It is great to see the language and narrative changing from long serving and inspirational elite athletes like Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Sebastian Vettel moving into the next chapter of their lives post competitive careers. Replacing the word ‘retirement’ as Serena has so expertly done to evolution, evolving away from tennis towards things that now have a greater significance in her life.
Whilst every athlete’s evolution from sport is different through hearing these three legends of sport talk openly about their experiences, there seems to me to be some themes coming out of that narrative that supports this evolution:
A feeling of autonomy and control in deciding how to evolve.
Embracing the opportunities sport has given them. The joy, the pain, the tears, the laughter, the lessons learnt
Showing gratitude and thanks to those who have helped them to make their dreams a reality
Embracing their identity beyond the sport. Not allowing winning, or losing, to wholly define who they are
Having passions and a sense of belonging outside of sport
To then be able to say as Sebastian captures so well in this video ‘My best race? Still to come’