This blog post pertains a little more to the serious middle school, high school and collegiate athlete. However, I think every athlete and parent of athlete could benefit from hearing this information.
One thing I desire athletes to understand is that their mindset can truly change their outlook for the better. An excellent competitor mindset can be developed. I know that the mindset is the foundation for everything an athlete does. Today, I want to talk about the opportunities that athletes have today if their mindset is set on the proper foundation. Things are changing and the modern-day athlete has the ability to gain an immense amount of attention both inside and outside their sport. This is important when it comes to marketing and branding oneself.
I know what you are thinking, “How does an athlete’s mindset help him on the marketing and branding side of things?”
Take a step back and think of it this way. If an athlete is serious about wanting their sport to progress into a career, they must do a few things. They should begin to view their sport as a business. It is no longer just a game. Not only should they start considering the sport to be more of a profession, but it is necessary to regard themselves as the key brand.
When I say ‘looking at yourself as a business’, I mean presenting yourself as someone who could be a very valuable piece to an organization or a team. And I don’t mean just a sports team.
If you aren’t already doing so you must begin to be intentional as an athlete. Intentional about every single thing that you do. Decision making becomes heightened so much more when you see yourself on the path to earning income for your efforts.
Of course, first and foremost your physical efforts within your sport are most important. But remember too as athletes have more of a microscope on them in today’s day and age, their choices outside of their sport become that much more important. For example, the wrong tweet/post nowadays can hurt your reputation and/or even cost you money as a professional. It doesn’t even need to be a recent post, but maybe even one from long ago.
I’m not here to talk about the negative aspects of that microscope. I’m here to talk about the positives. There is abundant opportunity to project the uniqueness of an individual and the characteristics that make them special. There are many avenues to do this and they don’t all have to stem from your sport.
You can really get creative nowadays by showing your passions, likes, dislikes, your motivation, your hobbies and past experiences. The more an athlete can tell their story and allow people to understand that you have an intriguing story that needs to be told, the more marketable you become. This is one way to make yourself more attractive to people outside of your game. This is an area where a lot of things are changing today in sports. You don’t always have to be the most talented. If you are good enough and you brand yourself well enough to be appealing to certain audiences, there are benefits that come with that.
One of the goals of XA is to help the athlete understand the influence that they have outside of the game. One of the reasons for this is because we don’t want athletes to just think that all they have is their sport. There is much they can do and so many avenues they can go just from using the platform of sport. I want the athlete to understand that the sport helps give them a jumpstart. The jumpstart comes from having to develop all the intangible tools built within their sport necessary. These tools need enhancing, and that is what I am excited most to provide. I been familiar with an athletes lifestyle for all of my life and I have been successful at navigating that. I have also been successful at using what I learned through sports at the professional level to leverage building a brand and marketing myself . The game has changed for athletes and I am seeing the progression as to which things are moving. Athletes are now seen as influencers on a whole new level and it is beginning to start at a young age. They should be aware of this and learn how to best take advantage of it. Let me show you how I did.