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Best Careers for Former Athletes

Retiring from sports is a tough hurdle to overcome, and for more than one reason: it’s a combination of being pushed out either by injuries or better players, and retiring at an age when you’re still fairly young. The lifespan of an athlete isn’t very long, and retirement places them at an age when most of their peers are just starting to reach a new level in the careers they’ve been working towards for the last 10 years since they earned their degrees. Athletes may have a bit of catching up to do, particularly if they chose to forgo college to surge ahead in sports. Luckily, being an athlete comes with a whole other field of skills that make them really attractive job candidates.

Sportscaster or Sports Journalist

The whole point of sportscasting and sports journalism is to be able to break down the intricacies of a particular sport so that the average viewer can follow along, and who better to do that than someone who actually played the sport for a number of years? Athletes have spent countless hours immersed in their game, learning plays, drills and routines, and then performing them on big stages. They’ve learned the terminology and reasoning behind each position, and are in the perfect position to share that knowledge with other people. That’s not to say that they’ll necessarily be able to jump right in after they retire from sports, as some training for the new career may be needed. But once they complete that, it’s the ideal segue into another career.


Athletes have spent years being taught how to play their sport, making them certifiable experts in their chosen field. But as one athlete retires, more come in the pipeline. For that to happen, those new athletes also need to be taught the ins and outs of their sport. Here’s where former athletes step in, using all the information, expertise and skills they’ve acquired over the years to pass it on to the next generation of athletes. Being a coach is also more than just aspiring to work in one of the professional leagues, as coaches are needed for every age and skill level in every sport.

Fitness Trainer/Instructor

One of the most important aspects in any sport is conditioning, because sports is about being able to do a particular thing better, more consistently and longer than other athletes. To accomplish this, their bodies need to be in peak condition, with each sport calling for a different regimen. Again, former athletes are in the best position to provide this knowledge because they’ve lived with their particular format of fitness training day in and day out for years, and can pass on the most specific and targeted information possible.

Financial Services

While the first three entries focused on sports-related careers for former athletes, but we’re breaking away from that with this one. At first glance, athletics and finances seem to have nothing to do with each other: one demands its employees get their heart rates high and dress in skin-tight clothing, while the other sees its employees come to work in business formal clothing and sit behind desks all day. But looking at it more closely, at the qualities necessary to make a person succeed in both fields, they’re actually very closely linked. Both require people to be able to think quickly — and under pressure — how to integrate seamlessly into a team, develop a strategy, and then execute it.

Starting up a new career after your athletics one has seen its day in the sun is a chance to keep using the skills you learned to set yourself apart from other job candidates. The world is wide open for you and the skillset you can bring to the table, and there are no shortages of post-sports careers you can try your hand at.


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