Athletes will transition out of their sport. It is inevitable that one day that athlete will not be able to play any longer. Those transitions occur at one of many events in their athletic career
- A High School athlete that does not get a scholarship to a college and must attend college on their academic performance instead
- A Collegiate athlete that is injured during his/her college career and must now ask ‘What do I do now?”
- A Collegiate Athlete that is not drafted into the Professional leagues
- A Collegiate Athlete that is drafted but does not make the team
- A drafted Collegiate athlete that is placed on the practice squad
- A Professional player that has achieved the impossible of playing and getting paid in their sport is cut. (which is another way to say Fired)
- The Transition out of professional sports can happen because of performance or injury and can happen suddenly or can be planned. However not many athletes get to choose to retire like a Brett Farve.
“Now What Do I Do?” is the one question that hits every athlete. Even those with 10-11 years in the league will take 2-3 years to “transition” out of being an athlete to joining mainstream “civilian” life.
For each of the above situations, the Just One Project initiatives are that the athlete must have the tools to be able to be ready to transition. Each one of the above examples will have a different set of necessary tools with which to utilize.
It is the goal of the Just One Project to integrate current programs with the development of a new set of parameters that will provide the Transitioning Athlete the “play book” by which they will be able to transition out of their sport.
Currently there are many advisors trying to reach out to youth as well as professional athletes about financial education. But as we can see by the headlines, appear to be ineffective. The NFLPA has a Certified Financial Advisor program, yet there is little buy in from the players and even instances where those “certified” were later found guilty of fraud and theft. We believe that by planning the foundation of a transition will also allow us to create a level of financial education and awareness so that the current players will be able to make sound financial decisions regarding their current and future finances.
Furthermore, as the program is developed and implemented it will allow the Just One Project to reach out and provide financial education utilizing sports as the avenue for delivery. Through the myriad of programs that are already established through local YMCA’s, Youth Projects and Youth Sports, we will be able to pass along vital information to young men and women that, although they are not seeking to be professional athletes, will retain the foundation of financial education.
Finally our goal is to have those professional athletes who have gone through the program return as mentors and sponsors to help fuel and support the financial education for student athletes.
Although the intent is to pass along knowledge to those athletes that eventually will become professional athletes, the program will have the additional benefit of reaching out to youth in the lower income and inner city to provide the basics of financial understating.