The importance of Another Plan A
As professional athletes, we like to think it will last forever, that we’re indestructible or unbreakable, things will always work out, we’re head strong under all circumstances, if all else fails/when it ends we can just resort to plan B. This level of confidence is the reason we succeeded in life so far, but it needs to be channeled realistically in order to ensure a smooth transition into a new career and carry over the momentum of success.
With your plan B you’ll always be giving a B effort, B energy, B level of passion, B enthusiasm, B focus and you’ll get B level of fulfilment…when you’re used to scoring A’s with all the above it can be a downward spiral towards un-fulfilment, confusion and loss of self-worth.
What you need is another plan A! Something you’re equally as passionate about as your sport, because when being a pro athlete ends and you haven’t found your “side passion,” retirement or post sports life can be an emotional struggle. A lot of athletes start looking for that other passion or interest when they retire, get injured or are unable to find their next sporting gig – this is already a tough start to your post sports emotional well-being.
As a professional athlete, your strong passion and dedication for your craft is what drives you to apply all your time and energy to give 110% to your career. If you don’t find something you’re equally as passionate about, it can make the transition into your post sport life a hard adjustment. Such crafts don’t grow on trees! That’s why searching for another plan A needs to start during your pro sports career; read books, mentor people, give talks, take uni/Tafe courses, take a public speaking class, get involved within your community, meet your team/personal sponsors, do work experience, start an online business, find a mentor, network with business owners – convince them to sponsor you/your team, build furniture…etc! Whatever it is, get involved and immerse yourself in something outside of your sport.
Being a professional athlete doesn’t last forever, start searching for another plan A now!