If you’re an athlete, you’ve had your friends, parents, and relatives tell you that you need to go to class so you have something to fall back on.
I don’t know about you, but when I look at the options available to most undergraduate students, I don’t necessarily see those options as worthy of distracting you by taking the focus away from athletics.
I was a D1 athlete, and I followed the rules by going to class and doing my homework.
During my sophomore year, I selected Sociology as my major, because at the time, I was genuinely interested in pursuing a career in social work.
The reality is, most colleges are failing their students by not providing the cutting-edge education needed to be successful in the current economy or prepared for the future of work.
This was the problem I faced 14 years ago, and millions of graduates across the United States have experienced the same.
In fact, it was a problem when your parents graduated from college too.
If you follow Ray Dalio, Robert Kiyosaki, or any other financial expert, they will tell you that if you rely solely on what is being taught in our traditional education system every year, you have no chance of achieving financal success, and you will not live life on your terms.
As a former athlete, struggling financially feels like losing in the first round of the playoffs when you were projected to win the championship. It’s flat out embarrasing.
I’m here to tell you one thing:
YOU DON’T NEED A PLAN B.
You will not achieve long-term success and fulfillment in athletics if you’re committed to making sure you have something to fall back on.
However, athletics alone shouldn’t exclusively be your Plan A.
How do you address that?
You need to design a Plan A that includes your athletic career and professional ambitions.
These ambitions should be integrated, not treated as two separate tracks.
You should be building a life strategy that includes all of your goals and then build relationships, opportunities, and economic models that will support your personal ambitions, interests, and values.
The reason most athletes fail after sports is because they didn’t plan beyond sports and therefore they missed their greatest opportunity to open doors that extend beyond sports.
You don’t want to wait until your sports career is over.
Define the opportunities you’re attracted to, and start building out your life strategy, NOW.
Think about how you might use your current athletic career to develop relationships in the industries you want to work or own businesses within. Consider where you might volunteer in the offseason so you can add value, while also positioning yourself to establish your professional image and brand.
Take the time to write down the values of the people you want to surround yourself with. Reach out to former athletes that are living the life you want to live after sports and interview them.
Ask yourself, what are your values? Who do you want to serve with your talent? What industries fit your interests, passions, and capabilities?
If you don’t take the time to define who you are, what you want, what values you want to live by, and what industries you want to participate in, your sports career will end and you will find yourself scrambling.
I played by the traditional rules and had my Plan B and it took me a decade to figure out how to build a career that fit my passions. The reality is my Plan B didn’t inspire me, and if I would’ve pursued it, I would have spend decades thinking about a few highlights of my sports career instead of being excited about the personal championships on the horizon.
You shouldn’t invest 10-20 years of your life into athletics only to end your career with a framed senior night picture and your practice jerseys. If you were a professional, your livelihood shouldn’t be hanging in the balance as you wait to “get the call” from your agent trying to get you an opportunity overseas.
That’s the old way of transitioning for athletes. One that has people shaming athletes for not finding something positive to do with their life.
You’re worth more than that, and it’s sad that people keep telling you to be happy and satisfied you got a 4-year Sociology degree. As a person that has fought for your team to win championships, you know that isn’t good enough for you, and it isn’t in the least bit exciting.
Athlete, you need to treat your education seriously, but you don’t need a Plan B.
You need a strategy for life that will allow you to build a life brighter and brighter, year after year, long after your athletic career is over. The only way to effectively do that is to first design the life you want to have and then leverage athletics, scholarships, partnerships, and relationships to achieve the results you want.
Don’t look for a Plan B.
BUILD A STRATEGY.