What I’ve been up to and where we go from here…

So... It’s been a while since I last published a post here. There’s been a lot going on and I’d like to update you on it.

As many of you know, I spent the last few years working with the fine folks over at Game Plan. This summer, I decided to part ways to scratch a particular itch that’s been nagging me.

Over the past few years of going to college campuses and working with the student-athletes on their identity and career development, I have realized just how much I LOVE being on campus and in athletic departments. I love the energy and the sense of community – there is nothing better. I also realized this is ultimately something I might like to be a part of full-time in an athletic administration perspective.

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Athletic Identity & Athlete Retirement

I spend a lot of time thinking about the transition that occurs when individuals end their athletic careers. Things like: What happens during the transition…what it means emotionally for the person...how it affects the individual’s lifestyle…what we can be doing more of to support people as they go through the process, etc.  Despite the fact that I’ve personally experienced this transition (and currently work with individuals as they go through it) there is still much that I don’t know.

I would argue that biggest portion of this entire process deals with the concept of athletic identity and how a person manages the changes related to it. I’ve written briefly on this before and think it’s quite critical to paint a better picture of the emotions, thoughts and feelings a person experiences as they go through this change in their life.

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The Importance of a Strong Support Network

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post sharing some of my advice for recent college graduates as they enter the “real world.” In writing that, I realized that I have more to say on the topic of building a solid support network and its importance. I hold this concept as a priority in my life and think that we all need to feel like we are a part of something bigger and a part of a community in order to thrive in whatever it is we do each day. 

Times of transition, like graduating from college, finishing your athletic career or starting a new job can cause your network and ties to community to be in flux. This leaves you vulnerable to little support at a time when you need it most. For many athletes, the lack of community is one of the biggest issues that can surface during the transition out of athletics.

 

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A Letter to My Younger Self

Dear Erica,

As I write to you today, I am 31 years old. You graduated from Purdue University nearly nine years ago (which seems like forever ago now). A lot has happened to you since then, too -- a husband, a sweet baby girl, a dog, the start of a career, the change of career path, two house purchases, four different homes (and cities) and several military deployments to the Middle East for your husband. You have met some wonderful people along the way, but have also had to say goodbye to many good friends. A lot of doors have opened because of these great friends as well.

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A Place To Talk Personal Athlete Development

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Erica and I’m a personal coach and athlete development professional. I’m launching this blog to talk about personal athlete development. Why? I think it’s a subject that’s widely ignored at all levels of athletics and that there just aren’t enough resources in place to help athletes transition through the various stages they experience during and after their athletic careers. 

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