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Athletic Career Retirement: A Different Type of Retirement

Athletic career retirement is very different from occupational retirement for a myriad of reasons. First of all, athletes typically start and finish their athletic careers at a relatively young age. At approximately the same time that student or college athletes are ending high-level competitive sports, their peers are often beginning careers in other non-sporting fields, getting married, and even having children. These comparative situations may add to the already stressful feelings inherent in athletic retirement.

In addition, athletes retire from their athletic career for much different reasons than one would retire from a traditional occupation. Athletes retire due to injury, age, declining performance, a worn out body, loss of sponsorships, etc. People in other occupations retire to spend more time with their family, relax, travel the world, enjoy more time for themselves, etc.

Furthermore, most individuals who undergo career retirement do not experience the same disruption to their identity as do athletes. Because athletes spend most of their time committed to their sport, they may not have found others activities that interest them or unique skills outside of sports that they excel at. Thus, when athletes retire from their sport, they may feel loss of identity and become disillusioned, often failing to give credit to the skills acquired through athletics that can easily be applied elsewhere. This may result in discouragement and tunnel vision in which athletes are incapable of seeing how the same skills that made them successful in their sport can make them successful in a career as well.

As a former athlete, don’t be afraid to try something new like a career outside of sports! After all, research shows that only 1 out of 100 student-athletes will have a professional career in their sport. Athlete Connections is a very valuable resource for the 99% of student-athletes who do not go on to play professional sports. By continually adding new companies to Athlete Connections’ network, the list of potential jobs for athletes and connections that athletes have at their fingertips is endless! Upload your resume today for help as an athlete transitioning into a career!