New Book Announcement: CareerBall: The Sport Athletes Play When They’re Through Playing Sports

Book Tackles the Growing Challenge Athletes Face Today in Developing a Post-Sports Identity and Meaningful Career Development Plan

Kansas City, MO, November 26, 2009 --( Russ Hafferkamp, Founder of Career Athletes and CEO of Athlete Career Network, answers the question of ‘what’s next’ for hundreds of thousands of competitive athletes facing career uncertainty, loss of identity as they transition away from sports and a changing employment landscape.

Considered a leading voice nationally in athlete career development, Hafferkamp is a former collegiate All-American and elite athlete who has provided career advice and counsel to more than 250,000 collegiate and professional athletes. CareerBall: The Sport Athletes Play When They’re Through Playing Sports dissects the athlete DNA, informs athletes of the unique career development challenges facing them, and alerts athletes and parents to the dangers of tunnel vision, where sports becomes 100% of an athletes self-image.

“Today, athletes, parents, administrators and agents, are beginning to realize that a singularly focused, over-commitment to competitive athletics has produced an unintended consequence of crisis proportions,” says Russ Hafferkamp, author of CareerBall: The Sport Athletes Play When They’re Through Playing Sports and managing director of Career Athletes. “Participation in professional and amateur sports now requires a year-round time commitment, leaving athletes without a broad set of life experiences and ill-prepared for the requirements of a competitive employment economy.”

The times have changed, and Hafferkamp believes passionately that athletes need to now exercise greater self-responsibility in how they balance a commitment to sports and preparing for life-after-sports.

“It is important to realize that we are now living in times when most of the rules of the employment market have changed,” says Hafferkamp. “In the old days, career planning and development for athletes was rewarded mostly by networking and showing up for the interview. Today, competing successfully in the work place requires more preparation and effort. Also, you better come to the interview with some previous experience (part-time jobs, internships, even volunteerism). Unfortunately, today’s athletes possess very little work experience as a result of increasing time constraints.”

Among other practical job-search/job-find advice, CareerBall: The Sport Athletes Play When They’re Through Playing Sports also explores:

• The “dark side of the alpha male”
• The obstacles women athletes face operating in the good ‘ol boy network’
• The keys to “overcoming life’s little screw-ups”
• The importance of “knowing thyself” and correctly assessing your personal interests, work values and defining your “Athlete Core Message,” defined as what you have learned through your athletic participation that is directly transferable to the workplace.

With an economic and employment ‘reset’ well underway, Hafferkamp also examines where the world is headed and key employment trends for 2010 and beyond. He puts to rest the notion that there is still job security or that people will have only one career in a lifetime. Hafferkamp argues that in fact, there may be a distinct advantage for the prepared athlete in this sort of competitive environment where jobs are scare and the applicants are many. Employers are taking a new look at highly competitive individuals that can stare down dire times, bring optimism and a work ethic to the party, and continue to build for the future.

“Athletics largely shape who we are,” says Hafferkamp. “And the good news is that hiring managers and HR professionals across America readily identify the athlete ‘soft-skills’ as a very valuable commodity in the workforce. Sport has always been a terrific and proven learning ground for life skills.”

Integral to the message in CareerBall: The Sport Athletes Play When They’re Through Playing Sports is that if you want to achieve success in your post-athletic career, you have to break the control of ‘tunnel vision’ and gather broader life and work experiences while you compete. Living in a post-industrial, high-tech society requires all prospective employees to demonstrate both intelligence and concrete work skills- not just athletic accomplishments or a recommendation from important alumni. Lacking the necessary skills and mobility required for getting the good jobs of tomorrow will be tough obstacles to overcome if all you have to show on your resume is a long history of touchdowns and team spirit.

Russ’ best advice is don’t be asleep at the switch. “Unless you’re making seven-figures a year and signed to a multi-year contract, being a good athlete is no guarantee that you will succeed in your career after sports or, for that matter, even find a job”.

About The Author:
Russ Hafferkamp is recognized as a leader and coach in the career development of collegiate and elites athletes. A successful entrepreneur and CEO, Russ has headed a variety of market-leading companies and since founding Career Athletes, has provided career training and counsel to over 250,000 competitive athletes, representing every sport. Russ is a former NCAA All-American water polo player, college coach and conducts seminars nationally on athlete transition issues. Career Athletes is the leading provider of career development training, education, placement and alumni athlete networking services within the collegiate athletic community.

CareerBall: The Sport Athletes Play When They’re Through Playing Sports
282-page paperback: $18.95; BookSurge Publishing
ISBN-10: 143924832X; ISBN-13: 978-1439248324

For Interview Requests And Review Copies:
Media Contact: Dan Lobring, rEvolution
Phone: 312.529.5833

Career Ball
Dan Lobring