5 Interesting Career Options for Ex Pro Athletes

A recent Forbes post by David Williams suggests that companies should proactively recruit people with athletic attributes. I agree. The traits of successful athletes include, amongst many others, determination, resilience, a strong work ethic, a winning attitude and self-discipline.

Those who retire from a life in professional sports often experience long periods of confusion and, in many cases, turmoil over their future. Yet for those pro athletes who plan for their retirement, there are interesting career options abound. If you are a former athlete, here are some career options you could consider:

#1 Sales professional


Having worked for many years in business-to- business sales, I have some insight into the attributes and qualities required of a professional salesperson. These are: resilience under pressure, goal driven, a strong work-ethic, tenacity, self-discipline and optimism. These are all qualities shared by athletes at the top of their fields.


#2 Financial services worker

Success in the big wide world of financial services requires the ability to make informed decisions, often under pressure, the ability to meticulously plan, develop and execute a strategy and work with a team. Once again, these are all attributes shared by pro-athletes who have to carefully plan and implement tactics and strategies on the field, quickly and precisely.


#3 Army officer

Image via  Mirror

The world of professional sports is often heavily regimented, with schedules, rules and protocols being the norm. Life in the army offers similar structures, so making a transition to army life should be a comfortable one. Army officers are also known for particular attributes: resilience, determination, commitment and a strong work ethic – all of which are shared by pro athletes. Army life will also enable former athletes to maintain their fitness levels.


#4 Business owner

It is not surprising that many former athletes opt for a life as a business owner. According to Brian Morgan, who lectures on entrepreneurship at Cardiff Metropolitan University in Britain, former athletes have an achievement mind-set and understand the need to develop their abilities from the ground up; moreover, they have an appreciation of the time, commitment and effort it takes to succeed. This, Morgan says, is the key to building a successful business (source: BBC).  Many well- known sportsmen have become restaurant owners, sports-café owners and football club owners.


#5 Sporting event coordinator

Sporting events coordinators are like conductors of an orchestra or coaches on the field. They have to orchestrate a range of factors - seating, security, lighting, accreditation processing and distribution, equipment, kits, and logistics such as parking permits on match days – to ensure the sporting event is executed seamlessly and professionally. Sporting event coordinators will have good interpersonal skills, the ability to work as part of a wider team and the flexibility to work often unsocial hours, such as weekends, - all qualities familiar to pro athletes.

There are several other interesting career options for ex pro athletes.  Those who are mathematically minded can train to become sports statisticians; those with good analytical skills and an in-depth understanding of their game can consider a career in sports punditry. For pro athletes with outstanding writing skills, the world of sports journalism beckons. Whatever your interest, the key is to plan for your retirement, taking into consideration the extra training you may have to undergo to achieve your future goals. Good luck!


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20 percent discount

Main article image via BBC




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