Life After Football

Whether your football career will end after High School, College or the NFL, one thing is for sure, it will end. So the question is, “What can I do now, during my football years, to prepare for life after football?” Most players are not thinking, “What’s going to happen when I exit?” Rather, most are thinking that the fun has just begun.

Anybody who has played long enough understands there is a difficult transition that comes with shelving the shoulder pads forever. When Tiki Barber’s post-football plans fizzled, the former Giants running back fell into a funk. What Barber learned firsthand is how debilitating that process can be when your post-football plans fail. Players who’ve lived a dream life on the field suddenly discover how tough the world can be away from it.

“Everybody does go through it to a certain degree,” said former NFL quarterback Trent Green, who went into broadcasting after his career. “The hardest part is your daily routine. For 15 years, I knew exactly what I was doing in March, June and September because there was a schedule. When you take that away, you suddenly have a lot more time on your hands. I’ve been out of the game since 2008, and I still have a tough time with it. I find myself thinking, ‘What’s my motivation today?'”

The Solution

Every player will have a different journey after football. Here eight things to consider as you prepare for life after football:

  1. Finish your education if it was cut short to play professionally.
  2. If you’re a pro, put money aside now to prepare for life after football.
  3. Spend less time at night clubs and bars, and more time building your personal brand as a respectable role-model, a mentor or thought leader.
  4. Build a game plan during your playing years based on what you are passionate about and what skills and resources are available to you now.
  5. Build your social media audience during you playing years and don’t just post tweets (instagram, Facebook, snapchat, etc) about football. Create content about the restaurant you want to start, the  media company will begin, a real estate business, or a project you are passionate about.
  6. If you’re passionate about football, stay with it as a coach, analyst, blogger, broadcaster, or the budding new industry of personal coaching.
  7. Associate with and learn from the business leaders you have access to now, rather than only ‘cool kids’ to hang with.
  8. Become an entrepreneur. What kind of business would you love to start? Consider options like: Owning a restaurant, real estate, buying a franchise, investing in a business, create a blog website and/or ecommerce site.

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