What do Athletes do Once Retired From Professional Sports

Spread the love

Pro athletes usually are a little lost after retirement. They work their entire lives towards their sport. They usually make a lot of money and retire at an early age because their body can’t keep up anymore. After retirement, pro athletes find themselves stepping into another world. We’ve got some of the things they step into when they leave their sport.

Sports Broadcaster

Many pro athletes dream of being a sports broadcaster on Fox or ESPN. Almost all of these broadcasters are former players. The problem is that you need a special talent to be able to do this job. It isn’t just about talking about the game. The broadcasters need to have a charming personality and the ability to capture a crowd’s attention. Retired professional basketball player Charles Barkley is one of the most successful broadcasters because he’s smart when it comes to talking about all sports, loves to throw in his own controversial comments and has a magnetic personality. Retired football player Tony Romo also made a smooth transition into broadcasting for his uncanny ability to commentate on football games.


One of the toughest jobs on the field is the coach. Stepping out of a professional player’s shoes into the shoes of a coach is a hard one for many athletes, but so worth it. Some athletes go on to coach on the professional level while some go to college or high school levels. They know the game like the back of their hand, and they know the best strategies to win games. They’ve been around coaches their entire life. Former pro basketball player Larry Bird easily went from a superstar on the court as player to superstar on the court as coach. One of the hardest things about going from being an athlete to a coach is that a coach is all about teamwork when a player is often selfish. If the player can’t transform his beliefs into winning as a team, it can be a challenging role.

Jumping Sports

Some pro athletes just can’t quit the game. They may be done with one sport, but ready to try another. One of the most famous superstars to try this was pro basketball player Michael Jordan. After his amazing career as a basketball player, he decided to go try his hand as a professional baseball player. Sometimes it’s tough to leave the only world you’ve ever known. Former England cricketer Freddie Flintoff left his sport to jump into the boxing ring. Deion Sanders went back and forth from football to baseball. If you’re blessed enough to be able to play multiple sports, many take the chance.

Sports Management

Sports is in their blood, so it’s normal for many former pro athletes to go into sports management. Many of the managers leading teams were former pro athletes. Most played some level of the game before going into management. John Elway, Reggie McKenzie and Jerry Reese are just some of these names that hold high positions in the NFL. Joe Torre and Floyd Mayweather are also in this realm. It’s easy to transition for many athletes from playing their sport to being able to manage it. The only thing to remember is that they also need to have a business mind to manage properly. If they go into it blindly, they could lose the team a lot of money.

Real Estate Mogul

One of pro basketball’s biggest stars, Hakeem Olajuwon decided to go into real estate after his career. He’s earned more than $100 million buying and selling homes in Texas. He carries out his real estate deals in cash due to his Muslim faith.

Bad Mental State

Some stars don’t know what to do once they leave the field. They’re lost staring at a blank canvas. For some, they put their time and energy into their family. They find their second calling. For others, they blow through their money. They use their fame and power for negative. Some like former Premier League football player Clarke Carlisle find themselves in bad mental health soon after retirement. When everything you’ve ever known is no longer there, you often lose a sense of identity.


Some sports stars jump into acting. Sometimes they have no talent, but other times they become big screen stars. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson went from the professional wrestling world into Hollywood. He’s now one of the biggest stars in the world on the big screen. One of The Rock’s co-stars started as a professional diver. Jason Statham was a world championship diver before he became a man in the movies grossing over a billion dollars.


When you’ve got a name people recognize, they somehow start to put their faith in you. It makes sense some of these former sports stars go into government. Professional bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger did it all. He went from building muscles to building his career in Hollywood. After he made a few hit movies, he decided to go for governer of California.


Pro athletes have managers to help them figure out their biggest decisions regarding money, but they have to dive into it a little bit. It’s their livelihood. It’s no surprise that some of these athletes decide to do a little investing. Former basketball pro Junior Bridgeman began his adventure by presiding over the players’ association negotiating player salaries. He then started to buy a few Wendy’s restaurants. From these investments, he became invested in both the company as well as his employees. He became their mentor and helped them navigate their own lives. He made about $400 million this way.

Professional Speaker

Giving pep talks doesn’t just happen in the locker room. After a professional athlete leaves the huddle, many get into public speaking. They talk to other teams, young kids and/or at business functions. They talk about overcoming adversity, teamwork, tenacity, and power. Most professional athletes have outgoing personalities and are able to do great at public speaking, being an event host and as a moderator.

Just Live

Some pro athletes leave the game without a stash of money while others leave with millions stacked in the bank. Some of these athletes choose to just hang out with their family. They take retirement seriously. They take every moment to just be with their family because they probably missed out on a lot of things due to games and events. Being a pro athlete is a job without a lot of wiggle room. They take the time after retirement to live without a schedule set for training, to eat what they want and be free from all of the set rules they’ve known all of their life.

Leaving the pro athlete world might be scary at first, but many athletes find their footing. They find another way to have an identity other than their sport. It may take some time, but most retired athletes find a passion in other things after their young retirement.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here