Life After Sports: Injuries, Interruptions and The End of Competition

Life after sports. Is that a thing? Just kidding. It IS a thing and a transition that many athletes have made, some more successfully than others. Which is why I wanted to discuss the topic with you.

Life After Sports, Female Track Athlete

Thank you for joining me again on this journey. As promised from my last blog, I wanted to share some beautiful insights from coaches and sports leaders that I’ve picked up via Clubhouse. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attribute all quotes but I will be working on filling in those gaps.

Please continue reading for inspiration you won't find anywhere else about preparing for life after sports whether it's for a short time or forever:

First, regarding the response of athlete performance after having a long break:  

“As we see some athletes step away, some athletes may go wild from a performance perspective.”  

Unknown

Next, regarding lack of access to facilities: 

“Do the most you can with what you have.”

Coach Brant Minor

Also, regarding the “upside” of sports post-2020: 

“My hope for [this time lost] is that athletes become much better students of the game. We need more students of the game.”

 Jerron Rhodes

Then, regarding athlete leadership:

“I do some mentorship - great leaders see something in someone and pull that out. Being able to see that gift and identify it." 

 Unknown

Also, regarding athlete identity for life after sports: 

“Help them differentiate their talent from their gift. The gift will be there for life. That’s what they will give to the world.”  

 Josh Young

Additionally, regarding their athletic talent vs. their life-long gifts: 

“The gift will take them places that the talent never could. Your gift is as special as your fingerprint.”

Josh Young

Furthermore, comparing self-identity vs role as an athlete:

“There’s no better time than now to work on your mental game. What makes you “you” whether a ball bounces or a game is played?"

Bryn Drescher

What if sports was just one way to express our purpose? It’s not about the external validation. Get the focus away from results by focusing on the talents and gifts."

Saana Koljonen

Then, regarding parental support for life after sports: 

“What if things aren’t going well? Will you still be there when I’m not winning? When I’m not playing?”

Jerron Rhodes

“One of the best things my parents did after every season: are you still enjoying this? Do you still want to play? It allowed me to make my own decisions. As I make my life as a parent, I hope to give my kids the same.”

Unknown

Likewise, handling pressure (vs. being motivated by it): 

“You have so much potential, you could do whatever you want. If they don’t think it themselves, it becomes pressure.

Find balance between external validation and helping them find their intrinsic validation.”

Unknown

Then, regarding “respecting your talent, and being able to play”:

“Not taking anything for granted. Take our gratitude up a level. So many great people in this room, [in this world].”

Jerron Rhodes

Additionally, regarding the power of sports in culture: 

 

'Sports are unifying. They can bring us together."

Coach Brant Minor

Finally, regarding the future as a FORMER athlete and life after sports: 

“Stay curious to what could be.”

 Saana Koljonen

“Time is the one currency we can’t get back. This [time] has taught me about commitment and intention.

Am I committed in the adversity and uncertainty? What is the standard I want to operate out of? I was to operate out of high character and integrity.

The future may be uncertain but who I want to be is not.”

Obinna Agomo

Finally, a reflection on a share from an unknown source about the book: Man Search for Meaning by Victor Franco.

In the story, the Nazis took his home, wife, family, and title. But when Victor Franco reflects on his life, and the reason why he made it out of the concentration camps alive, he said:

“They couldn’t take my ability to decide, to respond.”

Victor believes that he chose to fight, he chose to live.

"You can find meaning in life, even in our suffering," he said. "No one can take away our ability to respond. We always have that power and that will."

If you found this information helpful or inspiring, please share with a friend. Also share with coaches and athletes who may benefit from these words of encouragement regarding life after sports! Make sure you check out some of these thought leaders by clicking their name and viewing more about them on Instagram.

I hope this article blesses you as it continues to bless me. Until next time,

Crystal

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