Welcome to another edition of coffee with Rhadi, I want to talk to you about something that’s very important that I had to work on and deal with in the transition phase from becoming a world class professional athlete to retiring and then becoming who I am today.
A lot of professional athletes, Olympians, people who play NFL, basketball players, volleyball players, etc. even college athletes have a tough time transitioning from what we call the general population into their professional lives. More often than not, you identify yourself with your past and not with your present. And more often than not, we don’t speak of our lives and our future.
I want to talk to you today about the difficulties of that. And the importance of creating the change in your mind of who you are currently.
Many of us like myself look back on my former years and think of vitality, youth, the ability to move, how I used to look, how I used to be, the things that I used to do and I compare those things to what I can do now. And in my maturity, I look on the things that I can do now. I’m wiser now, I appreciate the gray hairs on my head and the ones on my face. I understand that the wisdom that has been acquired over a period of time, allows me to be a lot more efficient in my movements, behaviors, and in my relationships.
Many athletes look at people and things in the wake of their lives. And they look back and they see that the way that they did things was a lot different. When you look at yourself and your body and you see that you’ve changed, understand that not only have you changed physically, but also that you’ve changed mentally. And that particular thing is a positive.
If you look at the Bible, you understand when it says I was young, and now I am old, which means that what you were before you’re not going to be now. Every day you’re growing and getting older, and every day you’re getting closer to dying. I was joking, my kids asked me how are you doing. I say I’m dying. And but I’m also living, the fact of the matter is that you are dying. But in your dying, you don’t have to start projecting death over your life. You can project life over your life.
So how do we do that? Everybody who retires or who finishes sport gets caught in this space of
I don’t know what I’m going to do.
I don’t know what I should do.
I’m not good at anything except for what I’ve done.
I spent bulk of my life doing this particular thing. Now I cannot do this anymore. And that’s rough because in sport, the marketplace kicks you out. Not because you’re not good. Just because you’re not as good as you used to be.
You can be one of the top sprinters in the world running 992. But if you can’t crack that 988 And that 987 to crack the top for the top five or to get in the finals, then you have 992999 just isn’t good enough to be at the top of the world anymore. And that’s an unfortunate thing. It’s hard in the world and rumble sport for people to accept that man. I can’t be good. I have to actually be great in order to have any value in the sporting marketplace. This is why it’s important for you to value yourself.
How do you value yourself? You value yourself by appreciating yourself. I used to think it was so silly when my dad used to tell me that you have to get up in the morning to look in the mirror, you have to say, ‘Rhadi, you’re handsome, you’re beautiful. I love you.’ And you’re going to have a great day to day. I used to think I’m not doing that man.
But I understood the exercise and the value of it when I got older, because as an athlete, you wait for other people to praise you, for your own personal value. When your athletic career is over, and before it’s over, you should start praising yourself in the mirror and talking to yourself to increase your personal appreciation. So, you don’t look to others for your own value.
And lastly, here’s what I want to tell you. You have to stop speaking about yourself, what you used to do. You have to sit down and get some quiet time and think about what do I really want to do now, in this particular time in my life. Some people want to coach, some people want to teach, some people want to walk away from the sport and have nothing to do with it. Some people want to get in real estate, they want to become entrepreneurs, no matter what they want to do, it requires the same thing that you did when you were a professional athlete.
It’s impossible for you to be a professional without touching professionals in that particular thing’s meaning, if you want to be an Olympian, it’s impossible to be an Olympian without touching Olympian’s meaning. Those people who became Olympians were either coached by Olympians, met Olympians at tournaments, talked to Olympians, went to tournaments, where other Olympians went, went to camps where they had other Olympians, had Olympians mentor them for.
If you want to be a doctor, you got to hang around other doctors, meet with doctors and have Doctor mentors.
And if you want to be a PhD, you have to hang around PhDs, you’ll go to college, some of your professors will be PhDs, you’ll go to the office, you’ll meet more PhDs, if you want to do a master’s program, you’ll be around PhDs all the time. And then you’ll be around people who want to be PhDs. And the more PhDs you’re around, the more likelihood it is for you to become a PhD.
It’s like that for everything. No matter what it is that you want to do. That’s just what it is. So, when you sit down and you think about what it is that you want to do, you have to find the relevant people first.
No matter what you want to do. Start finding the people who do that particular thing. Put yourself in that space and place.
This is Dr. Ferguson, have a super fantastic day. Remember I love you but God loves you best and this particular edition of coffee with Rhadi has been brought to you by the book Judo is life. Please go to www.Judoislife.net and get my book Judo is life today.