How To Prepare For Life After Softball
As May rolls around each year, seniors come to the end of their softball careers. Whether they are in playoffs, did not make their conference tournaments or are awaiting a possible regional bid, many players will hang up their cleats for good in the coming weeks. This reality often brings up many emotions, and even worries for some, as they prepare to close one chapter of their lives and begin another.
Here are some ways to help prepare for life after softball.
Find your support system
After playing a sport for nearly your whole life, it is difficult to cope with the end of your career. This is a drastic change as you go from having a consistent schedule for classes, practices, weights and games, to now being completely on your own. With all of this newfound free time, it is not uncommon to find yourself being unmotivated or upset. This is where it is important to find your support system. Whether it is family, friends, former teammates or even your former coaches, having support from others who you can talk to about your experience will help you feel less alone. It is also important to take control of your mental health and learn what resources are available for you to help work through your new life without softball.
Find other ways to be involved in the sport
Though you are no longer playing college softball, that does not mean your involvement in the sport has to completely come to an end for you. There are many different avenues to take that will allow you to stay involved in the game. You can coach your own team, become a personal instructor or play in a 23-and-under league just for fun. Or, you could even become an umpire. These are just a few of the ways that you can contribute to the game, even if you are on the other side of the lines.
Stay involved in your softball community
Now that you are graduated, you can keep yourself involved in the game through your school as an alumna. You can donate to the program, go to games and fundraisers to support your program or even help coach if you are able to. Staying involved in the community you gave so much to can help make the transition away from being a player so much easier.
Focus on your career or schooling
Though you may still love softball, you are also now in the real world. You have the time and ability to begin your life outside of your sport and focus your time differently than you did before. You can distract yourself by continuing your education or even beginning your professional career. Each of these avenues will help you assimilate to life off the field.
Find new hobbies and interests
You now have so much free time on your hands, so why not find out who you are without softball as your primary focus? You can explore yourself as an independent person without that one part of your identity. You can travel or learn a new skill that is completely different from anything you've ever done before. Whatever you decide to do, you will feel better by finding something else to put your time and energy into now that you do not have softball as your consistent outlet.