After the game. Plan.
Prof. Radosevich teams with InitiativeOne to launch ‘PostGame Strategy’ for former professional athletes
We have all heard the stories — former professional athletes, sometimes millionaires, find themselves penniless or having great difficulty transitioning from sports to the business world.
Green Bay-based business InitiativeOne saw a need and a niche to help these athletes. But before launching its new sports division to help transitioning athletes, InitiativeOne tapped into UW-Green Bay Prof. David Radosevich’s nationally recognized expertise in leadership development, organizational change, team development and organizational behavior, to interview and survey athletes about their challenges and strategies for success.
“We learned that most professional athletes experience common hurdles as they transition from the life of an athlete to that of a retired athlete,” states Radosevich. “Those challenges include isolation from the loss of their close-knit team, a sudden end of a completely structured life, loss of continuous feedback on performance and the need to find a new purpose in life.”
In a survey of 763 former NFL players, 61% reported they had difficulties making the transition to the next stage of their lives (Lamonica, 2015). Former Green Bay Packers players Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and Ahman Green also provided tremendous insight for Radosevich’s research.
Together, InitiativeOne and Radosevich developed “PostGame Strategy” — a transformational process tailored to former athletes, which involves mentoring them on how to find their authentic self beneath the public persona created by high-profile sports. The process, says Radosevich, helps athletes channel their “all-in” passion and commitment into non-athletic pursuits. It advises them on where to find support now that the locker room camaraderie is no longer a daily experience, and helps them identify new meaning and purpose in life.
“InitiativeOne has helped me to find my True North…the roadmap for life,” said Green.
PostGame Strategy is available for athletes across all sports and at both the professional and college levels. Other industries have similar leadership transformation processes that have helped individuals and organizations achieve success.
Although many of the challenges revealed in the NFL football research are unique to that demographic, Radosevich pointed out that the lessons learned are not. Life transitions happen to everyone. “Life is about transition,” Prof. Radosevich says. “And game plans are essential for understanding, continued growth and success.”
InitiativeOne is a leadership consulting organization that helps foster high-impact work cultures. The partnership with the Cofrin School of Business encourages businesses to leverage the expertise and energy of UW-Green Bay faculty, staff and students with the services of InitiativeOne. Together, the organizations develop projects and programs that positively influence the greater Green Bay business community. The relationship has proven successful on multiple levels.
— Story by freelance writer Kim Viduski ’92