December 1, 2019

The Pro Player Timeline: December

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.


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.

Beyond Athletic Podcast:

How to Give 100% Without Fear with Dino Marcan

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."


December can be an absolutely magical month abroad! Hopefully, your team is having a decent season so you can have the energy to enjoy the festive atmosphere in your spare time. This is the month to look outward and think about the new relationships you may have already invested in and make it a priority to continue building your community through your generosity.

Of course, you should already have a healthy community of relationships in your team. If this is still difficult at this point (for whatever reason), choose to focus on the one or two players you get along with the best and really connect with those teammates to keep building value into the team you spend with your team. You can also be investing in your peer community of other foreigners playing abroad via social media, small group video calls (like an online Bible study), visiting other pro players during your off-days, etc.

This is also a great chance during the Christmas season to build community by reaching out to players on the youth teams in your club, fans who consistently come to matches, neighbors, and the people you interact with in stores, restaurants, and so on. You can create handmade gifts, throw a cookie-baking party, give out the cookies you bake, educate the world about the fun of ugly Christmas sweaters; the sky is the limit on how you can build community during December!

If you are not on a team yet, you are working to build community through networking with other players, coaches, agents, and clubs in your sport. Great places to find other professional players are Instagram and Facebook, friends of friends, and just keep asking people to connect you with any and all the people overseas they know. Even people overseas who aren't playing sports can be a huge help with learning about travel and visa requirements, how to adapt to the culture, and what to bring with you.

Generosity can go a long way in making connections abroad. As the outsider, it is important to be generous with ideas, thoughts, time, space, stuff, and basically...everything. This generosity of spirit fits with the season, but it also can be a great mindset to live by and bring to every team you get to be a part of in your life, both in and out of your sport. Having an open and giving heart is what will ultimately create and sustain your community abroad while also maintaining your connections back home.

More inspiration here >>> Live Well 2019: December

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...

Create a highlight video from the matches you have played so far. Upload to your social media platforms.
Pick 1-2 of your best matches from the first half of season and upload to your Google Drive.
Update your CV to reflect your current team and fresh playing links.
Think of new traditions for the Christmas holiday that you can implement with your new community if you are not returning home.
It's a great idea to invite your family and friends to celebrate the holiday in your part of the world, too!
If returning home, take back the things/clothing you haven't used and think about the items you have missed to bring back with you.
Pay attention to your nutrition during the holiday season; enjoy the food, but remember you are in the middle of your season and your eating choices should show that.
Continue maintenance workouts during any time off you may have.

When you are not signed yet...

Send holiday greetings to all the contacts you have made so far with players, coaches, agents, and teams to check in on if they need any players (or have heard of any other teams needing players!) at the mid-season point.
Explore other possibilities for moving abroad with a job transfer, teaching English, teaching in international schools, freelancing, location-independent work, etc.
Take a tryout trip right after Christmas that lasts until at least the middle of January for your best possible chances of finding a team...and be open to the idea that maybe you’ll even find another job locally and just play for fun on the team you find!

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 The Pro Player Timeline