There Is Life After Sport: 6 Questions To Start You OffMar 16, 2023
For a long while, I had thoughts of leaving my strength & conditioning career in high-performance sport.
I wanted to pursue a business with my wife that would give me control over my work & personal life for me and my family, allow us to travel whilst working, be my own boss, and provide an income that would allow us to be free.
As much as I loved the idea, the thought of this terrified me because I thought my S&C career would disappear into the dust if I took longer than 6 months away.
I assumed the doors would close and I’d be left on a coach scrapheap unable to get back in.
It had taken me a huge amount of grit, sacrifice and struggle to have gained the experience I’d gained in over 15 years in high-performance sport.
I’m sure you can resonate with much of this!
It wasn’t my job, it was my identity.
My first step was to do some research with people I trusted within professional sport. I asked their opinion about me stepping away from sport for a period of time, and then coming back in if I wanted.
The feedback was unanimous - “do what makes you happy and go for it.”
So I did.
In the following year I lived in Thailand working with my wife AND I was offered 4 different positions to return to s&c roles.
I accepted a part-time role with the great team at GB Park & Pipe.
It allowed me to keep my hand in elite sport, coach and be part of training camps - all whilst being flexible enough to develop my own business.
By not accepting my assumptions and seeking real answers I found a perfect scenario at the time for my wife and I.
It also allowed me to truly get crystal clear on:
- My professional and personal values - the compass that allows you to choose the direction for your life that aligns with what is truly important to you.
- My needs in life - Just like physical needs, we also have personal needs. These work on a more psychological level. When our personal needs are not met, we don’t die, but we suffer emotionally. We feel depressed, angry, frustrated, unloved, lonely, and lost.
- My wants in life - Refers to something which is good to have. What do you want? What do you desire in life?
- A clear vision - It's a practice of connecting to your inner wisdom and choosing how you would like your life to be.
- Redefining my identity - An example of this could be the identity of being a world-class coach working in a world-class environment. Much comes along with that, you’ve worked so hard to get there, and it may also be limiting you moving forwards with regard to the life you truly want for yourself and your family. Or allowing a relationship to blossom into one where you’ll build a family.
"I was offered a private gig, but everyone recognises you for being involved in professional sport, or you think that's the case, but no-one actually really gives a f**k now I've come to realise it."
Thankfully for me, after the 2018 Winter Olympics my role was given to a new s&c coach, setting me free to go all in with my business.
The result of this? Well, you're here now, it's men behind sport.
- What would you love to do?
- Why are you not doing it?
- What assumptions are you letting guide your life right now?
- What are you doing because you’re worried about what others think?
- What identity is keeping you trapped?
- How does that identity trap you?
If you resonate with this and are looking for ideas on how to let go of certain identities, check out this article on the 5 Steps to Free Yourself From Your Performance Sport Identity