I know. Most athletes do not want to think about what they will do when they can no longer compete. But without a plan and a strategy, the likelihood of achieving a result you are happy with is low. In the immortal words of Yogi Berra: “You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going ‘cause you might not get there!”
Perhaps you believe that planning for your future will somehow limit your ability to achieve your more immediate track and field goals.
“As athletes, we all know that there will be another career after track and field. Instead of ignoring that nagging voice in the back of our minds, we can do something about it!” – Alice Schmidt
One place that track and field Olympians, USATF Foundation grantees, and other high-performance athletes can go for help is the Career Mentoring Program. Established in 2010, the program has already helped a large pool of athletes – however many of the participants haven’t taken full advantage of the depth of services that are available.
According to Jack Wickens of the USATF Foundation, “132 athletes have used the program, but mostly to find part time jobs. Our vision is to turn the program into career development where we help athletes build the skills in order to transition into a new stage of life.”
One athlete who has taken full advantage of the program is Jamie Neito:
“Being in the Foundation mentor program, and getting vital information about my career from Frank Marshall (Foundation Director) has been a tremendous asset to me. I’ve been able to get advice about the entertainment business and know that I’m on the right track for my career.”
The initial mentors were the Foundation board members, but that group has now expanded to a network of 75 people.
“We have assembled an impressive group of prominent and caring leaders across a diverse array of professions, including corporate CEOs and senior executives across businesses from entrepreneurial start-ups to $50 billion market cap corporations. Highly successful people have volunteered to be in this program with expertise in financial services, health care, technology, real estate, retail, sports management, coaching, engineering, global marketing, human resources, journalism, medicine, social work and more. Plus, we are prepared to reach beyond our mentor list to find other individuals who may be a better match for your unique interests.”
So, what are you waiting for?
If you have questions or would like to learn more about the program, please contact Jack Wickens at Drive.firstname.lastname@example.org and 434-249-4834 or Beka Suggs at 317-713-4689 in the USATF office.
photo credit: pennstatelive