How to Prepare for Life After the Game (Part 1)

mindfulness personal development professional development purpose Aug 08, 2022

The transition into life after sports is one which everyone will face at some point in his or her athletic career. No matter how old you are when it happens, and whether it’s your choice or not, the transition to what’s next is hard. 

So how can you prepare yourself for this career transition and ultimately this huge life transition? The most important thing to remember is that this change is inevitable. It’s coming, so rather than wait for it to happen, you can start to prepare for it right now, in small steps.

You can’t prepare for the next chapter of your life overnight - it’s all about the small steps on a consistent basis to make it happen. 

STEP 1: Accept that you will need to put in the work - just like you did in sports.

Nothing in life comes easy. Remember how hard you worked and how long it took you to get to the highest levels of your sports career? Well that's how you'll need to treat this next chapter too.

A career isn't built overnight, so approach your next chapter just like you did your sports career. Work hard, put in the extra effort and most importantly show up and engage.

STEP 2: Give yourself grace to not be perfect, to try and fail and to not have it all figured out.  

Instead of putting pressure on yourself to have everything figured out right away, give yourself time to try new things, gain new experiences and figure out what works for you. None of us have it all figured out, so give yourself grace and kindness to fail and try again. We are always a work in progress.

STEP 3: Be a sponge - ask questions, soak up everything you can around what’s next and what opportunities are out there.  

Learning from experts and peers is the fastest way to success. Surround yourself with mentors, friends and peers doing things that inspire you. Ask questions and share your journey. Join that webinar, sign up for that free class, connect with people you admire on LinkedIn, read lots of books and articles. Be a sponge.

STEP 4: Do the work with yourself AND your loved ones to figure out what lights you up.  

Part of the work it takes to enter your next chapter is to learn about YOU. What do you love? What lights you up and what motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? This self-discovery process is hard and takes time. So ask your friends and family for help. Ask them what they associate with you and what they see as your superpower, strengths and value you give to the world.

The first part of tackling what’s next is to explore, research and try new things. Learn about YOU. What do you want to achieve in your next chapter? What is interesting to you? What are you good at? Preparing to leave sports is all about taking the time now to think about what you’d be interested in diving into next.

So take small steps today and every day to explore your passions, interests and strengths. Make a list, talk to people you love and people you respect, and most importantly, prioritize YOU in the process. 


Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog. Want to read more about how to prepare for career transition? Sign up here for our newsletter and get our free e-book today on How to Tackle What's Next.