More Than the Game When people leave their sport, they often feel like they will never get the same joy or sense of fulfillment from anything like they have from the game. The loss of focus, purpose and structure can feel overwhelming, even paralyzing. Too much free time can intensify feelings of depression and lack of motivation. How can you make your time productive so that, despite the grief, this period of transition will be one that is valuable for you?

One way to do this is to list on a piece of paper all of the roles you play or want to play in your life. Roles are the relationships you have and the positions you play in those relationships. Your list may look like this:

  • Husband Father
  • Son Brother
  • Friend Volunteer
  • Student
  • Career Seeker

Leave spaces after each role. Next, put the roles in order starting with the ones that are most important to you. Beneath each you can now list some actions you need to take to strengthen, correct or help you be the person you want to be in that relationship.

Maybe you need to play catch with your son or have a tea party with your daughter. Maybe you need to have a difficult talk with someone or suggest a change in a volunteer situation. Maybe you need to call your former school to get your transcript. If any of these relationships are particularly difficult, maybe you need to take some time and consider how to handle your actions, or ask your GO Mentor for advice. Sometimes just sharing your concerns with someone can help you know what you need to do.

By focusing on your roles you can begin to reconnect with other parts of your life that may have been ignored while you were actively playing the game. Some of these roles may be difficult, but others might provide you with comfort and support that you never knew was available to you.

Maybe nothing will provide the rush of a great game, but other parts of your life can bring joy in a more sustained and quiet way. Your life has always been about more than the game, but sometimes you need to be reminded of that. The heart and passion that you exhibited on the playing field is a part of who you are off the field, as well. Putting that heart and effort into your relationships can make them just as outstanding as your game.

Books to Read:
These ideas are modifications of the work of Stephen Covey found in his book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Another way into these ideas is the book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephen Covey and Sandra Merrill Covey. Both of these books are also available on tape and can be found at

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