Athletes usually retire from their career in sports at a very young age. Some of them with an amount of resources that allow them to live well the rest of their lives, other with needs of finding a second career. No matter the situation, all of them think about their lives after the playing days.
Some athletes follow the path of broadcasters or business owners, identifying their new jobs with the passion of past athletic careers. Other athletes become coaches or teachers, but the important thing for them is to be mentored by a professional business coach that helps them sift through the available options and find the path best suited for them.
For world class athletes, like the ones that are training for the Olympics that can be a full time job, there is a need of another job to pay the rent. Some of them have predictable jobs, such as coaching the next generation of athletes, but for others are works like being a DJ.
Triathlon Gwen Jorgensen works as an accountant at Ernst & Young, sailor Debbie Capozzi at her family’s italian ice shop called Tina’s Italian Ices, diver Troy Dumais is a life advisor at the University of Texas, fencer Race Imboden is a DJ and was an intern for a record label called Fool’s Gold, shooter Emil Milev is a physical education teacher at an elementary school in Tampa, and wrestler Chas Betts is a motions designer and specializes in animation graphics. They all have to take time from their preparation and earn enough to live.
But what can they do after being athletes, what career paths are there for post athletes?
Various studies have found that as many as half of all professional athletes are broke within five years of retiring from professional sports. However, this is not the case for all, and there are even some of them that accomplished more after leaving their sports career.
Here are some examples of athletes that were successful after they retired:
Mario Lemieux or as his fans know him, “Super Mario”, is a former hockey player within the top five. Nowadays, Mario bought the Pittsburgh Penguins that was near bankruptcy in 1999, and from there he worked to keep the NHL team in the city despite several attempts to move the franchise, up to winning the Stanley Cup in 2009 as an owner. He also overcome cancer and has established a foundation in his name that founds promising new medical research projects.
Charles Barkley had a 16 years career in the NBA, but never won a championship. After that he took off as a professional broadcaster, pitchman and outspoken commentator on everything in various controversial and everyday topics. He remains in demand after 15 years of retirement from basketball. He worked as a spokesperson for Weight Watchers, wrote several books and even mused about running for Governor of Alabama.
An actor that worked on films such as Lock Stock and the Smoking Barrels, X-Men: The Last Stand and Swordfish, shows no signs of slowing down. His name is Vinnie Jones and he is a legendary soccer player in his native England, that played for teams like Chelsea, Sheffield and Leeds United, and also captained the Welsh national soccer team on several occasions.
Dwayne Johnson also known as “The Rock”, started as a football player for the Hurricanes from University of Miami and later for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League. Dwayne then took a successful career in the professional wrestling as “The Rock” and won 10 world championships. But his glory days came when he started as an actor, working in roles in movies like Hercules, Furious 7 and San Andreas
Few athletes continued to be synonymous with his former sport as Michael Jordan is to basketball. He won six NBA championships and five MVP trophies. But since retiring in 2003, he found success and is now a billionaire according to Forbes magazine. He has corporate endorsements from Nike and Gatorade, he has been a spokesman for McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, still winning over $40 million a year and he is 90% owner of the Charlotte Hornets.
The Staubach Company began with Roger Staubach, also known as “Captain America” while he was in his professional football career with the Dallas Cowboys. After being a great athlete and winning two Super Bowls, he found success far from sports. His company started in real estate, investing mainly in commercial office properties focusing on renting space to major corporations as AT&T, K-Mart and McDonald’s. After being a chairman and chief executive officer until June 2007, Roger sold his company to Jones Lang LaSalle for $613 million.
Professional athletes usually not give the importance that a college preparation deserves, but as they are growing in the sports world, lots of Universities bid for them to study and participate in competitions in their name. It is the opportunity for said athletes to grow for the future as well.