More so now than ever earlier than, skilled athletes are making ready for all times after sport whereas their careers are nonetheless going. It shouldn’t be unusual for athletes to coach, head to uni then again to the health club all through the week.
But what in regards to the athletes who haven’t discovered their calling but? Those who really feel like they’re being pushed to check for a profession they by no means see eventuating. What occurs to them when it’s time to maneuver on?
That query was going through seashore volleyballer Jess Ngauamo twelve months in the past when she was tossing up whether or not to push ahead for an additional coaching cycle or to name it quits. If she did retire, there was no apparent transfer into the workforce approaching.
Ngauamo was lucky to pursue a profitable school volleyball profession at UCLA, however was by no means impressed to complete her diploma and a ardour for all times outdoors of sport merely didn’t eventuate. The prospect of leaving seashore volleyball for an additional profession was not a simple path to see.
Thankfully for Ngauamo, Volleyball Australia was beginning a brand new course of to assist athletes transition to life post-retirement and assist them on their profession journey. With the assist of her coaches, she was given time to think about her choices, and when she determined to maneuver on, VA Athlete Wellbeing & Engagement Manager Jason Tutt offered simply the assist she wanted.
“Jason gave me a big hand last year,” mentioned Ngauamo. “He set me up with a psych to assist me transition out of sport so it didn’t really feel like I used to be out by myself.
“Through these classes I used to be capable of transition out of sport but in addition then take into consideration what to do subsequent, however not in a means which I felt like I used to be pressured to do something.
“Over about a six month period working with the psych and having chats with Jason I was able to find something that appealed to me.”
That attraction got here within the type of the Queensland Fire & Emergency Services, and she or he is now hopeful of a profession in that discipline.
“There’s a lot of similarities between the firies and a professional sporting career,” mentioned Ngauamo. “There’s numerous issues that align with what I used to do.
“It ticks numerous containers in that sense but in addition gave me a unique goal, and that was the most important factor I believe: to discover a goal outdoors of sport.
“It’s not an easy thing to do because it’s such a big part of your life for so long, and then you lose it, and you’re like ‘what else do I have?’.”
Ngauamo credit Tutt and the athlete wellbeing program at VA with permitting her to see a future post-retirement that she hadn’t set had her sights on a yr in the past.
“They helped me realise there’s just so much to take away from my volleyball career that makes me look like a really appealing, desirable employee,” she mentioned. “I took numerous confidence out of that.
“I think if I didn’t have those support networks around me it would have been a bit of a different 12 months.”
Speaking forward of National Careers week which begins on Monday, Tutt mentioned the brand new transition course of put in place contained in the final two years would profit athletes transferring out of nationwide applications and into retirement.
“One of the key outcomes out of a wellbeing health check with the AIS in late 2021 was to implement a transition strategy for athletes moving out of the sport,” mentioned Tutt. “The first two of these to undergo that have been Damien Schumann and Becchara Palmer who’ve gone into educating and advertising and marketing respectively, nevertheless they have been properly on their technique to doing so by the point their careers got here to an finish.
“We now conduct exit interviews the place profession choices and profession readiness are mentioned, adopted by check-ins on the three, six and 12 month marks.
“With Jess, we recognized early on that pursuing a profession within the firies might be a possibility. Through the AIS’s relationship with the hearth brigade networks across the nation we have been capable of open up a dialog with the QFES and all the things has flowed from there.
“It’s great that we’ve been able to help Jess in her transition out of the sport and I’m sure she will enjoy great success in her career.”
Unable to fully cease the aggressive juices from flowing, Jess is combining her profession pursuit by returning to play netball, a sport she needed to divulge to pursue her volleyball goals.
A former Australian Schools consultant, Ngauamo crammed in with a good friend’s staff final yr and has now been chosen by Gold Coast Titans Netball in Netball Queensland’s Ruby collection.
She says she’s capable of present a singular perspective on the sport alongside some gamers whose careers are solely simply getting began.
“I really feel like a 17-year-old netballer in a 27-year-old’s physique! It’s bizarre being an skilled athlete however inexperienced on the similar time.
“It’s a very different position to be in, but it’s really enjoyable too.”
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