A typical question that athletes get asked after their competitive sporting career ends is: “What’s next?” Athletes tend to have a hard time accepting the fact that their sporting career can be over within a blink of an eye. A student-athlete’s sport achievements may end after graduating University, although there is still potential for future achievements in other facets of their lives. Emma Taylor, a dedicated student athlete, played Rugby at St.FX for five years. She expresses what it felt like to hang up the cleats and focus on a career. As it is a great honour to represent your school through sport, it also comes with a great responsibility to find a healthy balance between academic and athletic success.
“Life doesn’t owe you anything. Everything you want and need, you must work for. This applies to your sport, your career, your family, and your personal life” says Emma Taylor.
Emma’s story reflects all of the positives lessons you learn in sport that will continue with you into the real world. As a competitive athlete, you learn many good habits, whether it’s time management, healthy living, proper nutrition, or getting enough sleep. These are all huge assets to take with you when you seek job opportunities. There is a strong connection between sports and a career. Many organizations select and recruit individuals who are committed, trustworthy, and have the ability to work with a team. Emma highlights after being out of her sport, she needed time to unwind, make some money, and gain work experience. She mentions that without a degree, she would never have had a job opportunity upon graduation.
When Emma was asked to give advice to current university athletes, she suggested to “Develop a strong work ethic now; find that inner fire that drives and motivates you. Allow yourself to be busy, learn how to multitask and understand when all things don’t go as planned, it’s not unfair, it’s just life.” As an athletic career can eventually end, having a plan is essential. If you can find a career that you are passionate about, and one in which you can put the same drive and dedication you once put into the sporting world, you will begin to seek adventures in life beyond sports.
Life after sports can be addressed from both a sociological and psychological perspective/.