How do you successfully make the move from player to pioneer?

Posted: 11/01/21

There’s one thing we see sports professionals struggling with again and again: handling the changes to their lives when their careers come to an end.

This transition involves not only a shift in lifestyle, but also a change in mindset. But you’ll be already ahead of the game if you’ve got a plan.

Is there life after sport?

Darren was at a loss. With no coach or schedule, he suddenly had a lot more freedom in his life. At the same time, he wasn’t sure what to do with it.

Joanne had dedicated her life to the club. When she stopped playing, she felt cut adrift.

This transition from active player, collaborator or colleague to an independent individual can be confusing and difficult for some people. When your time since school has been focused on only one thing, finding a new direction in life can be a challenge.

Following the path

As a professional sportsperson, you spend all your time striving to be brilliant at what you do. Your life is a cycle of training, practicing, playing hard, eating properly, looking after yourself and then back to training again.

This is all in the pursuit of mastery. You want to be the best at what you do. Totally on top of your game.

But at the same time, you actually have very little autonomy. You don’t decide when matches are played. You have no say on team selections or the game plan. You might not even set your own training hours.

So, the problem many professionals face on the day they stop playing is that mastery and autonomy flips. The levels of control they had over those aspects of their life goes completely into reverse.

What happens when mastery and autonomy flip

Where sportspeople were once immensely capable people, the skills they possess suddenly have little place in their everyday world.

And where their activities were managed in a tight programme, they now have a vacuum.

The voices in their head might go something like this:

‘I’m not playing any more, so what am I good at?’

‘I’m not part of a squad. I can do what I want. But what do I do?’

This inevitably can lead to a lot of self-doubt.

But there is one thing that tackles both the self-doubt and the lack of direction. Planning with purpose. And your finances are a key part of this.

Find your post-career purpose

People struggle when they haven’t planned properly for the transition to post-career life. If they haven't prepared financially, then they’re usually in a rush to get another job quickly.

If they have thought about their finances, they’re in a better place. But this is often on a superficial level - going with what a friend recommends or sounds like a good idea at the time. Can they be sure it’ll be enough to sustain them in the long run?

Planning means you can finance yourself while you adapt to life’s changes. You’ll have the time to re-train, seek new opportunities, pursue personal interests or start a new business. And you also won’t have to worry about your family.

What you do and where you go with this starts with your vision for life after your current career. A successful transition relies on you having a purpose.

You can find this purpose whatever stage you’re at. The important thing is that your vision will be to your design - not anyone else’s or created out of necessity.

But the vision needs to be supported financially. Your finances and your future are intrinsically linked, and you’ll need to have a plan to make it happen.

Talk it over with a professional

You don’t realise how quickly this will end - all the mastery, comradeship and achievements of a career. The key is to take control of your situation before it gets too late.

The best way to do this is to sit down with someone that is really going to listen to you. Someone that will make your vision for the future the starting point and work from there. What do you want life to look like? What is the purpose behind your investments? What are you trying to achieve?

You’ll need a trusted professional on your side for far longer after your life in sport than during your career. So, choose someone you have total faith in, who will make investments based on solid plans, not just quick returns or commissions.

At David James Wealth, our process begins with listening. Listening to everything you have to say about your life and what you want the future to look like. And then we work out the ways to set up your finances to make it all happen.

With our full-service, purpose driven approach to wealth management, you’ll have everything under one roof. We keep it simple and transparent.

All your money matters will be working together as a team to give you the life you deserve when your career in sport comes to an end.

Been thinking you should get your finances in order?

Talk everything over with our team. We’re ready to listen.

Keep in touch -
Let us know your plans

Keep in touch -
Let us know your plans

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