Every week the NFL is filled with the unexpected. Sports analysts spend their week predicting which teams will find success, which teams will flop, and which players will have an impact on their team's success. However, what analysts and fans can't predict is which players will get through the week without getting injured.
Injuries in the NFL are almost guaranteed at any position. From a concussion to a torn ACL, injuries have the ability to take players out for few games, an entire season, or worse, end their career. During the Patriot's season opener, Jeremy Hill tore his ACL after getting hit in the knee during a play. Hill is now out for the season. Charger's linebacker, Joshua Perry, recently retired at 24 and just two seasons in the NFL, after dealing with his sixth concussion.
These injuries are not something we can predict, and they are not something players ever imagine happening to them. Players like Perry who come to a crossroad in their life, and have to choose between their personal health or the sport they've spent their entire life working on, don't do so lightly. For a lot of players they have invested countless hours and money into perfecting their skills to have a career as a professional athlete. So what happens once all of that disappears? What happens when the career path they always dreamed of and achieved no longer becomes a viable option?
Having a plan B is so important for athletes. Injuries, retirement and other unexpected life happenings can occur at any time, and without a plan B, players may find themselves lost, without a path, or a career. Taking time to think about what comes after an athletic career is vital for a player's sustainability financially and mentally.
We encourage our clients to align their plan B with something they are passionate about. Passion creates drive; so if a player can find something they are just as passionate about as they are their respective sport, they will find adjusting to life after sports a bit easier. Ultimately, having a plan B will allow athletes to adjust a little easier, as their plan is already in motion, if not in full effect. Plan B can be a side hobby during an athletic career, which will not only provide a balanced life for athletes, but will also allow players to have one less thing on their plate when choosing to step away from being a professional athlete.
Whether this involves starting a business or foundation, working on a philanthropic project, or pursuing a sports related career, plan B may become plan A at any point, and it is important to have a well thought out plan.