By: Pasha Cook| Author| Speaker| Coach | CHAMPS U

I haven’t opened a book in years! Said no one that was seriously hungry for success. If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’re an athlete, and most of us athletes have been participating in sports for the majority of our lives. I started playing basketball at age seven. It’s safe to say that if you have made it to the collegiate level, you know a lot about your sport, your position, and your opponents. However, how much do you know about life looks like beyond your collegiate career?

Champions are lifelong learners and are always seeking to learn more. When it comes to transitioning, you must evaluate your values, strengths, and your interests, outside sports participation. Herein lies the challenge. Even if you have other passions or other interests, you have spent many waking hours dedicated to your sport. You have a steep learning curve to overcome if your other passions are vastly different from participating sports. Before you can learn more about your passions, you must LEARN what your passions are, to focus your energy in the right direction. Once you have narrowed down and listed your interests, it’s time to go to work.

Say it with me. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH! You have to be a student of the game, and that game is now your life (no pun intended). What field, industry, or career path do you have interest? How do you break into that industry? Where can you gather more information? Who are the thought-leaders in your perspective field of interest? Whom do you know that can assist you in learning more? All valid questions that are up to you to answer.


“In order to be in position to win the game, you must become a student of the game.”


Why is being a student of the game necessary?

Remember that time when you were up against your rival school, and you had to read the scouting report, watch tons of game film, and went over simulations for hours during practice? That preparation allowed you to understand the other team’s game plan and positioned you for success. Success, after all, is preparation meeting opportunity. You know what most people are doing? They are sitting around waiting on the sidelines of their lives instead, of preparing for the moment when opportunity knocks.
When you have a hunger for learning, something seemingly magical happens to your mind. You can appreciate viewing life through a different lens, therefore, expanding your worldview. Those things are important when interacting with people outside your usual sphere of influence. Also, when you are researching and learning more about your passions, values, and goals you can clarify what career path best aligns with them. When I was transitioning, because I didn’t do my homework, I transitioned and engaged in several different careers, and often became bored when they didn’t light that fire that basketball had. When you do your homework, you learn more and can identify if what the career path you are seeking is worth focusing your energies towards.

Ultimately the choice is yours. Being a lifelong student doesn’t have to mean you return to “school.” There are many ways to engage in educational content these days; you have TED talks, informative blogs, online certification programs, conferences, workshops, Career Guides like Champs U Workbook. The point is to get out there and to get started. Once you do, your life is going to expand beyond your wildest dreams. You’ve got this CHAMP! It’s worth it, and so are you.

What are some of the ways that you utilize research? Leave a comment below I’d love to hear from you!

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