Every year, millions of athletes around the world transition out of sports unprepared and ill-equipped to deal with their new life. This not only the case with professional athletes but with college students as well if their athletic dreams do not materialize as they had hoped or if they are derailed by an injury as I was. Athletes with a strong athletic identity define themselves on the basis of their sport. Their sense of worth, self-esteem, and success are all connected with being an athlete.
My athletic transition sent me into the darkest depression of my life. I lost 60 pounds in 4 weeks while making multiple attempts at suicide. Everything changed for me when I had a life-changing encounter in a psychiatric unit in Detroit, MI that gave me hope that my life had a purpose beyond sports. After years of soul searching, prayer and research, I was able to discover my purpose and build a life that I love. Now through Second Chance Athletes, I’ve been able to help other...
I believe in sticking with people no matter what — through good times and bad times.
However, sometimes I see people say they are loyal when they actually are just stuck in their ways.
In sports, many people are loyal to whatever professional team is the closest to their hometown. I’ve never been that guy. I was born and raised in Michigan and have never been a fan of the Lions. When my family moved to metro Atlanta a little more than a year ago, I immediately became an Atlanta Falcons fan. Lol. Yes #bandwagon!
I talk about my loyalty and my bandwagon switch in this short video below.
Because I’m loyal to winning, not losing.
Because I’m loyal to people, not programs.
I’m OK if you feel differently about the Lions. But my point is too many people stay loyal to things that they should have gotten rid of a long time ago.
Here’s what I am learning.
Sometimes motivation doesn’t show up until you do.
Too many times, we wait for motivation to show up before we take action. We wait until we feel like doing something before we actually do it. The problem is that if we wait until we feel like doing something to do it — we may never feel like doing it.
Let’s be real. How many times have you put something off that you know you needed to do until you felt like doing it… and then never did it? If you’re like me, probably more time than you’d like to admit.
To be successful in life, we must live by our priorities, not our emotions. Our emotions can be very unstable at times. We can’t afford to balance our success on the instability of our emotions. We must take actions first based on our priorities and trust that, sooner or later, our emotions will follow our actions.
Make a decision today to value actions more...
Do you feel like no matter how much money you make it seems like you always have more going out than coming in? Do you wish you could find a better job making more money so you can finally have some financial freedom to take vacations, enjoy entertainment and better the lives of other people?
My financial situation was one of the reasons I struggled with depression after my sports career ended. I was broke and constantly being tormented by the thoughts of what I could have been making had I not gotten injured and been able to play professionally. I went from free school, free rent, free meals, and Pell Grant checks to paying for everything myself. I spent months feeling hopeless and helpless because I thought sports was my only way to generate massive income. I wasn’t good enough at anything else to make a lot of money.
I TRIED “stacking my bread” (<— Ebonics for saving...
It was hard for me to watch other players succeed after my sports career ended. It’s not that I wasn’t happy for them. I was happy when athletes I played with or against succeeded. The reason why it was so hard to watch them succeed was because their success reminded me of my failure. In a recent post, I talked about how I eventually became a hater. Read "How to Spot a Hater: Three Warning Signs" when you get a chance to see if you or your peers have accidentally become haters.
Watching others succeed when I was no longer able to compete was literally tormenting. I couldn’t watch any football or basketball games for the first year or two after my athletic career. I hated watching people who I was better than or just as good as play at a level that I physically couldn’t anymore. I felt worthless, helpless and depressed.
Every time I would watch a professional athlete who was a former teammate or competitor play, I...
The funny thing about athletics is that even when teams win, people still find a way to tear them apart. They say “the game was fixed or rigged.” They accuse players of shaving points. And, of course, we know everyone’s favorite is always “the refs are horrible.”
Search the hashtag #ncaachampionship to see what I mean.
No matter how dominant the winning team is, you’ll always find people who refuse to celebrate and would rather list reasons why the winning team should have lost instead of congratulating them on their win.
Many people call that bad sportsmanship. I call it being a hater.
Urban dictionary defines a hater as “a person that simply cannot be happy for another person’s success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person."
Don’t you love that definition? Isn’t that exactly what haters do? As metal detectors are to metal so haters are to flaws.
Wow. Many of us had the opportunity to watch, play, coach or officiate the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship game.
Championship games come with added pressure to perform well and to win. If you’re not careful, you’ll allow the pressure will become stress. Unmanaged stress can cause you health problems. Research proves that mismanaged pressure can cause headaches, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and other physical and mental complications.
I’ve been fortunate enough to play in a lot of championship competitions throughout my athletic career.
This one is not really a surprise, huh? It’s still important to note. Nothing hurts worse than losing a championship game knowing that you could have played harder. I have been guilty of trying to save energy and take plays off. When I...
You’ve heard the statistics.
You’ve heard these or similar statistics but have you ever asked why?
Why are these the statistics when coaches, athletes, teachers, and speakers warn athletes about the possibilities of becoming one of these statistics?
You’ve likely had people tell you to put together a “plan b” in case sports doesn’t work out. Yet, did you or have you put together that plan?
If you’re like me when I was playing D1 football then probably not.
Because the statistics are the results but not the problem. Asking an athlete to put together a “plan b” or “not to put all their eggs in one basket” is unsupportive of their dream to become the best and...
To live your best life after sports you must discipline yourself to accept your accomplishments and let go of your potential.