“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” 

A notion Stephen Covey made famous as the 5th habit in his seminal book, “7 habits of Highly Effective People.”

Regardless of your profession or pursuits, it’s a wonderful lesson for us all to bear in mind.

For me personally–after nine years of having the opportunity to work with athletes through their journey as an athlete then to their lives after sport–“seek first to understand” has become my true north.

I’ve learned that the journey of the athlete is comprised of countless experiences, most of which are tied to a specific process of development. It is this process that coaches and administrators commit themselves and their management principles to.

Image Source: WSJ Sports

“It’s about committing yourself to being the best you can be on that particular day. Improvement is a steady march and you have to be committed to it.”

Nick Saban, Head Football Coach, University of Alabama


The Journey to Life After Sport

Athletes have been conditioned through this process of continuous improvement–and as they transition to a successful life after sport, this process will be familiar–but it will likely be more difficult.

In understanding that this transition away from sport is a journey, not a destination, employers can differentiate themselves in the hiring process.

Job boards, career fairs and even on-campus interviewing can be resourceful tactics, but when they don’t account for the journey of the athlete, they become transactional in nature.

Given the pressure and time demands an athlete faces, these types of tactics miss in two primary areas:

1. Reaching the entire population
2. Engaging the candidate early in the process

To learn more about how Game Plan’s employer customers engage athletes throughout their journey, please contact Dalton at dalton@wearegameplan.com.

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