Collegiate athletes are faced with a multitude of life challenges beyond excelling at their sport. While these student-athletes are hyper-focused on achieving athletic success and balancing academic requirements, some basic life skills and professional development opportunities critical to an athlete’s long-term success off the playing field, are overlooked.
Anomaly focuses on a number of variables that ensure current student-athletes learn the fundamental and advanced skills that can lead to success outside of their sport, as well as their potential transition to having a professional sports career.
Attorney Luke Fedlam gives a lecture about the financial and legal pitfalls many former athletes face during a Real Life Wednesday at Ohio State University's Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. The Ohio State football team attends weekly meetings to discuss life after football. (Columbus Dispatch/Sam Greene)

Areas of Impact

Developing a personal decision-making process

personal decision-making process is the foundation upon which all other life skills conversations can occur, and is often overlooked. Elite athletes are used to making split-second decisions in their sport, but what isn’t taught enough is to slow down their decision making and go through an intentional and systematic process for making decisions outside of their sport.

Understanding legal concepts that impact athletes

Understanding legal concepts that impact players provides a conversation around services and what can be done to protect athletes in the various areas that impact them personally and professionally such as litigation, lawsuits and being taken advantage of. We regularly have these conversations because many athletes do not know how lawyers work to protect their clients beyond what they see on television (primarily lawsuit/criminal focused). Learning about the benefits of having an independent and objective lawyer on the team of advisors helps an athlete develop professionally.

Personal financial management

Understanding the core concepts of personal financial management can serve student-athletes during various levels of an athletic career and long after. The financial universe is a complex area to understand for anyone and these complexities can be overcome through increased education in understanding money, understanding credit and its impact, and providing familiarization with financial markets.

Professional readiness and career planning

Professional readiness and career planning is an important step for student-athletes thinking about the transition after their athletic career concludes. Having a strong grasp of these skills must go beyond resume-building and include topics like finding your passion and career exploration, effective networking and interviewing techniques, developing an executive presence, mentoring and professional relationship building and how to effectively leverage their celebrity towards their career goals.

Brand management and intellectual property protection

Establishing a personal brand beyond a student-athlete’s sport is an important step, especially learning how to leverage their celebrity status for off-the-field success, while playing, through networking and intentional conversations. Much of what makes a student-athlete’s brand, value and potential possible is intangible. Whether it’s your likeness, idea or name and your intellectual property has value and requires protection. If it’s trademarks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets and domain names, athletes can learn to protect and leverage your intellectual property and IP rights, now and in the future.

Social media from the legal perspective

The rapid evolution and use of social media platforms presents athletes with both new opportunities personally and professionally, but it also presents risks, as well. Understanding how to protect your brand and your persona rights given the use of social media is critical for all athletes to understand.

Time management

Professional athletes often struggle with time management for a variety of reasons.  One such reason is because they are still learning how to manage their professional life. There are numerous techniques that athletes can learn and apply in order to gain better control of their time and ultimately their life.  Learning topics like how to prioritize tasks and projects, delegating while still overseeing, organizing free time and how to maintain a personal/professional schedule are critical to overall success.

Managing personal relationships

Managing personal relationships is one of the most emotional challenges athletes face on a regular basis. Understanding how to say no, in addition to learning the right way to yes, are critical skills to acquire. Additionally, with the growth of the #METOO movement and numerous high-profile domestic abuse cases in the national news, athletes don’t need to have a discussion on domestic abuse being wrong. Where they need the help is understanding issues like de-escalating tense situations, avoiding the risk and appearance of questionable situations, establishing positive relationships, and understanding the breadth of what is considered domestic violence.

Managing the transition

Another major engagement area that Anomaly specializes in is the transition process for elite student-athletes into professional sports. Whether it is the selection process for advisors on their management team or how to best protect themselves for long-term success, this half-day seminar utilizes best practice theories and real world scenarios within four interactive and high-energy presentations on how to be more effective in preparation for life during and after a professional sports career. 
The topics included are:
  • Setting Yourself Up For Success: Understanding Your Decision Making Process
  • Managing the Transition: What to Expect When Heading to the Next Level
  • Money In the Bank: Financial Management at the Professional Level
  • The Truth Behind Brand Management: Leveraging Your Celebrity