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Find Your Passion

Finding something that you love as much as playing a sport can be a challenge for a lot of athletes.

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When you’re focused on perfecting your skill and getting better at your craft, it’s hard to start figuring out what else you’re passionate about or want to do with your life once sports ends.

The odds are that you probably won’t find something that is nearly as fun as playing sports, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t find something that you love to do.

The hardest part starts with figuring out where to look first.

When I initially thought about my future in life after sports, I kept asking myself over and over, “how do I even start to find something else besides basketball?”

I also thought to myself, “Even if I do find another passion, how can I turn it into a career opportunity where I can make a good living?”

Is it possible to replicate the feeling that I have with my sport?

The path isn’t always clear, and even after almost 2 years of being away from the game on a professional level, I still feel like I haven’t “transitioned” out the game all the way.

I’ve watched and learned from other athletes and the one thing that I noticed in every one of them is that athletes possess traits and skills that employers yearn for.

I’ve recognized that almost any athlete can transition into any type of role as long as they have some type of guidance and direction because they possess this athlete mindset.

Finding the right career for you still might be tough but based on where I’ve seen other ex-athletes excel, these are my top 10 careers that any athlete can transition into and have success.

10 Career Paths That Any Athlete Can Transition Into

Speaking- The two things that you have to have if you want to be a professional speaker are great communication skills and a story or message to share. Most athletes have both of these skills and if they can improve on them, a speaking career can make you a lot of money in life after sports.Sales- To be a successful salesperson you have to be great building relationships, but also extremely competitive. This is why a sales position is great for athletes who are looking to parlay their talents in other industries. There is always room for salespeople in every industry and athletes can excel in this field.Marketing- Marketing like sales is something that athletes have subconsciously been doing their entire lives. As an athlete, in order to get noticed to get to the next level, you have to market and sell yourself. Marketing is all about putting yourself out there. Athletes can be great marketers because they can connect with people emotionally and two, have the confidence to put themselves or their product out there and tell a compelling story behind it.Coaching- Of course coaching is a natural progression for a lot of athletes because it keeps them within the game. The best coaches, in my opinion, are not only the ones who deeply understand the game but also can relate to players on a very deep level and understand how each one is different. If you can do this, coaching might be a great career choice for you.Broadcasting- A lot of athletes get into announcing and broadcasting for the same reason that they get into coaching. It keeps them close to the game. If you have a captivating personality, high sports IQ and can engage fans consistently, then becoming an announcer could be a solid career for life after sports.Physical Therapist/Athletic Trainer- As a physical therapist you help prevent and rehabilitate sports-related injuries. Your athletic background has given you firsthand knowledge of specific athletic injuries and smart fitness practices. You’ll be in the perfect position to work with other athletes on achieving their health goals so they can get back in the game. This is a perfect career for athletes who might have experienced many injuries and wants to help other athletes prevent the same from happening to them.Financial Advisor-  Financial advisors basically help their clients manage their assets and investments, often acquiring clients by cold calling. You might face rejection early in your career, but as a former athlete, you more than likely have thick skin and determination which can help you overcome adversity and make your career take off. As a former athlete, you also have passion, conviction and perseverance, in which winning clients in this industry will be easy for you.Recruiter- A recruiter’s job is to find personnel to fill vacant positions within a company or organization. Just like scouting an opponent before a big game, you have to know how to spot talent and notice the strengths and weaknesses of an individual. Athletes are often fast-moving, action-oriented and confident in their decisions which is critical to achieving success in this field.Teacher- Teachers are responsible for helping youth learn and mature. Your former coaches have shown you various teaching strategies on how to effectively develop individuals. The time and preparation it takes to create a lesson plan for a classroom is also very similar to planning for a big game. If you like working with kids and instructing, then teaching could be perfect for you.Sports Journalist- As a sports journalist, your primary objective is to report and write about sporting events, stories and breaking news. The sports industry is non-stop, 24/7 so you do have to be flexible and on your toes often. Sports journalism is an exciting field nonetheless, and just like broadcasting and coaching, it can keep you very close to the athletes and sports.

Don’t Be Afraid To Try & Fail

These are just 10 careers that I’ve seen a lot of athletes transition into and do really well when they do.

This doesn’t mean that these careers are for you though. I personally wanted to become an entrepreneur.

When you’re looking for your next career path, the most important thing you have to do is try as many things as you as quickly as you can.

You see most athletes wait for opportunities and the world to come to them once they finish playing.

A lot of athletes are so used to everybody coming to them for things that when they are finished playing that they remain reactive instead of proactive.

Get out into the world and explore. You won’t find your passion or next career move by waiting for the world to come to you because once you’re done playing, the truth is that people won’t be calling and coming to you anymore.

Opportunities won’t come knocking at your door unless you were one of the best athletes in your sport.

You have to go out, make and create your future just like you did within your sport.

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Don’t be afraid to fail. Transitioning out of sports takes time, but always remember that you hold your future and next career in your hands.