Sports Career Change

Six steps to overcome the challenges of ending a sports career early

(About the Author: Shilpa Laharwal is a Career Coach | Resume Writer| HR Consultant @Career Faktor)

Bringing accolades and glory to one’s country by being a sought after sports person indeed is a honoured and glamorous career. You are nothing short of being a celebrity if not nationwide but definitely in your neighbourhood. 

However, a career in sports comes with its own set of challenges, as much as you may deny it, early retirement in your 30’s or 40’s is the norm or sometimes the most dreaded injury takes it away. Whether you are winner or a loser, veteran or a rookie, you cannot escape this.

Here are six tips that will help you prepare for ending a sports career early and moving on to your next best alternative career path.

  • Accept that, this is the norm and be prepared

Easier said than done, but accepting a situation early will lead you to less grief and you will be better prepared when the time comes for the early retirement. Being prepared will also help you plan and keep alternatives in place. Your family and fans can be notified not as a shocker one day, instead in a gradual and phased manner. Being prepared will help you decide and manage how much you can allow yourself to be emotionally invested in the sports career and therefore protecting your mental health.

  • Maintain a journal of your positives, negatives and favourites

Maintaining a journal with a list of your favourite things and identifying your positives and negatives will help you know the type of person you are and what next career you get into will complement your taste and personality best.

  • Identify your transferable skills

Communication, motivation, goal setting, resilience, discipline, leadership, teamwork, delegation etc. are some examples of transferable skills that you as a sports person can carry with you to the next career path that you choose.

  • Research and plan for the alternative career paths

You could choose getting into mainstream corporate world using your transferable skills or you may stick to your passion for sports and explore alternatives such as a Sports Analyst, Sports Team Manager, Sports Announcer/Commentator, Sports Journalism etc. With the commercialisation of Sports, the opportunities are abundant.

  • Upskill and keep yourself relevant

While focussing on your sports career, be sure to spend time upskilling yourself or getting that education or certification of choice. We have several leading universities who offer Sports Management Programs to Graduates or Under Graduates. Remember learning is for life and as Albert Einstein said ‘Intellectual growth commences at birth and ends only upon death’

  • Get a professional career coach to guide you

Professional Career Coaches are trained to help you identify you core skills by coaxing and studying you. They can help you explore alternative career options that maps correctly with your personality and background. They will help ease the transition in changing the direction of your career. You can work along with your coach to create a career plan to direct your career, rather than having it “just happen” to you.

Need some inspiration about changing career? Read all the inspirational career change stories.

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