Let’s face it: retiring from your favorite sport to enter “real world” business is one of the hardest transition a sports lover can make. From teammates to colleagues … practices to meetings … games to presentations … trophies to performances reviews … coaches to managers … the list goes on. It’s impossible to fully replace the rush of competing through moving up the corporate ladder – but there IS a way to do both. You actually can work and feel the rush at the same time.

From pickup games to picking teams

An all girls basketball team take a team photo together after a training session. team, basketball, sports, activity, teamwork
Leaving the game doesn’t mean leaving your passion behind. Share all that you’ve learned from your field of play with the next generation.

I’ve been playing basketball all my life. Even after retiring from organized play, I continued participating in city leagues, work leagues, pickup games – really anything that simulated the rush of high-level hoops competition. I thought this was the best way to maintain my relationship with the game … but I was wrong.

It wasn’t until I was asked to coach in my spare time outside of work that I really learned what it means to stay connected to the sport you love.

You can’t truly be an expert at anything until you experience it from different perspectives. That’s what the transition from player to coach does – it allows you to expand your sport horizon into places you never considered.

Personal growth through team development

What better way to stay connected to your sport than to cultivate its growth for future generations? I’ve played in championships; I’ve had teammates who were more like family; I’ve traveled up and down the coast playing basketball – but I haven’t felt as close to the game as I did when I was teaching my fifth graders how to dribble through their legs or how to defend against the pick-and-roll.

Coaching outside of work allows you to let the rush of competition flood into other areas of your life – productivity skyrockets, teamwork heightens and a continuum of learning takes precedence.

Coach with female basketball team. team, basketball, coach, plan, sport
By sharing your passions with the next generation of players not only can you inspire, you can empower. ©Inti St Clair/ Getty Images

You don’t ever have to retire from your favorite sport. If you can find an opportunity to coach, you’ll rediscover the same rush in an entirely new way.

Have you made the move from player to coach? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.


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by Cristian Mancilla 08.05.2018
I just dropped off my kid off at school today and oddly I had to remind her that we have an extra soccer practice this week. She says “why can’t we have 3 instead of 2”!

I’m a youth girls soccer coach here in Portland, Oregon. My love for the sport goes back to my 3rd grade year. My mom had to find an activity to keep my brother and I busy while she was at work, so she signed us up. Forward to junior year in high school—my ankle rolled pretty bad, let’s just say my track sprinting days were over. A year later my kid was born and as she grew I wanted to involve her in sports. Today she’s 10 and it’s her 5th year playing soccer. I was asked if I would be interested in volunteering to be a coach, as a parent the natural answer was YES. The thought of coaching kids to help innovate their talent and teach them lessons that don’t just apply to sport but also to their daily life’s was a no brainer. Empowering others is an inspiration of mine specially when coaching the future generation. Making the move from player to coach is an absolute gift, not doubt!

Thank you for this exiting article Melissa.

Cristian Mancilla
by Gustavo M. Lanata 09.05.2018
I love coaching and even before I ever stopped playing. The truth is I was terrible player of sports, but I enjoyed it so much I never stopped until the body stopped. What I learnt from playing was to teach the game. I am a registered baseball coach in Italy and will someday get my coaching license for association football (the football that is actually played with the feet). I would very much like to go back to officiating, but that requires speed so not much chance of that occurring. I enjoyed the advice hopefully others will listen to you and get into coaching as well. Coaching sports, brings colour and flavour to each day so go ahead and try it. Cheers