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Finding a New Purpose and Identity After Sport.

As a professional athlete, retiring from pro sport and stepping into a new life can be complex and challenging on a number of levels.

For years, your identity has been closely tied to your sport, and suddenly finding yourself without that familiar anchor can be disorienting and upsetting.


But this transition presents huge opportunity for growth, and there’s so much to be excited about.


Below are five top tips for finding your way through this important time and planning for a champion future.


Acknowledge and Embrace Change

The first step is to accept that change is happening. Recognise that it's okay to feel a range of emotions, from sadness and grief to excitement and anticipation. This transition is a natural part of life and a chance to discover a new you.


Former athletes such as Olympian Marilyn Okoro and softball player Emily Allard have spoken openly about the emotional difficulties they faced when retiring from their respective sports. By facing their present, talking about it and actively working through the feelings involved, they were able to get the head space they needed to move forward and focus on the future.


Reimagine Your Identity

For most athletes, sport has been a centre point of personal identity throughout life. In retirement, you can find out who you are beyond the playing field. Now is the time to let go, and explore other interests, values and goals.


You may want to try out new hobbies, pursue further education or training, or volunteer in your community. By expanding your horizons and delving into different aspects of yourself, you can begin to construct a more holistic sense of identity.


Seek Support and Guidance

Transitioning out of sports can be daunting, but you don't have to walk the path alone. Seek support and guidance from friends, family, mentors, or professional organisations specialising in making the switch.


Here at Athlete Career Transition, we provide just this kind of support. We were once athletes ourselves, and today offer invaluable insight, resources and professional coaching to help you navigate the transition.


Identify Transferable Skills

As a former athlete, you possess a unique set of qualities that are highly valuable in other areas of life and work. Skills such as discipline, resilience, teamwork, and goal-setting are applicable to winning ways across innumerable professions, sectors, and industries. You have so much to give!


At Athlete Career Transition, we help you to identify, build upon and leverage these skills as you explore new career opportunities. Whether it's in business, education, or the non-profit sphere, your athletic background will serve as a strong foundation for success in your next life chapter.


Embrace the Journey

Finally, embrace the personal evolution that comes with transitioning out of sports. Understand that finding a new purpose and identity is a process that takes time, patience, and perseverance, just like your journey through athletics.


Be open to finding different paths, taking calculated risks, and learning from both successes and setbacks along the way. Remember that retirement from sports is not an endpoint but a new beginning filled with endless possibilities.


Let’s get started

At Athlete Career Transition, we’ve helped over 300 former athletes to make the jump from sports into world-class business careers.


Visit Athlete Career Transition to find out more, and discover your new purpose today!


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