What are the two biggest issues with the pro-athlete career (aside from it being extremely physically and psychologically straining)?
Usually, a pro athlete has a career of 10-15 years, but prepares for it most of his/her youth and teenage years. While focusing on building skills, strength, stamina, drafts, contracts … rarely there is any time left for anything else. And then (if it all falls into place) the professional career starts, with more practice, chasing higher scores, improving the game, winning tournaments and championships. With so much time and effort put into sports, it is only logical to guess that it will be your lifetime calling, right? Wrong. Ending a sports career brings lots of changes to it, some are psychological but others are downright scary with your income going from prolific to being completely cut down. The Final Whistle reports that the successful transition takes 2-3 years. It has proven itself many times that you need an exit plan: ‘the morning after pill’ if you will, only applied to the sports career. But the trick is to plan it way before it happens.
You become a public persona
It is exciting (think fans screaming your name) but it can be very stressful. Once you have a media presence, your victories, as well as your tears, stop being just your own. People comment the things you do, your Instagram or Twitter posts all of a sudden can become bad advertising in daily papers even if you make a politically incorrect joke. You are an inspiration for many but also a very fragile entity exposed to the public love as well as hate. And the sooner you are aware of it, the better. The secret to a lifelong career is hidden in the solutions to these two problems.