Here’s My Best Advice for Current Athletes
I was talking with a current NFL player a few weeks ago and he said, ‘’you just wrote a book on successfully transitioning from sports, what is your best piece of advice for a current athlete?”
Two thoughts popped into my head, the first was the earlier an athlete starts to prepare for the inevitable transition, the more successful they will be after sports. That was a HUGE takeaway from my book.
But he asked for one piece of advice.
So, I shared a tip that 4x All-American, silver medalist at the Paralympic Games, and military veteran, John Register, shared in The Transition Playbook for ATHLETES.
When you attend an event, don’t show up as the ‘celebrity athlete’. Show up as someone who genuinely wants to be in the room, someone who wants to connect and learn what others are doing. When you meet someone, ask what they do for work. Why are they involved in this event? This is networking. By allowing others to be part of your process during sports, they will be part of your network after sports.
As athletes, you NEED to be selective. Not everyone has your best interest at heart. And not everyone will be part of your process. If you’re an athlete reading this and thinking, EVERYONE WANTS TO CONNECT WITH ME AND BE PART OF MY PROCESS. How do I tell if this person is genuine or not?
The truth is, it’s difficult at first. But, here is one way: If someone is asking you to invest in something right away. Run!
Financially successful people don’t need your money. If the deal is too good to be true, why aren’t they putting more of their own money into it? This isn’t always the case, but it’s a really good starting point.
Another way to tell if a person is genuine: Look at how they introduce you to others. Do they introduce you as Joe the NFL player (and boast about it?) or, just as Joe. In my experience, most NFL players just want to be introduced by their first name, then we will tell you more. If you’re having a conversation and networking, your profession is going to come up in the first few questions anyway.
In summary, allow the right people to be part of your process. As athletes, you know who these people are. If you’re unsure, just ask someone you trust and let them help you with the vetting process.
To find more advice from Register and other insights from 100+ Elite Athletes, including 25 Olympians, check out The Transition Playbook for ATHLETES here: www.thetransitionplaybook.com or https://amzn.to/30hhFaC