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.
Areas of Impact
Developing a personal decision-making process
A personal decision-making process is the foundation upon which all other life skills conversations occur. While student-athletes are trained to make split-second decisions in their sport, they often are not taught how to slow down their decision making and go through an intentional and systematic process for making decisions outside of their sport.
Personal financial management
Understanding the core concepts of personal financial management can help a student-athlete both during their collegiate athletic career and long after, especially with Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) opportunities on the horizon. One of the reasons student-athletes experience financial hardship is because the financial universe is a complex area to understand.
These complexities, however, can be overcome with increased practical education in understanding money, understanding credit and its impact and providing familiarization with savings strategies and financial markets.
Name, Image and Likeness (NIL), intellectual property protection and brand management
The cornerstone of the Name, Image and Likeness conversation is the fact that these identifying aspects of an individual’s identity are intellectual property (IP) that (1) are owned by the individual; (2) have inherent value; and (3) require protection. In order to protect those rights, including licensing those rights to others, could require some trademark and other intellectual property protections. Student-athletes will need to learn how to protect and leverage intellectual property and IP rights, including trademarks, copyrights and domain names.
Regardless of the future NCAA structure created for NIL, student-athletes, and their families, must receive real-world practical education in the areas of: IP rights, financial management, taxes, the financial aid and cost benefit analysis, and advisor selection (i.e. marketing agent).
Social media from the legal perspective
The rapid evolution and use of social media platforms presents student-athletes with both new opportunities personally and professionally, but it also presents risks.. Understanding how to protect your brand and your persona rights given the use of social media is critical for all athletes to understand.
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.
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 conversation. Much of what makes a student-athlete’s brand, value and potential possible is intangible.
Managing personal relationships
Managing personal relationships is one of the most emotional challenges student-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, student-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, and establishing positive relationships.
Elite student-athletes: Managing the Transition
Another engagement area that Anomaly specializes in is the transition process for elite student-athletes into professional sports. Whether it is the selection process for 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