March 1, 2019

The Pro Player Timeline: March

Working from The Pro Player Timeline: Overview, this individual month post focuses on what a professional player overseas - or an aspiring pro player - should be outlining each specific month of the year like.

SEE ALSO:

Navigating Sports Abroad blog post.

Play Abroad 101 for the most accurate preparation in print.

The Pro Player Timeline: Daily 

The Pro Player Timeline: Weekly.


Most players looking to play professionally overseas don't really have any idea how to do it! This is not your fault; unless you know someone who has done it or have incredible connections already in the pro world of your sport - you try searching Google and barely anything comes up. A few agencies, some club team pages, maybe an incomplete Wikipedia page about a league or two.

Wait - why doesn't the USA have a pro volleyball league?!
That post coming soon...!

Pro sports are cyclical. What might be a frenzy of hiring in August right before the season starts can occur again in January at mid-season transfer periods. Players coming out of university eligibility are ready to go pro at different times, depending on graduating in December or May.


How you handle the months of your year will vary depending on if you are already signed and with your team or not signed with anyone yet. The first section of this post will deal with "When you are signed," and the second section of this post will give advice for what to do "When you are not signed yet."

MARCH - GRIT & INTENSITY


Grit and intensity are two of my favorite words, not just for sports, but for life! I learned the most about the meaning of these words during my time as a camper, coach, and director at NBC Camps. The long camp days filled with volleyball and basketball were gruelling and exhausting. By the time dinner rolled around, we had nearly nothing left to give physically. Then we would play competitive games somehow! But the real grit and intensity came after all the sports for the day were done, and we would meet as a group to think and learn about real life things. Things like how to make the best decisions, how to be an influencer, how to take care of teammates, how to make the right kind of sacrifices, and how to be the best person I could be - not just the best player - both on and off the court.

I learned as a teenager that even if I felt like I had nothing left, I still had more. Then, on top of that, I learned to be as prepared as possible to handle anything and everything mentally and emotionally. Learning this definitely prepared me for the grit and intensity I needed to get through college volleyball and beyond.

Pro sports can be a very long grind. Most seasons are at least six months, if not ten. If you come abroad at the half season point, you may be fresh and fine for the remaining three to four months, but you have to remember your teammates have already put in many months of work ahead of you and their perspective is much different. If you do not know how to reach into your inner soul depths and derive grit and intensity on your own for yourself, it's going to feel like the longest season of your life.

So, how do you reach those inner soul depths and dig out grit and intensity? It starts with a simple sentence, backed by 100% belief and confidence: I still have more. It's not about doing so many extra repetitions that you can't move the next day. What it's about is finding the strength in your own spirit to perform with intensity when your team is behind at the end of a game and your teammates don't want to try anymore. It's about making eye contact and listening to your coach even after a long practice that you may or may not have agreed with all the exercises. It's about choosing to believe in yourself and your teammates even after poor decisions, bad mistakes, or devastating losses.

Partnering with your passion and purpose from February, your grit and intensity can actually set yourself and others around you on fire!!! This is the most exciting attitude to take on when entering the home stretch of your season, and it's up to you to keep your fire strong to share your light with your team and community.


You still have more.


More inspiration here >>> Live Well 2019: March


Every month of your year can be outlined with a theme, enhanced with motivational reminders, and structured in a way that you day-to-day activities promote your short and long term growth and well-being.


When you are signed...

Work to bump social media presence up another level by connecting with other pro athletes and coaches throughout your league, country, and continent.
Find ways to keep yourself fresh, both mentally and physically: check out the Pro Player Timeline: Weekly for great and creative ideas on how to do this!
Finish regular season matches strong, potentially building toward playoffs.
Contact an accountant who can assist you with earned income abroad from fall part of season for upcoming taxes. (Financial tips and info will be available in The Pro Player Timeline eBook!)



When you are not signed yet...

Do your research as best as you can.
(Here's a good place to start: bit.ly/PlayProInfo)
Contact current and previous pro players.
Contact agents and agencies to find the best fit for your goals.
Learn about different leagues, levels, and countries.
Read Navigating Sports Abroad blog post.
Read Play Abroad 101 for the most accurate preparation in print.
Create your pro sport brand social media platforms, while also tightening up your social media image from the past (any inappropriate/upsetting/unnecessary comments, photos, videos, etc.).
Dedicate a Google Drive folder to your documents, photos, and videos, so you can easily attach and link your information to teams.
Build your CV (player resumé) to show your basic data, playing history, accomplishments, and video.
Make sure you are working out and practicing your sport at the highest level possible on a regular basis AND getting video proof by recording and uploading the full session or highlights.

If you've already done these things based on the January and February posts, then March can be used for finding where you may fit best in your sport abroad. Not everyone can get "paid to play." If you have been working for a few months to hire an agent or find a team that will pay you and haven't had any hits, it is time to consider your other options. 

You can definitely still find a team to play for, but maybe while you study or work another job. This free eBook can help with coming up with ideas: 8 Steps to Move Abroad Now.

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