The title of this article features words that you cannot be reminded of enough. You are not a machine made with one talent. You are not just an athlete put on this planet for the entertainment of others.
Your value to your family, school, and community is far greater than your stats. Yes, you are an athlete, but an athlete is not 100% of what makes you special. Matter of fact it is a small part of the equation.
Learn Who You Are
Most athletes start playing sports at such a young age that they don’t even have to learn about themselves until their careers are over. By that point, it is too late, and the world is very scary. You can’t spend 15 years of your on one thing and expect to be ok when it vanishes.
Learning who you are is one of the most important things you can do. It means that you are regardless of external circumstances and pressure. It means sticking to who you are regardless of what your parents have to say about your life. Being you means you can hang in tough irrespective of what your parents or anyone else have to say about your life.
Take away all of your success, accomplishments, and everything that you are known amongst your peers for and what do you have left? If you are not able to see something of value then you are headed down a bad path. At some points sports will not be there to catch you and when that does happen what you will be then?
Why Does This Matter?
The reason it matters is that at one point sports will be over for you. I know its hard to see that now, but it is the truth. Being an athlete is a temporary privilege. Eventually, you will have to move on and find new things worse pursuing. Moving on will be hard if you feel like you have nothing else to offer the world.
A big reason that athletes are suffering from depression after retirement is due to the fact too many athletes are holding all of their value in their sport. It is creating a greater feeling of inadequacy.
Think about it as an example. If you go to school and you’re only an average student, no one cheers your name or gets excited because of anything you do. When you go and play your sports people love you, why would you put your value on anything else? Your feelings and arguments are 100% valid.
The problem is that you are getting the short end of the stick because sports won’t’ last. Your body will not allow you to be a high level forever. Ask any legend from a major league sport, and they will tell you that they wish they could have had one more check.
The Time to Start Looking is Now
Don’t start looking for alternate passions tomorrow, next year or in five years. You should start this journey today. It is never too early to begin this journey. It is never too late to start looking for what you could do next.
Once you know this walking away from the sport will be much easier. Walking away from your sport will be exciting when you know what you want to do is what you were made for.
It may sound like I hating on your athletic career or telling you not to be one. I am not! What I am saying is while you give your all to be the best athlete that you can be, keep working on what is next.
Keep focused on the long-term future. Being an athlete can set up your life nice, but you still need to know what is next to no matter how great you think you are. The time to start creating the next move is now.