Retirement is never an easy issue to deal with. We are creatures of routine. We get up, do our thing, and go to bed. That’s a quick summary of a person’s productive life. When it’s over, it’s not an easy thing to accept. For athletes, this reality can be extremely difficult to face. They are more used to following a routine than anyone one. Having to wake up one morning and realizing that you won’t hit the pool, or lace up those cleats, or hit the hardwood can lead to mental problems such as depression. Athletes are often faced with the question, “Is there life after sports?”
Of course there is, everything’s not lost when an athlete decides to retire. As a matter of fact, many athletes have gone on to become outstanding entrepreneurs or have had successful careers in other fields. The most obvious choice for post-retirement employment is as a consultant, a specialized coaching position, or an assistant coach. These jobs use an athlete’s experience to improve a team and are a way of rewarding years of loyal service to an organization. However, not every athlete is usually considered for these types of jobs, especially since it’s quite difficult for one to stay in one place throughout their whole careers. Therefore, most retired athletes must look to other industries and one of them has been quite friendly to athletes in the past. Journalism. That’s where athletes can best adapt to life after sport. Let Jason Hanold express how athletes can turn to journalism as a new means of income once they have retired.
Why take to journalism?
Athletes have something going for them that beat reporters and professional journalists don’t have. They have lived the game from the inside. They have first-hand insight into what happens in a locker room. Reporters can only assume why a player acts a way he or she does. Not athletes, they can tell the audience exactly what is going on that might have led to a change in morale, discipline, or even insubordination. They know what goes on in a player’s head that can affect performance. Turn on any pre-game show for any sport and you will notice that when it comes to talking about the finer things in a sport, it’s the athletes and former coaches who will usually make the greatest points. The only drawback to athletes being journalist is that there lack of experience in front of cameras often comes out until they gain enough experience to be comfortable.
What positions can former athletes fill?
This is perhaps the easiest job to transition into after retirement. It gives athletes a way to still be actively involved in the sport despite not playing in a game. Sideline reporters play a huge role in helping viewers understand what goes on in the game. Former athletes would be great at it given their experience in the game. Having played in the sport also gives them access to exclusive interviews, especially if they were respected in their respective sports.
2- Studio analyst
Athletes know all the technical jargon that people at home can find a little perplexing at times. They can do a great job at explaining the nuances of a game in language that is easy to understand. Additionally, former athletes can give great insight into the psychological aspect of game that many of us can’t witness on television or in the stands. Finally, athletes can offer anecdotes from their playing time that can give us a different perspective of the sport we follow.
3- Contributor to The Player’s Tribune
Athletes have become more involved outside of their sport than ever before. One of these contributions has been through participation in outlets like The Player’s Tribune. Athletes, both current and former, are taking to written press to share their experiences, insight, and thoughts on sports. In the case of The Player’s Tribune, it’s a website where the content is exclusively written by athletes. It gives us a side of athletes we never knew they had. Athletes rare share their opinions when they are an active part of a sport. But once they are retired, they can express themselves freely. The Players Tribune gives them the space to do so.
Retirement does not spell doom for former athletes. Just because they won’t play the game doesn’t mean that they can’t play an active role in it. Journalism gives athletes the chance to teach people about the sport they love, it gives them a newfound purpose. Whether it be on TV, radio, online, or in newspapers, athletes can take great advantage of the comfort that journalism has to offer them. What other occupation gives you the chance to talk about the thing you love doing the most by sharing knowledge and experience and pays you to do so? Not many if you think about it.