Athletic Support

By Drake Fages

As a young boy playing Little League I can remember how the perfect day would go: I remember waking up, hopping out of bed, throwing on my purple Rockies Tee-Ball uniform, and charging downstairs to watch some early morning cartoons before heading to the sports park with my best friend and neighbor, Colin. As a chubbier kid, the lineup of breakfast, cartoons, baseball, Colin, and a post-game snack (praying for anything but fruit!) made life more than worth living. 

When I was in high school I heard of someone creating a beautiful scenario called “summer ball”. This is where thousands of college and high school baseball players from around the country join and move to different leagues and states for 3 months. Mostly unsupervised, all we did was wake up, eat breakfast, work out, play baseball, eat more (whatever we wanted), and repeat.

Every-Single-Day. 

I wanted to do this forever. I knew I had the talent to be an elite player, and I craved this life for myself. As I was recruited to play in college on a baseball scholarship, I knew deep in my bones that this was going to be my future forever. 

Life was awesome! But then I had a moment that every athlete has in one way or another. Following the best year of baseball I had ever played, two weeks away from the Major League Baseball Draft, I broke several vertebrae in my back in the middle of a swing. I guess I swung too hard? My final season of summer baseball turned from a red carpet ride to rehab, ice, and what turned into a permanent position on the bench. 

I knew I needed to figure out who I was, where I wanted to go, and what was to come of me now. I was in a crisis and had no clue what to do. 

All athletes face the traumatic moment when they realize that their dreams and goals are no longer possible. 

Elite athletes get to their level for a reason- they’ve been insanely focused on their sport, to the detriment of other parts of their lives. They focused, they trained, they blew off school, they turned down internships or job opportunities, they had private coaches, they had physical training, they traveled- and ultimately believed that they would never stop playing. 

But then, one day, it's done. 

I did not have a plan at all, much less a clear understanding of what a great future could look like because the plot I had been working on for 17 seasons was erased. I needed some sort of guide and a process to help me find it.

Athletes are incredibly focused, but they’re also incredibly needy. 

They need help, maybe even more help than “regular people.” Why? Because their tunnel vision has actually kept them underdeveloped from exploring other paths in life. 

Elite athletes need a process and a guide to help them explore who they are outside of sports. They need time and space to reflect, to draw connections, to ask big questions and to have deep conversations around thoughtful questions.

Sports will end. The story will change. But athletes don’t deserve to be caught off guard- they deserve better. They have so much potential waiting to be harnessed and untapped. They can focus, work hard, work together, learn from difficult leaders, suffer through pain, ask for help, solve their own problems, own their own mistakes, and are far from lazy. In many ways, young athletes today are the bright, shining anomaly in the land of entitled Millennials. 

Rather than the story ending, what if athletes could see a future that was not only compelling, but just as compelling and exciting as the sport they pursued?

What if they could harness the focus, the mindset, and the attitude that helped them be so successful, and redirect it toward a great story for their future?

We have a 1-1 and peer-based group program customized by athletes for athletes—a deep dive to help athletes realize who they truly are, find a life mission to organize their lives around, and see the way their current/former sport have prepared them for the future. We’ve been working with athletes on all levels and have learned what they need and how to help them. 

Contact us today to learn how The YouSchool Athletic Program can be customized for your environment.

Drake Fages is a bearded mystery. One moment he's laughing at his own jokes with a group of coaches, the next minute he's challenging a student to work harder. He is a carpenter-in-training, a lifelong Dodgers fan, and an aficionado of plaid. After a career detour selling medical devices, he has found his sweet spot working with student-athletes, coaches, and parents at the YouSchool. Connect with Drake on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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