SM PEOPLE You are in charge of how you prepare for life after sport. Don’t leave your future up to fate. Be proactive Julie Schladitz • Career coach and author of Career after Sport
As a career coach, Julie Schladitz has worked with many athletes
Why do athletes need help transitioning out of sport?
camaraderie, routine, goals, social
from you – but you are in charge of how
support, security, self-confidence and a
you prepare for life after sport. Don’t
Retirement from professional sport is
feeling of being better than anyone else
leave your future up to fate. Be proactive.
challenging. Stories of stars fallen on
at what they do. The list is long.
In order to continue your growth and personal development, start planning the
hard times appear frequently in the
How can athletes prepare for the transition?
next phase of your life now.
players’ union FIFPro in 2015 showed that depression and anxiety issues affect over
We all want to have some control over
one third of former footballers. It’s clear
our lives with the possibility to make our
What’s the first step in planning the next phase?
that there’s an ever-growing problem.
own free choices. After all, autonomy and
The better we know ourselves, the easier
self-determination are essential to our
it is to find out what we want to do next.
doesn’t just provide financial rewards.
wellbeing. You may not be able to control
Insight into your personal values will
They also stand to lose their status,
your retirement – an injury or de-selection
enable you to regain a sense of meaning
feelings of entitlement, identity,
from a team may take that decision away
and purpose in life. It will help you
news. Research published by the world
For professional athletes, sport
take the right decisions, leading to life satisfaction and happiness. © shut terstock/Mitch Gunn
What is really important in your life? Differentiate between what matters to you and what doesn’t. Let this knowledge influence your goals and act on them. Remember, if the going gets tough, you’re more likely to stay on track if you’re heading in a direction that is valuable to you, rather than one that is not personally meaningful.
What sort of support do athletes need? Transition out of sport can be tough emotionally: feelings of despair, Professional athletes benefit from status, routine, camaraderie and more
Issue 4 2018
frustration, and anger are common. The right support network is critical.