October 1, 2019

The Pro Player Timeline: October

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.

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."

OCTOBER - ADAPTABILITY & CONFIDENCE


By now you may have noticed you are "no longer in Kansas anymore." The players are different, the coaches are different, and the practices and games are for sure not what you are used to. Your level of adaptability as a pro player is the true measure of how long you will last overseas. Some players who refuse to adapt and only seek what they experienced in college play will never be happy and usually fizzle out after one or two seasons. The players who stay flexible with new ideas and situations are the ones that continue to thrive in new clubs and countries each season.

Something important to note about adaptability: this is not a trait that everyone has or can learn. If it's really difficult for you to stretch outside of your comfort zone and be able to adjust to new things, it is probably a good idea to at least try to learn to adapt. However, if you try to adapt and it just gives you anxiety and makes you unhappy, then it's okay to accept that playing professional sports overseas is probably not the right path for you to take. This industry is NOT for everyone, and certain personalities definitely manage the challenges of living and playing abroad better than others.

The confidence you need as a professional must be...professional. It's great to play with a chip on your shoulder and be the leader and savior of your team. But you also need to have an honest humility about your skills and goals, and stay open to improving and the feedback you receive from your coaches and teammates. You have the contract you have for a reason: you are good enough! Now it's time to learn how to be even better so you can continue to climb the ladder in the pro circuit.

For those of you who are still waiting for a contract, October can be extremely tough to get through. It's important for you mentally to have plans for if a contract does not come up, be it in the forms of a temporary job, creative projects, or extending your education. Adapt to the situation at hand, all the while keeping up with your workouts and confidence that the right team will find you through the connections you have made.


More inspiration here >>> Live Well 2019: October


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


When you have already signed...

First impressions are everything right now. First home games, first away games; absolutely be in your best mental, physical, and emotional state to perform at the level you know you are capable of.
Spend time with your teammates outside of your sport.
Bump up social media presence with match schedule invitations, highlights, and photos with fans.
Ask about any local traditions or holidays coming up and plan to spend those with teammates.

When you are not signed yet...

Check professional player transfer lists for your sport from your country and add whatever new players you find to your social media network.
Practice with the closest university or competitive high school team and get permission to film.
Get in touch with your representation again to find out what’s possible at this point from their perspective.

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