careers for post athletes

Three women athletes who continue contributing to the world

The lists of post-athletes who are now successful are well known. Among them is never missing Michael Jordan, David Beckham, Greg Norman, and many more. However, there is little information about those women who marked a milestone in the history of sports and who after their retirement continue changing the world with their knowledge and help. Here, three of them.

Li Na

This Chinese tennis player was the first in her country to reach a Grand Slam final, an international event with four tournaments. There, she triumphed in the modality of individual. She also won the Roland Garros in Paris, the Australian Open and the French Open in 2011. With this last one, the eyes of everybody were on her and continued like that until 2014, when she decided to retire.

At her 32 years, she had gone through four knee operations and had to apply shots every week to withstand the pain. That’s why she made known to the media and his fans that from that moment on, she would be in other works in her native country. Despite her retirement, sportswear companies like Nike continued to pay her for her sponsorship.

Since then, her main focus is on her own tennis school that offers scholarships to motivate the sport in China. In addition, she collaborates in the foundation “Right to play” that seeks to help children and young people in poverty.

Li Na started in the sport since she was eight, first with badminton and then went on to tennis. After that, she dedicated her whole life to this one. Even after stopping playing, she continues traveling to different countries to invite other players to participate in different tournaments in China.

Lorena Ochoa Reyes

lorena-ochoa_golf-player

Image courtesy of Keith Allison at Flickr.com

Lorena Ochoa was born in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1981. It was there that her family instilled her love for sports, which led her to be an immortal symbol of golf in the world.

From a very young age, she showed her skills. With six years she won the first state title, a year later a national title, and at age eight she won at the Junior World Golf Championship and went on for five consecutive years. Even in college, she continued to play as an amateur until starting as a pro in 2002. Shortly afterward, with 25 years, she managed to be in the number one position in the world ranking.

Among her list of awards, she has more than 100 titles at the state level, two wins at Majors and is the top winner of the National Sports Award in Mexico. In addition, she was the number one player in the world for 157 consecutive weeks since 2007. In terms of recognition, she managed to be in 2008 list of Forbes magazine in 2008 as one of the most powerful personalities and won the ESPY Award as The Best national athlete. She was also and Leader of LPGA and Rolex Player of the Year for three years.

Even after all these awards, Lorena never forgot her family and her land. That’s why she has her permanent headquarters in Guadalajara since 2008. There, Lorena receives every year different golfers from the world in the tournament that bears his name. Despite having retired in 2010, this tournament not only continues today but also, she now dedicates her time to different activities.

Since then, Lorena teaches golf in her academies, one in Acapulco called Ochoa Golf Academy and another one in the United States. Lorena also designs golf courses and managed to be among the finalists (including Greg Norman) to design the field of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. She also works in her own foundation that has since 2004, that gives education to low-income children.

Despite years of retirement, her life is still tied to golf. In 2012, he launched a program on CNN about this sport in Latin America and in the same year she published her biographical book “Dreaming in Big”.

Annika Sörenstam

She is a Swedish golfer who during her time as an athlete won 93 golf tournaments, 72 of it in the LPGA and 10 Major Championships, including the Open of United States in 1995, 1996 and 2006. She was also Rolex Player for eight years. For this and more, Annika entered to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2003 and a year later won the Laureus Award for best athlete.

Annika played golf since her adolescence and retired in 2008 to focus on her own brand and the foundation that bears her name since 2007. There, she helps young people improve in golf and give them a healthy lifestyle. Among some of the most outstanding initiatives, there is SPARK in Florida that helps to improve the health of 100 children. In addition to this, he is part of NBC Golf as an analyst and represents brands such as AHEAD, Callaway, Golfing World, Lexus, and Rolex.

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The hardest moment

“The hardest moment”. That is the most repeated sentence amongst ex-athletes whenever they remember the time they had to call it quits; whenever they had to give up years of training, discipline and mental, as well as physical, sacrifice. Not everyone is ready to make the overwhelming decision, as former F.C Barcelona handball goalie David Barrufet recalls. But then what? Well, Jason Hanold has previously told several stories about famous athletes and their transitions to the “normal” life: the time where a new life, away from training facilities, courts, pitches, media, fans, etc., begins. It is often heard that one of the most difficult aspects ex-athletes have to face when deciding to end their careers is the fact that they will no longer be popular nor a star. Calling it quits often is a forced decision, as it is generally preceded by being too old, or having suffered an injury, or even sickness, however, regardless of the motive, athletes must be inexorably prepared for that specific moment. Psychologists have described what athletes commonly face after retirement: a never-ending void, a feeling of everlasting isolation and sorrow. Many do not know what do to with such array of spare time, which is usually aggravated by the sheer frustration of having to pick a new profession —which could also be less tedious should they had a plan B in advance.

