Planning for the future is important for each and every one of us, no matter what our life track is. Some of us may plan our futures as young children while others keep their plans more fluid into adulthood. Having a future plan is especially critical if you are an athlete. As an athlete your window of opportunity and success can be suddenly slammed shut by a variety of different factors.
Planning out your life following your athletic career is an important step that can help with the transition from one stage of life to another. Having this plan in place prior to the end of your career will help make the transition that much easier to handle financially and emotionally.
Prior to your career coming to a close, plan out the initial time frame for when that day comes. Whether your plans include relocating to get closer to friends and family, or you’re planning a long overdue vacation, think about them now. Your initial adjustments may also help you start down the path that will see you through the next chapter of your life, if not the rest of your days.
Once you step away from your chosen athletic endeavor, you are going to need a new career. This will help you stay focused on your goals and also give you a sense of purpose during those days when you mourn being in competition. There are many careers that one can choose from. You may choose to follow your course of study from when you were in college, or you may decide to follow a passion of yours that will take you completely out of the spotlight.
If you were a communications major in school, you may be approached about becoming a commentator for your sport. You may even be approached to join a network in another capacity, such as an in-studio analyst. When transitioning into the broadcast booth, you will need to learn to remain neutral. This means no matter how much a certain team or player irritated you as a player, you will need to be professional around them and learn to analyze things from the perspective of giving both teams an equal due.
One of the most important aspects of planning for your post career life is making sure that you and your family will be financially secure. This may mean having to adjust your lifestyle to accommodate smaller paychecks or make the money stretch a little more than it had to in the past.
Go Back to School
Prior to the end of your career, consider going back to school. This will give you the opportunity to complete a degree program or even explore some new options. For example, an MBA program will allow you to learn more about the business world. It is also a good opportunity to explore future employment options.
No athlete wants to think about the day their career comes to an end. However, planning for it before it happens will help make the transition from athlete to citizen easier.