In the ongoing search for “success,” one of the biggest challenges young professionals face is determining what setting is best for them. Here, I’m going to focus on careers related to sports – whether that is a high-performance role, operations role, or technical staff role – because that is what I am most familiar with.


It’s interesting how, early in our careers, we all dream about coaching in the premier league, being on the sidelines in the NBA, or working in any professional athletic environment. The reality is the professional sports setting is not for everyone. On one hand, we see the perks, the games on TV, and the privileges of working with high-caliber athletes. On the other hand, we don’t always realize the sacrifice it takes to live and work in those environments. People always talk about the sacrifices it takes to become a professional athlete, and I would argue the same for any personnel aiming to work in the professional sports setting. It is a true blessing, yet one of the hardest places to work on a personal and professional level.


I think the ambition and passion of a young professional are key to their future success. At the same time, I believe everyone needs to search for what truly fits their lifestyle, life goals, and values. It’s okay to climb the ladder, but don’t ever lose sight of what your life needs – and what your mind needs. Maybe those needs align better with a different work setting: in a clinic, at a youth club, at the college level, or maybe abroad in a growing country. The further away from the professional level, the more control you regain over your time and your life.