Let’s face it, collegiate and pro athletic stars have given too many examples of ways they can crash and burn outside of the playing field. Whether it is one who chose to punch his fiancée, get a picture taken using illegal drugs, sexting, or sporting a handgun – such choices can ruin an entire career, sometimes even before it begins. But for some, it’s possible to recover, bounce back, take control of their life moving forward.
Here are some of the steps needed – but keep in mind, the best option is still not to get in trouble in the first place.
Admit to the mistakes and stop being arrogant
No matter what the offense was that set the crisis in motion, don’t drag out the damage. Admit to the problem, figure out a way to make it right and show an intention to follow the proper course in the future. And for heaven’s sake, don’t act like an arrogant jerk whose talent means he’s above the regular rules the rest of us follow.
Think how long the Tiger Woods scandal went on – mainly because he refused to accept he had been caught and start turning the tide.
Instead, his denial made journalists and others dig deeper, force more of his secrets into the public view until ultimately it was impossible to not admit the problem and hide away in a treatment center. If he had done that sooner, the damage to his career and his personal life might have been considerable less.
If you aren’t yet widely recognizable to the public, even if you’ve been convicted, or pictures have been leaked, it will probably be easier to recover and have a career, though resolving the problem and putting it behind you is imperative – don’t keep following the same bad behavior.
For those who are widely known, it’s also possible to recover, but only with the support of team owners, coaches, and management. If they aren’t willing to take the risk, there’s not much hope. However, some athletes function outside of those restrictions, golfers, swimmers, race car drivers are all prime examples of those who may continue in their careers, but sponsorships may run dry for a time, at least until you can prove your ability to bring them revenue with your accomplishments.
Stay clear of scandal
Since almost everyone carries a smartphone with camera and video capabilities these days, bad decisions in public will probably make their way onto social media or other reports. And as the number of such incidents rises, the public outrage grows. In the past, as long as athletes still did well while playing, a lot of stuff got swept under the table and overlooked. That trend has been changing. And when organizations like the NFL only hit egregious misbehavior with minor fines or short suspensions, the public has started to voice their concern and anger.
So, staying clear of any scandal will always be the best defense for keeping an athletic career on course.