A contract signed by an athlete is, on the one hand, a reason for pride. On the other hand, it often becomes one of the challenges in life of the sportsman and causes some problems. How does it happen that many athletes, whether they are a team player or an athlete of individual sport, face troubles? About this side of sports success and challenges in life people say very little. And at the same time it is often the reason of many problems of perspective athletes. What are these challenges in life and why do they appear?
In any other profession, to which we get a lot of money, income comes gradually. At the beginning of our professional career we start as a junior specialist. We get a small salary, but still much higher than pocket money from parents. A few years later we were promoted, and we got the raise – for example, 50% more to your salary. In the beginning, extra income makes life easier… but you get used very quickly.
We gradually go on a longer or slightly more expensive vacation. We start buying products of higher quality or better brands. After a while we will rise again and then again … and gradually getting used to it, we achieve high salaries for 20 years.
And sports? In sports it is quite different. At the beginning of our career the young athlete trains at usual city sport classes. From time to time, you want to buy a new tracksuit, the athlete is growing and may begin to receive little money for training or participation in competitions. But this is rarely enough.
The family that previously supported him in sports, parents who brought him to the first training session in childhood, are increasingly saying to find some “adult profession”. So more often the sport eventually thrown in favor of “serious” work.
There is a significant difference between people working in “normal occupations” and athletes . Including in terms of income. In ordinary professions we have the maximum financial efficiency (i.e. the highest earnings) at the age of 45-50 years – the period of full maturity. Then it is time for us to think about how to secure the future. In sports, the maximum financial efficiency at the age of about 25 years. Thus, at this age it is worth planning the future. However, most young people do not plan long-term prospects, they do not have plans for more than a couple of years ahead.
In addition, sport is one of the few professions in the world where the border between earning very small and very big money crosses at one point. Often it intersects with a once signed contract. This is the transition from the “local” athlete to the first League or extra class.
Adapting to a new situation is one of the challenges in life of a sportsman
In a good situation, suddenly comes that day. Success and efforts were evaluated, the athlete is invited to the meeting. And he hears words that change everything. “The club of the first League is interested in you – after signing the contract we will transfer xxxx thousand money”.
At first it seems to be like the American dream not like one of the challenges in life. From zero to millionaire. In the end, the sportsman managed to prove for everyone that it was worth it. When classmates in school years went on parties, he refused – because of training and competitions. When they were going to go to have fun in the waterpark, he was in a sports camp, where he trained three times a day. After all – a contract, a chance for a better life. The contract – payment of long-term sacrificing and hard work.
But such a contract also often involves moving to another city, sometimes even a country, and it can be one of the challenges in life of the sportsman. Because he needs to adapt to a new environment and meet new people.
Relationship with new team
The first training in the new club. Clean locker room, empty bag, because you no longer need to take all the things for training every time. In a team sport is given a t-shirt with the name on the back and colours of the new club on the chest. It is a moment of joyful and pride. However, there is something that is not mentioned openly, but in conversations with sportsmen it sometimes appears. This is due to adaptation and so-called hazing. Despite the fact that this phenomenon is much more often associated with the army, it also occurs in sports.
Many coaches, even seeing this phenomenon, do not interfere. Sometimes they even think that the intervention will cause a negative reaction. In the end, there were held classes in sports psychology, where it was mentioned that the addition of a new player makes the team re-formed. That is the return to the first stage of team building. So everything seems alright … Or not?
For turning “young” in full-fledged and successful overcoming this kind of challenges in life, the sportsman must arise one of the two situations:
- The player must prove his worth in achieving the team’s goals. He must show his abiities on the field – which is usually very difficult, because in most cases he does not go to the first team and therefore has little chance to play and win matches.
- The player must prove his worth to the team outside of training. It is enough just to impress and make friends.
The second situation is more real. Therefore, the player invites his new friends to the first party. So it’s time for “show-off” – cars, fast driving, brands, flirting with girls. Whether this is good or bad is a moot point.
Lost interest in sports
And even when he is no longer “young” because there is another new player in the club, he can still sit on the bench. As a result – wasted talent and demotivation, loss of interest in sports. But he was singled out among others! Years of sacrifice, when the athlete did not attend parties and keep the diet, eventually lost value in trying to consolidate the success.
In their work with the patients aimed at overcoming challenges in life sports psychologists often recommend John Spencer’s book “Shields and Valleys”. This story is a great metaphor for success and overcoming challenges in life of a sportsman. Valleys are the places where you want to succeed. Tops are places where you enjoy what you have.
What is the most common cause of accidents in the mountains?Why the sportsman do not always feel capable for overcoming challenges in life? The lack of training. It is not necessary to climb to the top without proper equipment, and without acclimatization. The same thing in our lives – most people were defeated after achieving success for the same reason – they were not ready for it.
Unfortunately, athletes dream of large contracts, but are not ready to cope with success in sports. And hard-working athletes, who are not allowed to self-realize in sports relax, forgeting about the fact that the contract doesn’t lasts forever. They train less diligently, which causes a decrease in their sports level. Aren’t it a motivation challenges in life?
Back to the mountain metaphor. When we stand at the foot of the mountains, we see only one mountain in front of us – for example, a sports career. But when we reach the top, we have a beautiful view – we can see more beautiful peaks – these are nothing but consistent goals, new perspectives that we can achieve. It is necessary to decide what challenges in life it will be, and then plan how to achieve them.
The problem is that many athletes are in constant climbing the mountains. They climb the same mountain. Then quickly run to the foot of another, even higher. Thus, they can’t see the bigger picture, the overall situation.
Having determined what we want to do, it is worth defining a strategy for successful overcoming challenges in life. As in sports – to succeed on the field, you need to train. And the order is simple – first play around, then success. It’s never the other way around. The same will happen with success after the end of your career – you have to take actions that will lead to success in advance. First action, then success.