PLANNING: FRA Career planning

“It’s better to look ahead and prepare, than to look back and regret” Jackie Joyner Kersee, Olympic Heptathlon Champion

Create an effective plan

A bank wouldn’t lend you money without a business plan, governments get elected based on their manifesto and coaches have to have season plans to maximize the training and performance of their athletes. So why should it be different for a Dual Career athlete. But creating a plan needs some structure, so we present a framework from Stambulova (2010) where she shows a model for planning the Dual Career athlete.

The 5-step career planning strategy

Stambulova (2010) presents a simple 5 step process for developing a planning strategy for the Dual Career athlete. The Parent/Guardian can work with the athlete to develop this plan following these 5 simple steps.

Source: Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 1:95–105, 2010Copyright © Association for Applied Sport PsychologyISSN: 2152-0704 print / 2152-0712 online DOI: 10.1080/21520704.2010.528829

Step 1: Make a framework

Draw a life/timeline and mark your birth (the year) as an initial point on the left. Mark your current age or year as the second point on the line. Now you have a framework: the past, the present, and the future. For example:

Step 2: Structure your past

Please take some time to think and then tell about the most important events in your life before now. When did these events happen? Mark their time points on the lifeline.

Step 3: Structure your present

What are the most important parts of your life right now? Write them down as a column. Rank these parts of life on three different scales: personal importance, time spent, stress level. Use 1 as the greatest importance/time/level. Analyse your ranking. Do you devote enough time to your priorities, the most important areas? How stressful are your priority areas? Why? You can use pie charts to divide up these parts of your life if that makes it easier.

Step 4: Structure your future

Think and then tell about the most important events you wish for or expect in the future during your whole life. Mark them on the lifeline. What about during the next 10 years (a bit more detail), during the next 5 years, during next 3 years and during the next year (the most detailed).

Note: It is also possible to use pie-charts for the next 10 years, the next 5 years, the next 3 years, and the next year categories to reflect the importance of different areas of life at that time point.

Step 5a: Bridge your past, present, and future

From the present to the past and back think about what were the most difficult moments/periods in your life before today? How did you cope? What lessons did you learn from your hard experiences? What were the most successful moments/periods in your life before
today? What lessons did you learn from your positive experiences?

Step 5b: Bridge your past, present, and future

From the present to the future think about what do you want to achieve in the priority areas for you right now. Formulate your goals for the nearest six-month or one-year period! Analyse your internal and external resources, helping conditions and factors to reach your goals in your priority areas. Analyse your internal and external barriers, interfering conditions and factors to reaching your goals. Think about how to overcome them. Make an action plan to reach your goals. Think about how to best use the lessons you learned from your past experiences.

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