One thing that I have noticed that nobody ever really addresses is, how a student-athlete whose whole life up until graduating from high school or college has had a set schedule of workouts and/or competitions throughout the entire year changes dramatically to having no real guarantee of ever being able to compete at a high level ever again. This puts many young people into a state of limbo, and many feel that they have lost their purpose in life. I can say that I also fall into that category of individuals that have felt lost without the steady amount of competition that football provided over the course of the last 8 years (give or take since my sophomore year of high school).
After graduating from college around this time last year I was still in a state of denial that my college career was over. That was quickly over after about the second week at home with my parents asking me what my plans for the future were and what jobs I was looking to apply for and to get into. That reality check threw me into a bit of a depression for a few months realizing that there weren’t anymore guaranteed games left in my career.
I really was in a deep funk up until about mid July when I went to my friend’s soccer game, and their goalie happened to be late. Needing 1 more player they asked me to play goalie for the time being, of course participating in competitions is always more fun than watching so I agreed. Even though we ended up losing this was the most fun I had in quite some time, this is where I realized that I need some sort of competition in my life at almost all times or else it feels like my purpose has been lost.
The only difficult thing is trying to find outlets to get this sense of competition out of my system in healthy ways. Having said that, I would love to be able to play professional football however small the odds of that happening are, so at the moment I have to compete against myself to make sure that I am better today than I was yesterday.