If there is something that ex-athletes, who have managed to succeed after retiring, seem to agree upon, is the fact that everyone, in spite of being busy pursuing a successful career in sports, should focus on developing other skills —or, better said, they should continue studying while understanding that, when the time comes, they will have to inevitably face retirement. Most athletes have no other skill than the ones required to perform at maximum intensity in their sport; moreover, once they have left the athletic lifestyle, many are inexperienced, which is why up to 94% of retired athletes seem to fondly consider remaining connected to sports, since they feel more comfortable and it is a field that becomes an extension of their natural competitive instinct. According to a recent survey, ex-athletes usually disregard any other option aside from remaining connected to sports, as they can continue developing their skills while helping others achieve their dreams. Nevertheless, there are others who decide to try unexplored fields, like politics: Arnold Schwarzenegger, for instance, ran for governor of California and went on to succeed. Politics is something that is definitely not frowned upon by athletes, since, according to the survey, having a position in politics enables them to help develop sports as something important.

Whatever the case may be, there is something that should stay the same: athletes must strive to stay active both physically and mentally. Whenever elite athletes are facing the end of their sports career, they usually struggle to accept such plot twist, and that a new life in terms of their familiar, social and economic spheres will emerge. This shift is often drastic and hard to go through, which is why, as mentioned above, the most important thing is to have a plan B and to be ready for when the time comes —which is why the psychological training and care is crucial, since many fails at accepting their fate and fall victim of their own lack of confidence and go consequently in a tailspin, as they no longer feel part of the sports environment. There are plenty of interviews where ex-athletes stress their main concerns after retirement, and, as depicted above, almost all of them are embodied in post-career identity issues: many athletes are known for their achievements, but who are they once they retire? It is something heard amongst them.

In order to cope with the struggle, those who have successfully embraced the transition have previously stressed out the importance of staying healthy and performing physical activities, since it has been proven that giving up trainings have a tremendously negative impact on the body —it is important for athletes to get rid of the accumulated tension they have gathered, consequence of their years of extreme physical activity. Additionally, retired athletes are prone to suffering cardiovascular issues and diseases such as arterial hypertension, obesity, arrhythmia, etc., which is why is recommended to keep training moderately. However, the main issue comes down to having a general outline for retirement: many have stressed the difficulties athletes face whenever they try to fit the working life, as mentioned above, and the most valuable advice is embodied in the necessity for athletes to pair the sports life with other activities that could help them develop another set of skills for when the time comes, thusly making the transition much easier and less dramatic. Overcoming the hardest moment is all about planning.

How to become an actor after being a fighter

How to become an actor after being a fighter

For those who still don’t know, there is a sport that involves every existing martial art. This sport is called Mixed Martial Arts or MMA and fighters here don’t take it slow or light, they come with everything and try to retire when their bodies still allow them to do some other sensations things after being fighters.

However, retiring is not that simple when it comes to MMA. The biggest organization in charge of promoting MMA fighters is known as Ultimate Fight Championship (UFC) and it offers juicy contracts to fighters, so they stay firm when a combat against the right contender is arranged. Fighters need to meet certain criteria so they can be released from their contracts.

Let’s picture that a fighter has made it into retirement, its knees, elbows, shoulders and especially its brain didn’t suffer that much on the octagon. This is the moment when that former fighters need to start thinking about its future. If money came and stayed, that’s a win-win, they only need to invest it on something their manager or financial advisors believe is profitable. The other situation comes when money came but it also went away, this is the moment for former fighters to start looking for a post-athlete career on something they are good at.

There are many MMA fighters whose only skill and talent is fighting in a cage. Trying to break other’s dude body is the only thing the know how to do (and they have done it right for several years). Nevertheless, they can still find nice and decent jobs as coaches, sports educators, personal trainers, nutrition experts, fight promoters and, in most cases Hollywood actors.

Related: One Of The Best Occupations For Athletes To Stay In The Game After Retirement.

In this article, Jason Hanold will talk about MMA fighters who decided to become actors after hanging the gloves and stepping out of the octagon.

Once a fighter, now an actor

Success is the result of mixing many things such as talent, discipline, and love for what you do. These concepts come naturally to some former fighters when they step into an announcer’s booth to shot an ad, a TV show or a movie. It is almost guaranteed that individuals who became famous while they were UFC fighters and are talented actors, will by all means also succeed in this field, and their retirement will stop being such a difficult change to digest. After all, actors also receive juicy contracts for entertaining their audience.

Some good examples of fighters who had made it into Hollywood to become actors are listed below:

Georges St. Pierre

Being one of the most representative UFC fighters of all time, Georges St. Pierre (or GSP) decided to retire after earning the Welterweight Champion title twice. He started being offered different parts in different movies when he was still fighting. However, the highest point so far in his acting career came when he was asked to play the part of Georges Batroc in the Captain America: The Winter Soldier along with Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans and, Samuel L. Jackson.

