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Very few athletes are prepared for life after their professional careers. Motivational speaker Brian Mitchell knows the challenges involved and can help.

Life can be tough after you leave the pros. When you're a professional football, baseball or basketball player—even if you're a second-string bench warmer—you are used to a level of attention (from the fans, from the press, and even from relatives) that is difficult to attain in “real” life. Also, the financial rewards are great, ranging from a relatively paltry hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to millions or even tens of millions. When you earn that kind of money, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that a respectable, middle-class job only pays in the neighborhood of $75,000 per year.

That's where Brian Mitchell comes in. Mitchell is one of the increasingly rare NFL players who has made a successful transition to life after the pros, and he wants to share his experience with other players, from any sport, who may not have been equally fortunate. Here are the mistakes, as Mitchell sees them, that players commonly make when they're transitioning out of the pros.

  • Assuming that “something will turn up.” Ask the typical pro athlete, and he'll probably tell you that he envisions being a sports commentator or analyst after he retires. But has he done any preparation for this kind of work? Has he cultivated the right contacts? Opportunities like these don't just fall out of the sky; you have to ready yourself for them. 
  • Not keeping track of their money. When you're a professional athlete, it's easy to trust your earnings to your manager, your PR agent, and any members of your “entourage” who happen to be in attendance that day. It's OK to have someone else manage (or even spend) your money; it's not okay to lose track of the details, and find much less in your savings account than you thought was there. 
  • Allowing themselves to be labeled by others. In a way, pro athletes are like actors: It's easy to get “typecast” in certain roles, and hard to change the public's perception. Never let someone say something like, “You were an aggressive middle linebacker, but what makes you think you're cut out to sell insurance?” and never, ever take that kind of statement to heart. You, and you alone, know what you are capable of accomplishing.


If you are a one-time pro athlete who has sunk into an abyss of depression, financial hardship, and drug or alcohol abuse, or if you just need a simple pep talk, there is a way out of your dilemma—and it all begins with your habits of thought. Let Brian Mitchell demonstrate that having a positive attitude and not letting yourself be labeled by other people are the first, necessary steps to a successful life off the playing field. Call Brian at 703-434-0734 or email him at [email protected] to set up a speaking engagement!