Since retirement for professional athletes comes at such a young age, it is crucial they start thinking about their second careers during their playing days. We call this “planning for their next game.”
Planning can be anything from continuing their education through scholarship programs offered by the team to building their rolodex of business contacts during their playing career so they can tap into those business relationships later when they’ve traded in their cleats for a business suit. A great example of someone who has had success with this is one of our clients, Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., who parlayed his business contacts into the eventual ownership of minor league baseball teams and the building of Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, MD.
Many athletes have gone on to become professional broadcasters, real estate developers, and business owners. The idea is to identify your passion during your active playing days if possible, and do what you can to position yourself for entry into that business before you walk off the field.
Business coaches can be a valuable resource for professional athletes during this time. They can help them sift through the available options and find the path best suited for them. They are there to help identify the individual steps to your personal success, as this is different for everyone. As a professional athlete, you’ve more than likely had a coach for the bulk of your life, so the idea of utilizing one for your post career field of life should not be difficult to grasp.
As a professional athlete, you are constantly fueled by your competitive nature. This same trait that helped you excel on the field will help you excel in the business world. Work hard, be mindful of the opportunities that exist and are within your reach every day, and PLAN FOR YOUR FUTURE now—when it matters most.