Career Changers Sports Career Change

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

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. 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.

Early retirement is the norm when having a career in sports

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.

Six tips to deal with the challenges of ending a sports career early

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. Planning and keeping alternatives in place are good tools to feel more in control of your future and this can increase your peace of mind. Your family and fans can be notified not as a shocker one day, instead in a gradual and phased manner.

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 to get into the mainstream corporate world by using your transferable skills. Alternatively, you may stick to your passion for sport; Explore alternatives such as a Sports Analyst, Sports Team Manager, Sports Announcer/Commentator, Sports Journalism etc. With the commercialisation of sports, opportunities are abundant.

Upskill and keep yourself relevant

While focusing on your sports career, be sure to spend time upskilling yourself or getting that education or certification of choice. We have several leading universities that 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 your core skills by coaxing and studying you. They can help you explore alternative career options that map correctly with your personality and background. They will help ease the transition in changing the direction of your career. Work along with your coach to create a plan to direct your career; That can allow you to feel more in control instead of feeling change imposed upon you.

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


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

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