Preparing for a life after sports entails more than just financial stability. While some sportspeople are able to forge new roles as commentators, coaches, managers or public speakers, more end one career at the top of their field only to find themselves at the bottom again, in many cases — because of the all-consuming nature of elite sport — without relevant experience or qualifications to get another job. That’s why in our approach we focus not on financial stability alone. We want to focus on personal development as well to equip our clients with the skills necessary to start a new career.
During the on-boarding interview we focus on hobbies and interests to find out what motivates someone. After we have established what a clients’ interests are we go and do our research. We want to know what jobs are available in that area, what links to a clients’ personality and how to get started. We also look at certifications needed and if so, we facilitate the entire process, based on our clients’ preferences.
Say you want to become a club coach. You will need to get your FIFA license, attend classes, write essays and so on. However, the classes are at times that you can’t attend. Sport Legacy maps where the classes are given on a time that does suit your schedule, where and how to register, which materials you need and how to obtain an internship.
But what if a client has no clue what to focus on? A lot of athletes’ time is being consumed by their sport. Don’t worry, even in these cases Sport Legacy can help. If after our on-boarding interview it still isn’t clear what it is that a client wants, we will facilitate some tests. These tests deep-dive into personality traits, interests and skills.
Top Athletes in Business
Most athletes don’t realize how valuable their skills are for business. Athletes are results-oriented and team players; execute strategy and conquer adversity; have a high performing work ethic and perform under pressure; and are coachable, ambitious, inspirational and culturally sensitive.
Big corporate companies like Ernst&Young recognize these skills and have even set up entire programs to recruit former top athletes and prepare them for a life after sports.
A 2015 study by Ernst&Young found 94 per cent of women in senior management positions played some sport, 52 per cent at university level. As part of its focus on recruiting athletes, EY has employed 18 female Olympians and Paralympians, from 12 different sports and 10 countries, across two internship programs, following the 2016 summer and 2018 Winter Olympics.
By 2020, Ernst&Young have successfully prepared multiple classes full of former athletes for their transition into business.
Case Study: tennis to trades
Australian tennis player Marija Mirkovic studied commerce after retiring from professional tennis in 2012 at the age of 22. She found she handled exam pressure better than some of her university peers because she “dealt with it day in, day out playing big matches on the world stage”.
Now an analyst in the central and eastern Europe institutional sales team at Citigroup, she sees parallels between her sporting life and markets “because no two days are the same”. “It’s quite similar . . . in the way you’ve constantly got to react to changing circumstances,” she says.