OK, thanks for stopping through for part three of the series on making the transition to life after football.
If you missed part one and two, scroll down to the “Related Posts” section to check ’em out.
Let’s finish up.
Lesson #7 – Prepare to Deal With Depression
Prepare for it. It doesn’t mean you necessarily are going to be, but why not make some safeguards just in case, right?
While reading “Former U-M Stars Say Life After Football Can Be a Difficult Transition,” I felt that I had to touch on this.
Check out the words from former NFL quarterback Brian Griese about the mental anguish of leaving the game:
“There’s not one former player that I’ve talked to that didn’t have some form of mild to severe depression when they get out of that business,” said Brian Griese, who played in the NFL after leading Michigan to the 1997 national title. He now works as a college analyst for ESPN. “There’s no way to prepare for that. It’s, do they have the right tools to deal with it at that time? If they don’t, it really becomes a problem.”
Now I know depression isn’t something you want to discuss.
It can make you, as a big, strong, prideful football player ashamed to talk about being “weak” enough to suffer from depression.
As I said before, I played D2 ball, and even “I” felt a little down about my days on the field being over.
Trust me, when I say it’s real.
So if you’re experiencing issues like that when it’s time to hang up the cleats, don’t be afraid to seek professional help.
If you’re still covered on your parent’s insurance, consider going to get some professional help.
Seeking a therapist doesn’t mean you’re crazy.
Besides, the average person won’t be able to understand what you’re going through, so talking with a professional about what you’re going through isn’t a bad idea after all.
Lesson #8 – Find Your Passion in Life As Early as Possible
Excuse my French, but having to work a job just because you have to support yourself or your family sucks, and I know this from experience.
I wish I would’ve discovered my passion long ago.
Of course I enjoy what I do now,” but can you imagine going to work every single day, with absolutely no interest in what you’re doing, eight-or-nine hours a day, five days a week for the rest of your life?
Is that the life you wanna live?
Well that’s the one destined for you, regardless of whether you make it to the NFL or not, if you don’t find your passion.
If you don’t know what you have a passion for yet, go out and find it. If you seek it, you’ll find it.
It might take days, weeks, months, or even years to figure out, but it’s so” rewarding when you do.
The earlier you can identify your passion, the earlier you can start building relationships with the “right” people that can help you out in your career.
Google “how to find your passion,” and try some of the different exercises out there.
One thing that really helped me was the book “The Passion Test.” It really helped clear things up for me as far as what I wanted to do with my life.
I won’t keep rambling, but just take it from me, and bust your butt to find your passion, if you haven’t already.
You don’t want to end up like Bennie Joppru, a former NFL player who had a five-year career, but ended up just trying different things after his NFL career because he didn’t know what he wanted to do with himself after football.
No disrespect to Mr. Joppru, I’m just simply using him as an example.
Check out his thoughts on the transition after football:
“It’s a hard transition, and it’s a confusing one, and it’s all about trial and error,” Joppru said of leaving the game. “You keep trying things until you find something. I haven’t found anything — I’ve found things but nothing for a definite career path… it’s like a 23, 24 year old trying to figure out my life, but I’m 32.”
He went on to mention that whenever he thought about planning for the future, it was always surrounding football.
Learn from his mistakes (and my own), and do yourself a huge favor and discover your passion as early as you possibly can.
This was far from a complete “how-to” guide on preparing for life after football, but I hope it’s helped you in some way.Be sure to share this article with your friends, teammates, and loved ones that may have to deal with this one day.
You never know, they might forever be thankful for you thinking about them and their well-being.
Author Sir Ken Robinson on Oprah talking about passion.
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