Dual-career in Sports
The cause of many challenges in Sports is the lack of dual-career pathway

What is a dual-career pathway and why should we care?

By definition, this could be "something outside their career alongside that pursuit within the sport" (Cartigny, 2022).

For me as a coach is a lot more than this. It is an opportunity for another social network outside of sport where the athlete could forge other key relationships based on different interests, where the sport is not the main topic.

So why many professional athletes are ignored if they are on a dual-career pathway?

I do believe this is coming from the pressure to pursue results on the costs of everything. Coaches or even national Federations won't take an athlete who is on a dual-career pathway as seriously compared to those who are only focused on the sport.

The main question however is, are there athletes who only focus on sports?

My belief is that there are none. Yes, there are times that the athlete chooses to put all focus on the sport. But there is always this other "side" - the family, the other friends (from childhood), no matter how small it is. With time, this site will become larger, and more powerful, especially in times of extreme stress caused by the sport (like injury, not good enough results or worse).

As more research on the topic, I read, as more I get convinced that the same thing I have always believed as a coach: dual-career is a key to developing professional, focused, dedicated confident athletes.

It helps to reduce the stress and to understand early the different talents, capacities and potential of the sport. It helps to develop psychological matureness earlier and it simply helps us to understand who are we earlier.

It should exist for coaches as well. It will help reduce burn-out and anxiety.

And yes, it should be managed well.

In order to help, not to stress more the system or the coaches.

It is not easy to manage a dual-career athlete or a coach. But without it, the risk of burn-out, anxiety, and depression is way too high (personal opinion). So why risk it?

System or No-system?
Understanding who makes the difference.