-it-takes’ attitude to achieve their goals. Retirement from sport is not a time to come up with excuses and to rely on others to move ahead. Yes, it’s great to have support so why not be proactive look for it.
You have to ask for help AND you have to be prepared to INVEST in yourself for:
- Training of new skills and knowledge (formally thru education and training programs, or informally through internship or starting at the bottom in a company)
- Coaching or counseling,
As an athlete you invested time and money to achieve your dreams.
I made the mistake as an athlete of not being prepared to invest enough in myself and my own success. I had limits to what I was willing to pay. I was prepared to pay for trips and get to competitions, to work and train hard to reach my goal of going to the Olympics. Could I have done more?
One person’s concept of ‘whatever it takes’ will differ from another. Most people have some unconscious limit on what they are prepared to do to reach their goals. You see, I was not prepared to pay a lot of money for my own personal coach. I was not prepared to spend time or money strengthening my psychological game.
Back then I thought I was doing everything I could to succeed. I had excuses and reasons not to invest my own money – “I couldn’t afford it”, “I don’t need to do that”. If someone had stepped up and challenged my desire to do anything and everything to reach my goal, then I obviously was falling short.
Many athletes are used to getting hand-outs (from the government, from their sporting teams, from their sponsors) that when it comes to decisions that require them to personally make an investment, they back away.
On retirement from sport, if you wait for everything to be handed to you and done for you, then you will struggle.
Athletes, current and former, need to redefine in their own mind, what they are prepared to do to transition and to recreate success in their lives.
What are the limits? Are these limits the very thing that is preventing them from achieving success?
My life changed when I decided to invest in myself. I refinanced my home so that I could purchase a second investment property. When an opportunity came to invest in my own professional development, I chose that instead. The returns in the life I have created since have made it vastly worthwhile.
The training for athlete transition can happen while still active in sport or afterwards – the important thing is to seek it out and ask for help.
Doing whatever it takes will take some form of investment – time, energy and money. When athletes are prepared to do that, they will succeed in life after sport.
Read more about taking responsibility and how it can help your results. I have added Chapter 1 – Pre-Season Training to my gift when you sign up for the free excerpt.