13 Jun Goldie Sayers on Why Now is the Time to Switch On?
Goldie Sayers retired from athletics earlier this year after nearly two decades at the sharp end of a sport in which she won an Olympic bronze medal and broke the British javelin record. Here she talks to Switch the Play and passes on the wisdom gained during 20 Years of International Sport.
“My number one tip for those preparing for life outside of sport is get yourself a mentor; find someone who has done everything you want to and ask them for help. If you don’t know where to find one become a member of Switched On which has been formed for exactly this reason – to help athletes prepare.This will enable you to avoid your own mistakes, and some of theirs, too! You’ll be surprised how many people want to help if you want to learn. And don’t be afraid to ask questions! If you don’t understand something ask why? I believe it is as important to understand why you’re doing something as it is actually doing it. No single person knows everything, but you can learn something from everyone.
Coaching others has a really big role to play. It consolidates what you know and confirms both to your subconscious and conscious mind what’s most important when it comes to performing well. Coaching those less able than you will not only help them but it will aid your own performance, too.
Remember – It’s your career and you need the best possible people to guide you. No problem is insurmountable with the right people in your corner so create your own team and trust your gut.. Train with the opposition – You might learn something, you might not. Either way, you’ll see they’re beatable!
It’s easy when thinking about life beyond sport to focus on the skills/attributes you don’t have. It’s right to work on your weaknesses, but really develop your strengths. If you’re not sure what they are, ask someone you trust, or again,make the most of organistations like Switch the Play who offer masterclasses in self-awareness through their membership network Switched On.
We naturally have a tendency to be hard on ourselves. It is important to celebrate successes. You’ll never achieve the perfect performance and there will always be something you can improve, so celebrate the good ones as one day it will be impossible to perform like that. You never realise how good you are at the time. Believe that anything is possible.
Most of all we all need to plan for our retirement – Your career in sport will be over in a flash. Having a plan will not only aid your performance but will make the transition easier. Talk to older athletes who’ve been through it and keep some money aside for re-training. It can be enjoyable if you’re prepared, but daunting if you’re not.
Don’t stop moving when you retire. See obstacles as opportunities! Sport can feel like life or death at times. It’s not. So again, enjoy it whilst it lasts!