Thanks to his skills as a fighter, GSP has received offers to also act as a fighter, since he is considered to be one of the most amazing unarmed combatants of all time. Besides, it is no secret to anyone that the Canadian former fighter cares a lot about discipline and preparation, elements that are key to his success in every path he decides to take.

Gina Carano

How to become an actor after being a fighter

Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore at Flickr.com

Beautiful, strong and talented, Gina Carano is quite a catch in and out of the octagon. She had an outstanding record in as a Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts fighter before she decided to hang the gloves and try her best at the movies – where she has made a terrific impression.

Acting alongside with well-known actors like Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Ewan McGregor and Michael Douglas, Gina Carano has proved she can take lead parts on big Hollywood productions and leave everyone amazed. Participating primarily in action movies, Carano has been praised for giving movies a touch of reality that comes from her natural fighting skills.

Being a work in progress, Carano not only has become a powerful aCarano, she has also worked as a model for different sports campaigns and magazines. Always showing an A-class body and great energy for the job.

Acting on her latest part as Angel Dust on the Deadpool movie, Carano has shown the audience how a former fighter can also be good at other stuff, being able to pursue a career as a successful actress outside the octagon. So far, she has signed multiple contracts to play different roles, one of them as the lead character for the female version of the movie “The Expendables”, where she once again will kick the living days of someone –who probably had it coming.

The best way to improve productivity in companies

The best way to improve productivity in companies

Due to the multiple changes in technology and job trends around the world, current employees have the opportunity to find in an easier way the job they want and require for their lives, so companies must think and develop new strategies to retain their staff in good working conditions. Today is not enough for workers to get a decent salary, but to see that their employers worry about them, showing how much important they are and their value for companies.

A lot of companies still think that raising their employee’s salary or giving them bonuses makes them happy, but things are changing and for them, money is not the only thing. Workers also need and want another kind of motivations beyond their salary, like more free time or to feel appreciated. In other words, salary is important, but there are a lot of other things that companies should consider.

Related: What is a human resource? by Jason Hanold

Productivity

Multiple studies have proved that employees’ productivity is directly related to their working happiness. A happy worker reduces its level of absenteeism and stress, which means more operational time. A glad worker could increase its efficiency in more than 15%, while an unhappy employee reduces its capability in more than 10%. This increase can be explained through the worker feelings. If it is glad about its work and feels positive, it will be more resourceful, solving operative problems in a better way.

A pleased employee will have better performance in team working if it has good feelings and emotions, so companies must support their staff not only with money benefits but making them feel important and what they do means something for the corporation. If an employee feels this, it will improve the way how it connects with other working partners.

Another important factor is the engagement and commitment of workers with companies. If the employee feels happy and company concerns about it, the engagement will be major and its commitment with its labors will be higher, due to the worker will want to reattribute all what organization has given to it.

In conclusion, a company that cares and concerns about their workers, and supports them not only with money but understanding what they want and need to feel content, it will increase its productivity and efficiency. Besides, it is proven that a company with happy employees will have happy customers, as a result of its engagement.

Companies with the happiest employees

Google

This Company located in Mountain View, California is well-known not only for its technology innovations but for being one of the companies most concerned about its employees in the world. The human resources strategy in Google is ruled by 8 principles: Be a good coach, empower your team, express interest in team members’ success, be productive and results-oriented, be a good communicator, help your employees with career development, have a clear vision for your team and have key technical skills to help the team.

In other words, Google’s working culture is focused on persons not only in operational tasks. They promote the personal growth and the work-life balance to keep employees happy, bringing to the company the best results.

Symantec

Located in Mountain View, California and with more than 21.000 employees, this cyber-security company promotes their workers’ knowledge, which gives them the opportunity to reach better positions in company. Also, Symantec helps their workers paying its engineering studies improving their skills.

Facebook

With a workers’ satisfaction of 97%, this social network located in California has one of the best working environments and is considered one of the best companies to work in the world. In their offices, employees have access to laundry, restaurants, gyms, doctors, bike routes, among other things. Moreover, Facebook is pet-friendly, so staff can go to their workplaces with their pets.

Facebook also supports the creativity of their staff members, through the design of inspiring environments, which let workers create innovative solutions. The company also promotes their employees free time, allowing them to stay more time with their parents, making the hobbies they like or anything else they want.

The best way to improve productivity in companies

image courtesy of paolo colonnello at flickr.com

In summary, those companies who have a people approach are more productive than those who do not, because promoting their personal development will increase their professional performance. In other words, those businesses who are worried about workers’ feelings and their needs, become in the most effectiveness organizations. Also, if employees have a perfect work-life balance, they will labor with a bigger effort and more engagement.

On the other hand, if companies promote people and make recognitions about what they are doing, workers will feel more grateful with organizations, paying all this credits and promotions with hard and commitment work. Besides, if employees are dedicated, they will increase their teamwork and leadership.

Promoting and supporting people not only make better workers and leaders for companies, but better persons for society.