When I ask young athletes what they want to do when they get older I hear a variety of answers...
Among those things I almost always hear the answer PRO ATHLETE! They say with such pride "I want to play for the WNBA, NBA, NFL." I listen and smile at them, but in my head I'm like, I wonder if there is someone telling them to think about other options? I hate to burst their bubble, but they probably aren't. This is not new information. So while you continue to train (as you should) for your professional goals, incorporate activities that will benefit you after basketball.
I know, I know, you're busy with weights, 2 a days, studying for class (hopefully you are studying), and having a social life. Where are you supposed to get the time to think about something as important as how you're gonna start the rest of your life? I'm going to show you 3 ways to prepare to win after basketball without interfering with your training.
Listen to books while you work out
Network through email while you are on the road
Eat lunch or meals with people other than your teammates sometimes
Listen to books while you work out
This is one of the easiest ways to prepare to win after basketball. There are a ton of books that have an audio version on topics like; financial literacy, professional social skills, nutrition, etc. You might be saying that books cost money, but most public libraries have audio books in mp3 format for you to listen to for free. Whatever your interest is go find a book and instead of listening to music everyday, spend 2 days listening to something that can broaden your horizons, give you tactical skills, or help you sharpen your social skills.
Network through email while you are one the road
I'm sure that there are people that have helped you out in the past or that you would like to meet and have coffee with. While you are on the road just sitting there, write them a quick email thanking them or asking when the next time you can get together is, or if you are headed to their city invite them to your game. The best piece of advice that I didn't take but wish I had was build your network BEFORE you need it. Think about how powerful it would be to have a large network of people eager and willing to help you because you have spent time nurturing those relationships BEFORE you asked them for anything!
Eat meals with other people than your teammates sometimes
I know your teammates are great people and you guys are in the trenches together, but spending time with people that aren't directly in your circle can be very beneficial. The topics of conversation shift from sports to broader topics that could spark an interest.
None of these will interfere with your training. In fact, they are all things that you do anyway so now it's about taking action on them and as always I've got some action steps for your.
1. Make a list of topics that you want to learn about that will benefit you and help you win after basketball. After you have your list, google those topics and see which books look interesting. Like I said earlier get a library card and check the books out have them ready on those days when you are gonna listen to them instead of music.
2. Obviously I like making lists lol. Make a list of 5 people that have helped you in the past (athletic director, parent of a friend, clergy person, business owner that gave you free food) AND 5 people that you would like to talk to that you admire. While you are on the road you probably don't have wifi (unless you do), but you can still write the emails and set them so they send at a certain time. Maybe it's when you get back or when you get to the hotel where there is wifi. The point is to get the email written while it's fresh in your mind and before you lose the nerve to send them.
3. How do you make other friends besides my teammates? By doing other things than hang out with them. Think about other interests you have and see who is doing it. Once you have participated a few times you start to get more comfortable with the group and you've got a whole new set of people to eat with on occasion.
Winning after basketball isn't as simple as finding a "good job" after you stop playing. It's also about having a meaningful fulfilling life that you look forward to waking up everyday. If you like this share it! Also, leave a comment and tell me about some of your results from the action steps