College

A Guide for College Athletes Eyeing Professional Success

0 0
Read Time:5 Minute, 14 Second

Being a college athlete is often one of the first meaningful steps on the path to professional sports. As you make your way through college life, you’re likely starting to consider how you move forward to being a professional player or perhaps entering other areas of the sports industry.

 

This isn’t just about winning competitions or gaining contracts. Various elements contribute to your successful transition from collegiate sports to a career with longevity. We’re going to explore a few of the aspects you should focus on as a college athlete with an eye on your professional future.

Start Connecting with Professionals

When you’re eyeing a professional sports career, one of your most valuable resources is other professionals. Yes, it’s a competitive industry and there may be a lot of demand for mentorship. Nevertheless, they’ll have deep insights into the challenges you’re likely to face on the path to your career goals. You may even find they’ll become a consistent source of support for the future.

 

Start by reaching out to your coach to initiate introductions. They’ve likely had a lot of pros pass through their programs and will have some great contacts. Talk about what you want to achieve from these relationships beyond a leg-up in the industry. This is a respectful approach and you may find your coach more open to helping you find the most appropriate connections for your needs.

 

Don’t just look for fellow athletes. Others in the industry can also be invaluable connections for different sports-related career paths. 

 

Some options here might include:

  • Team managers: This can be a good option if you’re eyeing a career in sports administration. For instance, management, athletics department director, or professional sports agent are good options.
  • Physical education teachers: Sports and physical education teachers can be helpful contacts if you’re interested in teaching. This doesn’t just have to be in schools or universities. P.E. teachers guide careers in personal training and athletic coaching.

 

Current professionals have a real understanding of the sports industry infrastructure and the nuances of navigating it. Not to mention they can provide advice on careers beyond being a pro competitor. Consider taking an internship. You’ll not only gain connections but also practical experience.

Prioritize Your Mental Wellness

A career in sports is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ll need to prepare yourself for this long haul. One of the most challenging aspects of this is maintaining mental wellness. After all, you’re not just dealing with the pressures of transitioning from amateur to professional sports. You’re also balancing these experiences with academic and personal expectations. You need to start prioritizing your mental health to cope with all this and thrive beyond it.

 

College life certainly isn’t easy and students are prone to various mental health concerns. Start by getting to know the symptoms of some common conditions. Recognizing that irritability can go alongside anxiety or disrupted sleep may be due to stress can help you to know when to seek help. Build a list of the resources that are available to you, too. 

 

Look for:

 

  • The contact details of your resident advisor.
  • The location of your on-campus counseling and mental health center. 
  • Low-cost or free counseling and therapy services. The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) is a good source of information here.

 

Beyond this, start adopting general mental wellness practices into your daily routine. Meditate for five to ten minutes each day. Get regular exercise that isn’t connected to your intended professional sport, but rather a source of fun. Keep up with the hobbies you can do alone as well as with friends.

Consider Your Lifestyle Choices

Yes, your skills as an athlete are vital in determining your success as a professional. However, you should also know that elements of your personal life can also impact your career trajectory. If you plan on starting a business related to your sport in the future, business lenders will look at your personal credit. Tax issues can reflect badly on you. Even distractions in your family or romantic relationships can affect your performance.

 

Therefore, you need to be mindful about the personal decisions you make at this early stage of your career path. Some areas of focus here include:

  • Debt: Few people come away from college without at least some kind of debt. However, it’s important to keep this as low as possible. Avoid taking out lines of credit that aren’t strictly necessary. Having lower financial burdens can improve the freedom you have as you pursue your professional career.
  • Academic commitment: It’s vital to show commitment not just to your sport but also to your academic work in college. You could choose a course that gives you a wide range of career options beyond being a pro athlete, such as business management or communications. Demonstrating academic achievement alongside your athleticism also communicates to potential employers that you have significant dedication.  
  • Health: Keeping physically and mentally healthy isn’t just good for your performance as a professional athlete. It also improves your overall quality of life, which in turn, affects your attitude. You may find you’re open to greater opportunities and experiences by prioritizing holistic health that influences your positivity. 

 

This isn’t to say that mistakes will derail your chances of a fulfilling career. It’s only natural to have some missteps occasionally. You can adjust your course and address problems that arise. However, taking a little extra time to make careful life choices can make the road a little smoother.

Conclusion

Understanding what can affect your successful transition from college athlete to pro can empower you to make informed decisions. You should consider the types of support you may need on your journey and the tools that boost your chances of success. Remember, though, that the advice we’ve outlined isn’t just useful for your current professional ambitions. They’ll also stand you in good stead should you choose to pivot to a different field. It’s all about empowering you to be your best self in a career you’ll find fulfilling.

Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *