Money Smart Athlete Blog

The Dream Team of an Elite individual sports performer

By Constantinos Massonos, Contributor

Gaining elite athlete status and keeping yourself on top form requires hours and hours of hard, mental and physical training.  Training occupies the greatest part of your days and there is no time, even for the simplest everyday chores; you need people, a team, to help you and support you during your journey to excellence! The choices you make during your career will determine how your life will be after the end of your playing days, financially and otherwise, and you shouldn’t make them alone.

The key to success is surrounding yourself with people who can act as a support team and advise you on sports, business and personal financial decisions; a small group of professionals or experts who can guide decision-making and provide critical input and advice. The benefits of creating such a team are many.

  1. Your team can provide an objective and unbiased point of view that you might overlook; that’s also the reason why family and friends shouldn’t be a part of your team.
  2. The expertise your team members bring with them can provide you with the perspective that will help you avoid mistakes and inform you about opportunities that you might not be able to see.
  3. Bringing new people to your current circle of peers can help you build your network and increase your influence

So, who should be part of your team? As an athlete you should already have some people advising you, like your agent and your lawyer or an accountant. To determine who else you need in your team, you first need to identify your goals. For example, if your goal is to invest in real estate you need to choose a person who is an expert in the field like a realtor or mortgage professional. Once you evaluate all the areas you need expert advice in, you can start building your team. Your team must be a combination of experts and professionals who will assist you both on and off the field.

  • Your coach is the most important member of your team. After all, what your primary target is, it’s to succeed at your sport. A good coach would not only assist you to train and improve your physique and technique but will also act as your mentor, push you to your limits and help you find the physical and mental strength to be a successful athlete.
  • A trusted financial advisor can help you achieve your financial objectives and should believe in furthering your education in financial matters.
  • Your lawyer can help you with legal questions that arise when you review contracts and other documents, related to your sporting or commercial commitments. Seek the help of a lawyer that specializes in the particular area of interest at any given point.
  • You shouldn’t choose your insurance agent just by looking for the cheapest rates, as this might cost you more in the long run. Choose an established insurance company with competitive rates, that can offer all types of insurance.
  • The right tax planner can help you keep more money in your pocket after taxes are deducted. The tax code is overly complicated, so having a tax planning professional is critical.
  • Nowadays, professional athletes should not depend only on the advice provided by their coach when it comes to how they train, how they eat and their lifestyle in general. In collaboration with your coach, a Sports Scientist will monitor how your body responds to the training and he/she will help you design a training program which will not only help you improve physically but will also help to minimize the risk of suffering injuries. Also, a Nutritionist will design a specific diet for you in order to improve your health and optimize your performance.
  • Competing in individual sports at an elite level can prove stressful and mentally challenging. Sports Psychologists, through various mental strategies, such as visualization, self-talk and relaxation techniques, can help you overcome obstacles, cope with the pressure of competition and achieve your full potential.

You can start building your team through your current network. Referrals are often the best way to find someone who could nicely fit in your team. Meet with the potential advisors and explain what kind of support you need from them. Trust your gut and try to hire people whom you feel a connection with. Not everyone will accept your proposal to join your team but once they do, you should treat this relationship with professionalism and care. Don’t fear change. Over time, new advisors will enter your team while others might exit.

Finally, remember that no one will care more than you about your money. Your financial decisions are ultimately your own. Your advisors just serve the purpose of informing you about all your available options.  You can contact us at [email protected] for assistance in setting up a dream team, that will give you the tools as well as the peace of mind you need to focus on your athletic miracles.