When your playing career ends, you will likely seek to continue working in some capacity.
There are many second careers available to players these days. Whether you go into a coaching or managerial role as many players do, pursue a media career in football and maybe even beyond, or move into an entirely different profession, the sky is the limit for what you’ll be able to do next.
These different careers will bring new challenges with them, and demand a slightly different skillset to the one you’ve been accustomed to relying on while plying your trade on the pitch.
Fortunately, professional football teaches you a whole host of valuable skills that can serve you well in a second career.
From the obvious skills you’ll have used every week, to others that you might not even realise you’ve built up, here are five that could help you reach the top of your game in your next role.
It’s widely acknowledged that a cornerstone of any successful football team is communication. Being able to express yourself to your teammates, both on and off the field, is crucial in creating strong relationships in the dressing room, and in picking out passes on matchdays.
No matter what second career you find yourself in next, communication is a hugely important skill. In a coaching role, it will be critical to get your ideas across to your team. This will also be useful in the pastoral side of the job, inspiring younger players and encouraging them to keep their heads up when things are tough.
Media roles will obviously demand that you’re able to articulate yourself clearly, because you’ll be communicating your ideas to thousands of people all at once.
Similarly, in a business or corporate role, the ability to pass on information is immensely useful. Whether you’re talking to colleagues, employees, or customers, explaining yourself is a powerful tool at your disposal.
Those hours spent practising your communication skills on the training ground will no doubt pay off, whichever career you move into.
2. Perseverance and resilience
There will always be difficult moments in a football career. Having a tough run of form, picking up an injury, or losing a “must-win” game can all affect your mental state as a professional player.
At times like these, you need to rely on your perseverance and resilience. Your mentality towards these setbacks must always be to pick yourself up, dust yourself down, and get on with the task at hand.
In your second career, that same hunger to always keep fighting can serve you well. The constant desire to win, whether that’s as a coach or a business owner, can drive you to success.
Equally, there may be times when you experience a setback in your second career. Perhaps the side you coach loses a match you feel they should have won, or you don’t quite land a client you really wanted in your business.
Whatever it is, being able to rely on that spirit of perseverance and resilience can help you to put it behind you and quickly get back on track.
Professional footballers have to be naturally entrepreneurial to succeed, showing themselves to be the best option their manager has when selecting their starting line-up.
As a result, you’ll have developed enterprising skills that you could draw on if you want to start your own business.
Some of the necessary skills you’ll need to succeed as an entrepreneur that you’ll have picked up from football include:
- Knowing the value of preparation and planning
- Hard work
Professional football teaches you all of the above every day. From preparing with stretches and meal planning, working hard and putting your all into training sessions, and being a team player, you’ll have learned some of the fundamental skills you need to succeed as a business owner.
4. Analytical skills
In the modern game, carrying out thorough analysis of your opponent is as important as your own preparation. The marginal gains that analysis can find could be the difference between winning a league title and coming second. You’ll no doubt have done your research before every game to understand the other side and how they operate.
Analysis is central to many other roles you might find yourself in after your playing career. For example, if you run your own business, this could be assessing your competitors and figuring out where the gap in the market is.
Or, it might be in a media career where you have unique insights that allow you to analyse matches and explain what’s going on.
The ability to analyse and make decisions accordingly is a hugely valuable talent that modern football can teach you.
One skill you might not associate with football is creativity, but it’s certainly one that professional players have, particularly at the top level of the sport.
No matter your position on the pitch, it takes creative thinking to solve problems. Forwards need to test different runs and tricks to beat opposing defenders, inventing new skill moves on the field as they go.
Meanwhile, defensive-minded players need to make rapid creative decisions about where to be to give themselves the best chance of stopping those forwards from taking a shot at goal.
Any second career you find yourself in could benefit from the creative side of your brain. It might be in developing and bringing to market a new product or service that improves people’s lives.
Or it might be the approach you take to training as a coach, trying out entirely new methods that you think could give your team the edge.
Even if you’ve never thought of yourself as a creative individual, remember that football teaches you to be daring and test the boundaries of what’s possible.
Get in touch
If you’re thinking about planning for your future, please do get in touch with us at ProSport.
We can help you organise your wealth now to support you for life after football.
Email email@example.com or call 01204 602909.
This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.