News flash! All professional athletes are going broke and getting divorced! 78% of NFL'ers. 60% of NBA athletes. And it happens fast! Within 2 to 5 years of your last game. If you are athlete, hunker down. If you are fan, think to yourself, ‘these athletes are so stupid, how can they lose all that money’.
These were claims made in Pablo S. Torre Sports Illustrated article titled, 'How (and Why) Athletes Go Broke', published in 2009, almost 10 years ago. As outlined in a previous post you can read here; these numbers are utterly false. They were made up. They were pulled out of someone's (if charitably described) hat. They have no basis in fact. In my post, I cite research that directly contradicts the 'facts' outlined in Torre’s article.
Enshrined above the entrance to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi reads, “Above all else, know thyself”. Considering that Apollo was the Greek god associated with great feats of athleticism, one can’t help but consider the role self-awareness contributes to athletic performance. In my experience as a professional athlete, the greatest performers tended to exhibit high levels of self-awareness in many facets of their life
The life of an elite athlete is a stressful one both physically and mentally. The physical stressors associated are addressed but the mental stressors aren’t often given much credence at all.
It begs the question, where’s the ‘injury prevention’ program for the mental side of the game? What are athletes being provided by way of a mental strength and conditioning program so they are put in position to thrive and enjoy the unique experience of being an elite athlete?
Sports are a powerful force in our society. We get united through sports; it keeps us healthy, it provides us entertainment, we develop relationships, we learn values and it provides us with endless opportunities in the form of education, business and overall life experiences. Ironically, those that can leverage the greatest outcomes from their sport experiences, elite and professional athletes, are the ones that sit on the sidelines and miss out. Many of them simply don’t harness or recognize the leverage they have, or know how to access it. Sadly, in many instances, sport uses them. Sports should provide opportunity for all athletes, especially those that dedicate themselves to reach the peak of their profession. But we need to change the traditional view of how athletes are developed and moulded.
There was a time, not long ago, when speaking of athlete development, you would think of; training harder, running faster, throwing farther.
Even more recently, when thinking of athlete development, many would think of services and resources designed to help athletes transition out of sport. Although important, it led athletes to equate athlete development services and the people who offered them to an on-going and endless discussion about the death of their sports careers. Who amongst us is eager to discuss our own funeral?