Do Athletes Really Die Twice?
By: Chris Smith
I am sure you have heard the old saying, “Athletes die twice, first when their athletic career is over, and second, when they die.” Being a former football player, I often find myself thinking about this question as the new football seasons gets ready to kick off. Recently, I have been staring at pictures from my playing days and even attempted to pull out an old video tape, but that’s when I realized I don’t even have a VCR in the house anymore. To this day, I still have not been able to replicate that feeling of surging adrenaline as my teammates and I got ready to run out of the tunnel before kickoff.
We will be competitors until the day we move on and I think its ok for us to miss our respective sport. However, I run into many athletes who have a hard time letting it go. This does not apply to only recent graduates as I have a good friend in his later 30s who just hasn’t been able to move on. When you think about it, we go from a support structure (team), a coach, and a purpose (to win) that we put our souls into, and then one day, just like that, it’s over and it is very difficult to find a similar setting. In addition to the structure and purpose, there is the culture. Let’s face it, if you do not think you’re great and going to win, you will not be successful in competitive athletics. Often times this mindset is misinterpreted outside of athletics, and can really rub people the wrong way.
So what are athletes supposed to do? Although I still identify myself as an athlete, I have replaced my sport with the mission of Career Athletes and found new teammates here at work. It is very important for me to be cognizant of whom I am talking to or working with to make sure my “Athlete DNA” is not interpreted the wrong way. At the end of the day, who and what we are as athletes can make us superstars outside of athletics; we just may need to a little help in the transition. I am curious to know how the transition was for other Career Athletes members, and if anyone has some advice that just might help a Career Athletes Community member.
Copyright 2012 – Career Athletes
Recently I found an article about that athletes die twice. I never really thought about it when my indoor volleyball career ended less than a year ago. When we lost at nationals it didn’t hit me that it was over. I was still on a high for finishing 9th and receiving all American. Now the new season is starting and I am lost. I loved competing. I have tried open gyms and various tournaments and most do not give the competition like college teams.
The article talks about how an athlete dies once their career is over and when they actually die. Most athletes do not continue on the sport after college. Only a select few get to. Football is a hard sport to continue. Even if you do not make it further in your career it is hard to organize friends to play football. Basketball you can always shoot around and play one vs one but to do a full 5 vs 5 at a high level may be difficult. Volleyball I think is an easier sport to continue compared to others. Most players turn to playing beach after college. I have always loved beach vs indoor because of my height. I do have that but now with season starting I am coaching the 2′s team and assistant to the 1s team, the team that I was on. Seeing how good they will be and the potential hey have makes it harder on me at times. Wishing I had one more year to compete. I do love getting to practice with the team but there are times that I miss it.
Don’t get me wrong I am thankful I am still able to be a part of the sport but it is hard to find something as competitive as playing for the team. I am hoping to further my career in beach volleyball. I thought about trying out for a Europe team but my height restricts me and right now in my life it is not feasible. I am going to continue playing for as long as I can but it will be hard to get that same competition