Life after sports can be very difficult for not only professional athletes, but all athletes to cope with. Between transitioning into another career, developing new life skills, building new relationships and leaving behind a sport you have played the majority of your life, it can all be very hard to manage at once.
Maintaining and taking care of your mental health has to become a major priority, as many athletes fall into depression, confusion and helplessness after their playing career ends. There are multiple reasons why this happens so often, but below are three of the main reasons why athletes have so much difficulty with retirement and how to prevent depression and negativity.
Recognition, adoration and fame are things professional athletes live for. However once retirement hits, all of these things lessen and athletes are left dealing with how to attain the same status as they did through sport. They often miss the thrill, attention and camaraderie that they think they can only get from playing sports.
You can easily understand how fulfilling it would be to strive at your passion professionally and get paid millions of dollars to do so. During an athlete’s competitive years, their whole world is about their passion (their sport). In retirement, they struggle to find purpose, other passions and their identity as they withdrawal from something that ruled their meaning of life for so long.
Think about the cause of retirement for most athletes. They usually retire due to injury or when their performance suffers due to age. Most athletes don’t retire under their own terms. This already puts a harmful air around retirement, and instead of enjoying their newfound freedom, they fall into self-pity and negativity.
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