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After Professional Sports: Where Are They Now?

After Professional Sports: Where Are They Now?

Professional athletes live in the limelight. The media keeps us up to date with their lives throughout their careers. But, what we don’t know is what happens when they set aside their sports careers. Let’s take a look at the lives of professional athletes, after professional sports.

Injuries can be severe, lingering even after the players are done with professional sports

Sports professionals have it made. High dollar salaries, popularity, and sometimes eternal fame in the hearts of their fans. The glory of sports has a price. Many are plagued by injury after professional sports. The NFL is one of the best examples of this — players take so many blows to the head they often suffer from memory loss or dementia. In fact, they are 19 times more likely to develop these conditions than the average person. They have taken more precautions after players filed a class action lawsuit against the league, yet so many suffered from injuries they were forced to pay a large sum to the complainants.

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professional sports
    Cristiano Ronaldo after scoring a goal

    Many become philanthropic

    The large sums of money garnered by over-sized stadiums and lucrative contracts allow the players to be charitable in their retirement, or during their career. Cristiano Ronaldo famously paid for a dying boy’s medical treatment after he asked for a pair of shoes before he died. Many of the wealthiest players have become pillars of their communities, while there are a few who wind up in the press with one legal issue or another — your coworkers might too if they were professional sports players.

    Some go broke

    Mike Tyson was once a world champion boxer that took in 30 million dollars for one fight. As his career declined however, he spent his fortune and eventually went bankrupt. We’ve seen this from other stars as well, but none have rebounded as effectively as Tyson. After biting off the ear of an opponent in one fight, he went on to cameo in The Hangover trilogy. However, Tyson is not the best role model for your children — he was once quoted in a press conference as saying “I’ll eat your children.”

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      Mike Tyson at a recent press conference

      They never leave the field, mat, or quidditch pitch

      Did you know quidditch is a real sport now? Seriously, look it up — they hold a US World Cup, though it should be called a national cup as there are only American teams and it’s held in the States. If you’ve played sports for as long as a professional player, you will know that the sport will always be in you. Whether you’re a wrestler that takes well to an octagon, or a rugby player that finds himself in the NFL, sports will enrich your life. Many find themselves coaching young players that will become what they used to be.

      professional sports
        Sonny Bill Williams

        The turnover rate is insane — you might already know a former professional sports player

        You can’t retire at 65 from a football team. As long as you can perform well enough to keep up with people in their early 20s, you might have a job. Not every sport is as grueling on the body as football. Gary Player from South Africa has the distinction of being the only pro golfer that isn’t American to achieve a career grand slam. Gary played into his 70s. You really can’t ask more from life than golfing for a job till you’re in your old age. That’s likely what he had planned for his retirement anyways.

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          Legends of Golf in Savannah, GA April 19, 2010

          Where are they now?

          If you feel like you haven’t seen your favorite player in some time, whether they haven’t been listed in a news article, or their faces aren’t on the television anymore, you might want to go to a stadium or venue. Your childhood idol has not died — trust me, the media would have told you. If you don’t want to wait for a sighting when they are entered into a hall of fame or other honorary museum, you might want to go to the place where they used to play. Most of them have stayed in the city that cheered for them in some way. They might just return to visit a past glory, or they might be everywhere you look (even on your shoe)!

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            Featured photo credit: tableanty via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on June 18, 2019

            The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

            The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

            No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

            Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

            Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

            A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

            Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

            In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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            From Making Reminders to Building Habits

            A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

            For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

            This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

            The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

            That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

            Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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            The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

            Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

            But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

            The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

            The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

            A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

            For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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            But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

            If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

            For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

            These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

            For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

            How to Make a Reminder Works for You

            Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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            Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

            Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

            My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

            Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

            I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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