It took me months to answer this question.
Identifying as an athlete is pretty much all I have ever known.
When people ask me if I’m still playing, I’m having a hard time saying no.
At an age where kids were messing around with their mates, playing with dolls or their video games, I was already playing basketball.
I was 5 when I had my first game so it’s not difficult to see why – after all – being an athlete was all I have ever known.
Ever since I was young I learned how to optimize and prioritize time and energy. That’s why I never understood my classmates complaining about homework.
I had a strict routine that allows me to complete my homework and go straight to the gym without losing any time!
Through this journey I learned the meaning of dedication, focus, commitment to excellence, time management, and communication. I learned how to be successful!
As elite athletes we train to do one thing and one thing only. We train to get better! Our daily routine is based on training and recovery. Eat – Sleep – and breathe our sport.
My days were scheduled. Practice in the morning. Practice in the afternoon. I couldn’t be late! I was going for months without a change in my weekly schedule.
I would complain so much about it, but now, it’s almost the thing I miss the most.
I was so looking forward to having some “free” time without making plans or having someone tell me what to do. But ultimately what I realized was that being an athlete built a mindset and now it’s unnerving and frustrating for me when other people I deal with don’t have the same mindset I have.
But here we are. I guess there’s a point in every athlete’s life where they are kind of “forced out” whether it is due to an injury, poor performance, or a loss of motivation.
To be honest I don’t know what really took me to the other side of the road, I just found an opportunity I couldn’t let go.
So as it happens, we’ve all found ourselves trying to develop other areas of our expertise. Or perhaps we develop new skill sets. So while other people are spending time experimenting with stuff in order to find themselves, we already know who we are and what we do. It’s a privilege enjoyed by a few.
Sometimes we are spoiled and we don’t really need to worry about a lot of things.
And here I am now in the grown up world. Being an athlete doesn’t really teach you how the other side of the world works.
So be careful my fellow athletes! The real world is way different from what we are used to.
After doing something you love for so long, something that you’ve committed yourself entirely to, it’s difficult to start thinking about what comes next.
We are busy living in the moment, we don’t really want to spend time on boring stuff like preparing a resume or learning how to handle job interviews. Why would we waste our time doing that when practices suck up all of our energy. But that’s all we’ve ever known and now that mindset we’ve developed as athletes has to evolve.
Leaving a career in elite sport is terrifying. At least it was for me.
It takes guts and it’s a huge life adjustment.
But one thing is for sure; even if we have spent the majority of our time running up and down a basketball court, sprinting around, pursuing our perfect athletic body without having time or wanting to jump into something that looked like real work experience, elite sports will for sure provide us with a bunch of skills our future employers will love. Leadership, setting goals, teamwork, performing under pressure, handling disappointment, handling failure, and the art of discipline.
With that in mind, I said yes to more opportunities outside of the basketball court in a bid to expand my network and find my direction for the future.
I might not be on the court anymore, but I’m still very much in the game.
Last summer I had this life changing opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. Now, here I am in Dallas, Texas – literally on the other side of the world, far from everything I have ever known. Just a few months ago I was considering myself a pro basketball player, today I am an intern for EPLAY Analytics and I work on social media, marketing and the events side of the company. For those of you who don’t know, allow me to introduce you to EPLAY. We are currently a basketball centric sports technology company. EPLAY provides verified statistics, analytics, global ratings, and digital content for everyone! Who would’ve thought I’d have ever done this job!
As athletes we know how important the stats are. I mean our future contracts depends on our numbers but we never get deeply involved on how this thing really works. Sports organizations are going towards data analytics to improve their decision making, plan better and innovate faster. But athletes didn’t yet understand that analytics can tell us exactly how our attitude or our preparation can affect our game, for example. These numbers measure our performances.
At EPLAY we say that there’s #TruthInNumbers and I couldn’t fully understand the meaning of it until I saw how passionate these guys are when they simply watch a game and write down some numbers. Now, it’s a little more extensive than that, but in short, the game provides the numbers and EPLAY uses those numbers to essentially “predict” the game. EPLAY can essentially help players build their basketball resumes, with the E-SCORE being the defining factor. Here’s what makes me so excited about being a part of this rising company. Let me explain to you what it’s so special about EPLAY. Ok, so at the end of the day, all that really matters is how players help their teams win games. It’s just that simple. As a member of a team, what do you do and do well to contribute to the success of your team. The eyeballs always tell one side of the story, but efficient, winning basketball can sometimes look much different on paper. What sets EPLAY apart is our E-SCORE. The E-SCORE is an overall rating of a player’s impact when on the court. It is adjusted for strength of schedule, pace of play, quality of the team, et al. The E-SCORE is based off of 100. Above 100 is above league average, below 100 is below average. Replacement level player is 80 or worse. In short, the E-SCORE is a strong indicator of whether or not a player’s game can translate to the next level. For professional players, the E-SCORE is a true representation of a player’s overall ranking.
The bottom line is that I cannot wait to share this new chapter of my life with you all now that I’m a part of a brand new team! By the way, my new team can really help you improve your game and let your numbers speak for themselves. Come along for the ride!
EPLAY is changing the game! So #BallOut and #GetEPLAY if you want to change yours!