Money Smart Athlete Blog

Planning for a Successful After Sports Career

Sep 12, 2018 | Financial Psychology


Retirement is one of the few certainties you will face in your athletic career. Unfortunately, research shows that athletes are often unwilling to plan in advance for their post sport careers. The transition to a post sports career becomes even harder because most athletes don’t have any previous work experience in a full-time job and may have missed out on education due to their sporting commitments.

In order to avoid suddenly finding yourself in deep water, you have to start planning now, how you want your life after sports to be. We actually believe that preparation for the end of your athletic career should begin as soon as you start chasing your sports dream.

We set below three steps you should take which will contribute to the successful planning of your after-sport career.

Step #1. Before Anything Else, Preparation is the Key to Success!

Start preparing for life after sport by considering what you want to do when you retire. Many athletes choose to remain in the sports industry as coaches, scouts, trainers, etc. but you have a lot of other options as well. Find your passions and think of potential career paths that align to them. Research the industry and make a list of skills, experience and education needed to get a job in companies that work in that area. If you need specific or technical skills to get the job you’re interested in, there are courses or qualifications you can take in order to be the perfect candidate.

Step #2. Utilize Your Transferable Skills!

As an athlete you acquire a number of transferable skills during your sports career which can be applied in other areas of your life and to other non-sport careers. Such transferable skills include organizational skills, adaptability/flexibility, dedication and perseverance, patience, self-motivation, as well as abilities associated with performing under pressure, meeting challenges/deadlines and setting and obtaining goals.

In order to have a successful career transition you need to utilize your transferable skills, develop personal resilience, obtain formal education, and create a professional network which will help you find opportunities and experiment with new roles outside of sport.

Step #3. Work on your professional network!

People who you have met during your sports career, may prove useful in your post sports career search. And if you don’t know anyone from the industry you want to work in, you have to try and make new contacts in that area.

After your retirement you will be entering a very competitive environment, that being business or the job industry, and building a strong network will help you find a job, start a business, or build a clientele. It’s not always what you know, it’s who you know.

Building a network is as important as building a team of trusted advisors around you. The bigger your network, the more opportunities, personal or business, you have available today and in the future.

You can start networking by simply gathering contact information of people you share common interests or do business with, such as teammates, friends from school, agents, etc. Continue to gain knowledge, and also build your network of contacts over time to help ensure financial independence and success. Remember: you never know what influential person your friends or contacts may know. So, stay in touch with everyone!

You should always remember that being prepared is half the victory! You will need to discover who you are outside of sport, and through proper planning and preparation you will definitely find the post sports career which will make you happy and which aligns with your dreams and goals. If you need any advice in getting ready for your life after sport you can get in touch with us at [email protected] .