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How Sports Superstars Deal with Their Retirement (And What Can You Learn from Them)

NFL legend Al lafrate once said that he finds it hard to replace the passion he has for football. He also added that there aren’t too many jobs that allow someone to perform in front of thousands of admirers every night.

Star athletes perform in front of millions, and not just thousands, and it’s really difficult for them to pack their kits one last time before saying goodbye to their millions of fans, spectators, and teammates. Lives of star athletes post retirement are well chronicled between lifestyle magazine covers, but deep inside, they do miss the adrenaline rush.


Also, a steep drop in income post retirement is also what most star athletes get concerned about when they reach the twilight of their career. Pro golfer Annika Sorenstam once revealed that her income dropped by fifty percent after her retirement. However, Annika was well prepared for that and she was good in money management too, which helped her in a big way to cope with the difficulties.

Whether you are planning retirement or you have already retired, a sneak peek into the minds and hearts of the superstars would definitely help you in spending your post retirement days with much peace of mind, determination and courage.

The psychological aspect of retirement is not really covered well by the insurance companies. But post-retirement financial management requires more attention and time than other widely discussed and advertised financial issues. You have to change your work identity, manage your time in a more innovative way and also maintain sound physical and mental health. Deion Sanders, the eminent former American footballer, once commented that playing any game should not be perceived as one’s identity. According to Deion, players who get emotionally attached to the games they play get upset after retirement.

The possible key takeaway from Deion’s comment is that you should not get emotionally involved in what you do. If you get involved too much emotionally, high chances are there that you will become depressed after retirement.

Adjusting to life after retirement from track and field can be highly challenging. Many former players identify their transferrable skills and get busy post retirement as well, albeit in different roles. For example, many former players become coaches or TV commentators. You should also identify your transferrable skills apply the skills after retirement. Remember you should keep your focus on earning, and not just killing your leisure time. This is because if you start doing a job post retirement merely for killing boredom, you will soon lose your focus.

Know that coping with the post-retirement depression won’t be easy for you, as was the case with Sugar Ray Leonard, the boxing legend. He slipped into deep depression after his retirement. If you are also suffering from bouts of depression, you should see a psychiatrist. Just do not take recourse to banned substances or alcohol as that may ruin your life forever. The key to staying healthy and happy after retirement is to draw inspiration from the lives of sports superstars.

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