A recent article published in the New York Times, by former Major League Baseball P Doug Glanville, sums up quite nicely I might add, what is like for a professional athlete to transition from his professional career to life as a non-professional athlete.
The vision he speaks of, we have created at 44 management. The life he speaks of, we have lived. As an integral part of 44 management, I have seen and heard the struggles he speaks of for more than 30 years from professional athletes, and sometimes it takes someone who has been there to truly understand the challenges professional athletes face.
Media outlets cannot tell this story, because most sports writers and sports reporters write and report to be critical and controversial of what they don’t understand while the average athlete typically does not understand how to effectively portray his comments in writing or on camera to make an effective counter argument against those who critique him.
Some may take notice at former coaches and players such as Deon Sanders, Steve Young, John Gruden, Jimmy Johnson, and Michael Strahan, saying, “Well those guys made it, why can’t others”. The simple answer is THOSE GUYS WERE ALREADY POSITIONED TO BE AND REMAIN SUCCESSFUL! As observers of the sport, these names are household names we all knew-well and heard for many years throughout the sport. While the income level may not be the same, the television networks make sure these former athletes drop in lifestyle is not too overly affected, so the transition is a softer landing as opposed to the typical crash and burn of most. We at 44 management have a complete understanding as to what many professional athletes go through from first-hand experience.
Unless a player has made hundreds of millions of dollars throughout his professional career OUTSIDE OF HIS PROFESSIONAL SPORT through other endorsements and marketing, he is going to struggle immensely with his transition from his playing days on the field (or court) to life after his sports career. That is where 44 management provides unmatched support, guidance and assistance.
Yesterday, I spoke to a former NFL player who played 12 years in the NFL for three different teams. He has since retired and contacted me regarding the 44 management blog. In short, he said he admired the message 44 management is presenting and would like to help and assist in anyway he can. He admits he was ill-prepared for what he though was going to be a smooth transition to his life after football. Mind you, he signed for over $20 million in contract dollars throughout his 12 year career and realized he was not as prepared as he should have and could have been. He recognized the 44 management message as one that he now wishes someone was presenting to him at an early age, and he truly believes he would have been a lot better off than where he is now. And by early he means his collegiate years and maybe even high school, because it would have given him and his family a chance to better prepare for what was to come. There is no school or college course that will prepare an athlete for life as a professional athlete or celebrity. A college graduate, he states the best he can do right now is to become a college coach at a local junior college making $40,000 a year, because he has no transferrable skill set to the “real world”. He has sent numerous resumes to potential employers who have mostly responded, “You don’t have any experience.” How does a man who played 12 years in the National Football League, who has made over $20 million dollars not have any work experience, and now must settle for a $40,000 entry level job with the most recent wave of 22-23 year old college graduates?
There was a time when this former player was making $40,000 per week! He now has a teenage son who plays basketball in high school and is above average. His son may have a chance to go on to play at the collegiate level one day, and with his father’s blessing he hopes his son recognizes his dream. Some may find this hard to believe, but many professional athletes who have crashed and burned after their sports careers, would love for anyone other children to succeed in any sport they play; however, most would tell you they would rather their son or daughter excel in academics and go into a different profession other than professional sports, because it only delays the inevitable reality that professional sports only delays getting started with the rest of an athlete’s life.
Since 1984, there have been at least 28 teams n the NFL, with at least 53 players per team (regular season). Over the past 25 years, that would equate to approximately 37,100 players having passed through the throws of the NFL ranks. That equates to roughly 29,680 of them having become bankrupt divorced or unemployed (long-term) during that time. That is a lot of
This market is an untapped market that we have captured and had success with those who want to listen and are not too prideful to understand they are dire need of a new skill set other that the defined skill set of that particular trade.