Have a Game Plan for Life After Sports

Plenty of student-athletes dream of going pro and plan for a life full of sports. While it would be awesome to play professional sports, it’s also okay to have a plan B: something to fall back on. According to the NCAA, only about 2% of college athletes play professionally in football, men’s and women’s basketball, and men’s soccer. Although some athletes do make it pro, there is a large segment that must figure out what to do after sports. This means figuring out a career outside of playing the sport they spent years perfecting, which is an intimidating but important step in their personal development. I hear many students in their freshman year of college worrying more about getting onto the playing field and less about their future outside of sports, which is completely normal. Through this piece, we will discuss the importance of having a backup plan for your life after athletics.

The excitement of playing at a higher level and wanting to shine on the field is no surprise to anyone. That is why we support athletes succeeding in and out of their sport. There are resources and support offices on college campuses that assist with helping students, including student-athletes, with their life beyond sports. When you’ve played a life full of sports, it can be difficult to look beyond that. Luckily, there are ways to stay involved in athletics, even after you are done playing. Growing up as an athlete you learn all of the transferable skills necessary to succeed in a job. You learn about teamwork, accountability, adaptability, and so many more things that build character. Taking these skills into the professional business world will allow you to succeed and learn your purpose beyond your sport. Lots of student-athletes earn a great education because of their talent, and many fail to realize how lucky they truly are. Placing more value on the education portion of being a college athlete and all of the opportunities that college has to offer will set you up for success in the long run.

Even if you do fall within the 2% of students that make it to the pros, there is no guarantee that you will have success and a long career there. You will then be left to figure out a backup plan when it may feel like it is too late. The most important thing to do is to have a plan, and if things don’t work out according to plan, that’s okay. There is an emphasis on the student part of student-athlete because of the value of the education you are getting. Even for those that are not on full scholarship, and perhaps even walked on to a college team, you are just as valuable as all of your teammates and should be following the same steps as them to become successful off of the playing field.

Striving for your goals of competing in your sport at the professional level while also finding a way to manage both academics and athletics will set you up for success. Just as you practice and plan for competition, practice and plan for your life outside of sports!

About Game Plan

Game Plan’s comprehensive software platform integrates mobile-first eLearning as well as virtual mentorship and career services, uniquely designed for athletic organizations. Game Plan works with 875+ athletic departments and organizations with over 240,000 courses completed yearly. Our eLearning courses provide student-athletes ultimate access and flexibility while equipping both athletics departments and the conference office management tools and insight to ensure outstanding experiences and outcomes. To learn more about Game Plan, please visit wearegameplan.com.