The Unique Challenges of the Transitioning Athlete

Life is full of transitions - moments in time that force you out of your comfort zone and into the unknown. It’s one of the only things that’s certain - life is impermanent - which means that you will all be forced to transition out of an old way of being and into something new multiple times throughout your life. 

How you navigate these transitions will determine the direction of your life. That can feel overwhelming and daunting to deal with, especially when you’re in the middle of what might feel like the most uncertain times of your life, which is often the case when you go through a major transition. It’s a vulnerable place to be because whenever you go through a major life transition you are forced to tell yourself a new story, find out who you really are, and understand yourself in a deeper way. 

Ask yourself a simple yet powerful question: Who am I without this thing that defined me for so long? 

When your identity becomes attached to something and you lose it - whether it’s a job, a partner, a place, a belief system - you are forced to figure out who you are without it. Learning who you are without that identifier is a beautiful opportunity... an opportunity to discover yourself in a profound new way.

Transitioning away from your athletic career

Of all the major life transitions, none are as uniquely challenging as leaving professional athletics. Most people don’t understand what this journey is like, and that’s part of what makes it so unique and challenging. Where does an athlete turn to for support or advice when no one can relate to what that experience is really like? Who can truly understand what it’s like to leave professional sports and your journey through:

  • The loss of identity
  • The loss of purpose
  • The loss of camaraderie
  • The loss of challenge
  • The loss of competition
  • The loss of coaching
  • The loss of meaning
  • The loss of a brotherhood of men who know what it’s like to push themselves to the brink of exhaustion and somehow find a way to push just a little bit more for the man next to him. 

There is nothing quite like playing professional sports. Every single athlete has a unique story of overcoming some kind of challenge or adversity. 

As a former athlete, you are a special breed - you are a warrior, leader, and man with rare abilities - the ability to learn from failure, handle adversity, overcome doubt and fear, the mental toughness, discipline, grit, and heart it takes to reach the pinnacle of a professional sport.

Joe Hawley with dog Freedom transitioning from NFL to van life

But when the game is over, where do you go, what do you do, who do you become? 

Former athletes are the type of men that can help make a real difference in the world. But it takes practice and support to know how to harness the energy, heart, and spirit of a warrior that got you so far in sports to learn where to channel it once the game is finally over. 

The thing that’s missing from the equation during your transition is COMMUNITY. 

If only there was a place for you to come together with other powerful men, where you could learn to harness your unique abilities, a place where you can support each other on the journey towards finding deeper meaning and purpose in life - then you could make a real difference in this world. 

Well, now there is a place - a community built exclusively for former male professional athletes who are focused on reaching their highest potential and who want to make a difference in their own lives, their family’s lives, and in the world. It’s called The Härt Collective

You are more than an athlete - you are a WARRIOR - and it’s time that you come together, expand your network, reach deep within your heart, and become a man that the world can look to for inspiration, leadership, and purpose. 

Who are your allies? 

What is your purpose?  

Follow us on Instagram and start expanding your network of brothers.