Written by Allison Koehler, Freelance Writer for Brick Media


There are many parallels between playing in professional sports and working in business.


To achieve success, athletes must have discipline, determination, focus to succeed, and, above all, be a team player. Week in and week out, players are performing at a high level under immense pressure. These are all characteristics that make entrepreneurship a natural step in the post-football path.

That path is taken a lot sooner for pro football players than it does for more traditional careers. There’s a saying that the NFL stands for “Not For Long”. Due to its violent nature wreaking havoc on players’ bodies, the average league retirement age is 27 years old; still considered young adulthood. By comparison, the national average retirement age is 63.

For most football players, retirement is not prototypical, and it should be thought of more of a transition; they are merely pivoting from one career to another. Changing careers is a stressful period in a pro athlete’s life as, for many, their purpose and identity have been tied to playing football.

Life After Football

Adjusting to life post-NFL is a real challenge that can present issues such as mental and physical health concerns and bankruptcy. Sports Illustrated once estimated that 80% of ex-pro athletes go broke in their first three years out of the league.

Divorce, child support, poor financial planning, and lack of preparedness are among the challenges that factor into this hardship. But for those who are fully prepared and maintain a well-rounded life outside of their football career, the transition can be a more positive experience.

Former players are using the money they’ve earned to tap into their entrepreneurial spirit. LinkedIn analyzed profiles of more than 3,000 ex-players and concluded that 42% transitioned from the football field to the business field.

Athletes to Entrepreneurs Series

Beginning THIS Tuesday September 24th, Brick Business Digest will spotlight former players who have taken the leap from pro ball to business in its recurring series Athletes to Entrepreneurs.

Each will offer insight into his progression from the grind of football to the grind of entrepreneurship and how digital media marketing affects success.

We hope you tune in!


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