This is continued from Tips for Athletes (Pat-1)
Tip #5 – Post-retirement plans for a new career
In athletics, retirement comes fairly early in life. Planning well in advance for your second career can be very helpful. While you are earning from your athletic career, you must accumulate savings for post-retirement. Investing in a safe avenue that gives definite periodic returns can help.
Every game you play can be an investment. Planning around the game will definitely help. Once you switch to a new career, your savings can help you if you plan to run your own business, if you want to study further, or to sustain when you are undergoing that transition.
The lean transition phase from athletics to a non-athletic career might need familial support to avoid the post-sporting blues. When starting a new career, it is wise not to assume facts that were true in your athletic career. Since physical strength and agility were your forte, you emerged successful in that field. But remember that those attributes were not built in a day. Similarly, success in your new career will also require consistent effort without losing hope or focus.
To be a successful athlete requires one to be a good leader; study the game, the environment, and opponents correctly; and maintain focus. Know that you already have all this. All you need to do when you switch to a new career is use these skills in a different way.
Tip #6 – Managing popularity
Being young, successful, and popular is a terrific combination. But don’t let this get the better of you. Keeping a few things in mind can help you with it.
Every career has its ups and downs. Being successful is just one side of the coin. If you let this control your emotions, it might become difficult for you to manage defeat at other times. Allowing the situation to have a say over you isn’t a comfortable feeling.
Life becomes like a ping-pong ball, bouncing in the direction that it is pushed by our emotions. You can experience this for yourself when you notice how your mood swings with changing situations. Meditation is a way through which you can be more rooted in yourself and unaffected by success and defeat. It sensitizes you to the fact that popularity is not what you deserve; rather, it is a gift that must be respected because it can leave you as quickly as it came. This way you’ll be able to enjoy your sport at all times.
Look at your popularity as an opportunity to reach out and make more people happy, may be by teaming up with NGOs that are working earnestly to help the underprivileged. Your support can help them increase their base for social work.
Tip #7 – A disciplined lifestyle
While a long hour of practice is hard work, living athletics as a way of life rather than just seeing it as an activity is smart work. Living the athletic lifestyle requires one to be disciplined. Steady practice, a smart diet, and sound sleep are important for good health and stamina.
Giving a little more attention than usual to your body can tell you how much your body really needs in terms of food, sleep, and exercise. Adding meditation to your list of to-dos can help you increase your perseverance levels and help you practice even when it gets repetitive and boring.
Avoiding narcotics and restricting the use of digital devices ensures you remain healthy. All these things can outweigh your physical training and skills when it comes to succeeding in what you do. It’s more than being competitive in sports—it’s about being healthy.
Tip #8 – Time for yourself and family
An athletic career demands a lot in terms of your time, health, and money. Sometimes one has to stay away from home for weeks at a stretch. Family and personal time is affected the most. What you can do is fill the voids in your sporting schedule by spending it with family or meditating for few a minutes every day or whenever you feel you are tired. For instance, you can get your family along once in a while when you travel for athletic events.
Meditation can help you build a relationship with your game, with your family, and yourself:
1 - With meditation comes clarity of mind and focus that helps you judge your strength and the level of competition correctly, and how much more effort is needed from your side.
2 - When it comes to family, you are able to spend quality time with them, which is another benefit of meditation. This is because you are neither caught in the past and nor in the future. You don’t hold on to successes and failures or praises and criticisms as you start understanding that it is a thing of the past and it is only in the present moment that you can do anything.
3 - Meditation also helps develop a peaceful, intimate connection with oneself, which is very important to handle the extremes of a career in sports.
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