15 Side Hustle Ideas For Athletes

 In Athlete Culture

Being a professional athlete is one of the most amazing careers you can have! For those who get to live and experience the life of a pro athlete it’s a dream come true. From a very young age as an amateur sports star through to retirement as a professional, an athlete’s life is full of passion, fulfillment, adrenaline, excitement and emotion. However, it’s a short lived career with the average span across all sports lasting 4-5 years.

Especially for the first few years after retirement, life post-sport can be tough. Trying to find a new passion, new goal, new career, a new purpose can be daunting and overwhelming.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way! There are numerous things you can do as a current pro athlete to prepare for life after sport.

One of the biggest action steps you can take is start a side business or project whilst you are still a pro athlete. Not only does it give you a chance to make extra income but more importantly you build skills and knowledge that will prepare you for life after sport. You also have nothing to lose, it gives you a chance to validate different ideas – if you are able to make an income whilst doing it on the side, imagine what you can do once you dive into it full time! Most importantly, if your side hustle idea takes off – well you’ve just found yourself a post-sport career!

Of course, it won’t be easy! You have to find time to do it outside your sporting commitments, you have to be interested in it and have to have some sort of skills & expertise in the area. Everyone is different and will have different ideas and interests & time management capabilities but here are 15 side hustle ideas athletes can jump into right away: (disclaimer – please check with your agent/club/team if you are allowed to do any of these, make sure there’s no conflict of interest) 

  1. Coaching – Sports coaching is a tremendously growing area all across the world. Elite athletes are not the only ones paying for sports coaches, amateur athletes all across the world are trying to get a competitive advantage on the field, court or pool. Parents are paying upwards of $100 p/hour to give their kids the best possible chance to become pro athletes! So who better to coach these people then a pro athlete!! You can do group coaching or one on one. You can even set up online coaching and sell your services across the world! Here are some tips on how to set up a coaching business.
  2. E-Commerce store via Shopify – It’s now easier then ever to sell products online, through avenues like shopify. You just need to pick a product and start promoting through your online and offline channels. Things you can sell: Protein, health related products, clothing, sporting goods, sports drinks, and much more.
  3. Start a Blog – Think blogging is no longer a viable source of income? Think again. Tens of thousands of bloggers are creating profitable content on topics as diverse as scrapbooking, home cooking, travel, film, lifestyle, business, personal finance and more. And these people are growing their blogs into six-figure businesses thanks to a combination of email subscribers, affiliate marketing, blog sponsorships, and other revenue streams. An interesting idea from an athlete’s point of view is “a day in the life of pro athlete.” There’s numerous directions athletes can take, you just have to start!
  4. Motivational Speaking – Becoming a pro athlete is one of the most inspirational journeys one can take. There’s no doubt about it, you have to work hard and put successful processes in place! That’s why so many people are inspired by athletes. Businesses, schools and community groups all invite ex-athletes to speak to their staff, students and groups to inspire them. Athletes are prime suspects to become motivational speakers. Here is a great article on how to become a motivational speaker.
  5. E-Books – Packaging your skills and knowledge into e-books and providing value to those who need the content is a great way to make extra income. Pick a topic around your sport and training as you are the expert therefore people are more likely to purchase your e-book.
  6. Instagram Marketing – By building an Insta following you can quickly approach brands (if you build enough of a following, they’ll approach you) and start charging for posts relevant to their brand & your content. All you need is a little marketing skills.
  7. Online Coaching – I alluded to it in idea #1, but this is such a good idea it needs its own space! With an online coaching course it gives you capability to reach a larger market around the world but more importantly you can create on-going revenue or make money whilst you sleep! Creating coaching courses around your sport is an obvious way to go, you just need to learn how to create the courses.
  8. Amazon Reselling – Buying low and selling high on amazon or e-bay is an effective side hustle idea, especially if you’re an avid online shopper. People have grown this side business idea from their homes to having to purchase warehouses to stock their products. Here is a detailed guide on how to sell through Amazon and eBay.
  9. Commission Only Sales – There a numerous benefits for athletes working in sales. Especially if you have knack for connecting with people and an ability to influence, taking on a freelance commission based sales role is a great side business idea. You can do it from the comfort of your own home and develop one of the most integral skills required to succeed in business – selling! You can jump on Seek, type in “commission based sales,” and pick a product or service that interests you – the beauty of this is if you don’t like the thing you’re selling, you can pick another product or service.
  10. Personal Trainer – If I want to get fit, healthy and ripped there’s no better role model then a professional athlete! If you have some business sense and charisma, getting clients should be relatively easy for you. You can start out small with a few clients that can fit into your schedule, once you retire grow it into a full time business. Check out these tips on a successful personal training business.
  11. Health & Lifestyle Coach – Athletes are perceived as the modern day gladiators – optimum image for health and fitness. Using your socials to post your eating, exercise and daily routine habits can lead to people reaching out for advice. With enough demand, you can start charging for this advice by creating tailor made diet and exercise plans. Why not up-skill yourself and become a certified dietitian.
  12. Start a YouTube Channel – Yes, spending time on YouTube can be a legitimate business idea if you take it seriously. Creating value driven video content can increase your subscribers – if you get to the thousands brands will start paying for ads on your videos. There are numerous YouTube millionaires out there who’ve succeeded by creating valuable, creative and entertaining video content. For a great example of an athlete creating a successful side-hustle YouTube channel check out the Toronto Raptors and NBA Champion Serge Ibaka’s page. Check out some tools and tips on starting a YouTube Channel.
  13. Investing Your Money – If you got some spare time and a savings account not doing much for you, investing your money in stocks can be a great side business idea.  There’s plenty of financial professional out there who would advise you on investing in stocks or real estate and guide you along the way.
  14. Brew Your Own Beer – Love drinking beer? Why not turn it into a business! With enough patience and skill you might end up brewing something that others are willing to pay to drink. You can use your popularity and network to promote your “brand of beer.” Check out some online tool kits on how to craft your own beer.
  15. Podcasting – If you can create a regular audience for your topic, you can then get brands to sponsor your podcast. Similar to a YouTube channel make sure your podcast is providing value to your audience. One idea is – interviewing athletes in your network about their daily routines that make them successful. Another idea is going down the comedic route having a good old yarn about sport and stories – check out NBA players podcast called Road Trippin by Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye. For insights into how to make money podcasting check out some tools and tips by a former athlete now lifestyle entrepreneur Lewis Howes.

If none of those ideas resonate with you, check out 101 more!


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