If you’ve ever searched for athlete transition guides, you’ll find there’s a lot of literature out there. We’ve picked five that we think really stand out. If you’re looking for a good summer read, why not pick one that’s going to help you with your career transition, too?
1. I’m a Retired Athlete… What Now? by Janae Whittaker Ali
Former Division 1 gymnast Janae Whittaker Ali writes openly about the knee injury that ended her career and the lack of support she found in forced retirement. She has since become a well-known spokesperson for better athlete care and career transition support in the US.
In this book, Whittaker Ali explains how she used her transferable skills not only in her next career but during her transition. In ten bitesize chapters, the author demonstrates how individual skills, such as planning, perseverance and leadership, can be used to propel you into your career after competition.
Widely credited as one of the first and most honest guides on unplanned retirement from sport, this will make a useful read to any athlete moving on from high level sport.
2. Life After Sport: From Bootroom to Boardroom by Leon Lloyd
Lloyd moves with great care through some tricky transition topics. Acknowledging that the highs of any sporting career must come to an end, the author answers the big question – what do I do now? Lloyd takes the reader through those questions we all ask ourselves: what does the future hold for me? Who am I, now I’m not an athlete? What am I good at?
Reflecting on his successful career with England Rugby and Leicester Tigers, Lloyd offers great insight into recognising your transferable skills and putting them to good use in the world of business. With useful advice on financial management, future-proofing and even creating the adrenaline rush on which athletes thrive, Lloyd’s book is essential reading to any young transitioning competitor.
3. Some Stories: Lessons from the Edge of Business and Sport by Yvon Chouinard
Something a little different – Chouinard’s book really is one of a kind. A compilation of lessons learned from books, articles, conversations, letters and more, Chouinard shares his unique outlook on the intricate connections between sport, business and… life.
Alongside draw-dropping images of Chouinard the explorer extraordinaire, this part photo-album, part autobiography discusses a range of sports from climbing to surfing, fishing to skiing. The author connects sport to business and the natural environment in a way never seen before. As the founder of the Patagonia brand, Chouinard demonstrates how he’s found the best of both worlds not by separating business and athleticism, but by bringing them together.
4. Racing the Sunset: How Athletes Survive, Thrive, or Fail in Life After Sport by Scott Tinley
Set against the glorious golden backdrop of California, Racing the Sunset follows Tinley’s journey from beach-bum to lifeguard to one of the world’s most successful triathletes. Tinley describes his rise to the peak of his sport and subsequent fall, facing up to the facts that retirement happens for us all.
Driven by the need to come to terms with his lifestyle change, Tinley reached out to hundreds of other retired greats, from every sport out there, and has completed this – one of the most in depth research projects on athlete retirement, transition and life-after-sport success ever written.
A thorough project with will prove that you’re not the only one with questions: they’ve all been asked before and Tinley’s book definitely has the answers!