ADAPT, GROW, THRIVE for sports transition.

Transitioning from elite sport into a new career can be a challenging, confronting and lonely experience, particularly if the transition has been forced by injury or other unforeseen circumstances. Luckily there’s lots of help out to support athletes at each stage of the process and the book ADAPT, GROW, THRIVE; How to supercharge your career is one resource which athletes could find invaluable.

The lack of structure and feeling lost are common challenges faced by transitioning sports people. ADAPT, GROW, THRIVE takes you through workplace scenarios step by step, offering practical advice and encouraging you to apply the ideas to your own situation.

What is ADAPT, GROW, THRIVE about?

The book takes you on the journey of the early stages of a new career, from the point of entering a job. From the early days of ADAPTing to your new environment through to THRIVing a more senior, leadership role in the near future, Kelly lays out the challenges you can expect to face, the skills you can expect to need and the opportunities you may see in front of you.

Kelly draws on her decades of business experience to help you build the resilience and confidence you need to seize your new career with positivity and make it work for you. It is a practical, honest view of business life, with some lighthearted story-telling along the way.

It is NOT SECTOR specific. It is NOT ROLE specific. It focuses on you as a UNIQUE human and helps you to channel your strengths and ambitions into succeeding in a new career.

Why is it useful for transitioning athletes?

As an elite athlete you may not have had much experience in a business setting or you may have had a job which was useful purely because it fit in around your sport, rather than providing a career for you. Either way, you may be feeling a bit vulnerable when you start in a business. This is completely normal, and in fact everyone feels like this in the early part of a new career.

soccer ball on grass field during daytime

ADAPT, GROW, THRIVE addresses common situations that you may find yourself in and walks you through how to tackle them to get the most useful outcome. You’ll be shown useful skills such as:

Decision making


Healthy disagreement

Goal setting

At the end of every section, there’s an exercise to help you reflect on the previous topic and apply it to your real life and some top tips to take with you; preparing you in the best way possible to feel confident in your new role.

How do I use the book?

ADAPT, GROW, THRIVE is broken down into short topics, each addressing a very specific situation or set of skills. As you move along the fictional river journey of your career, it builds on your knowledge and experience in easy, bite-sized sections.

It can be read end-to-end as a developing story or you can cherry-pick the topic you want to know more about from the contents page and dive straight in. Kelly wrote it with the intention of you being able to go back to the book time again to refresh your memory on a particular situation as you encounter it. It’s like having a career mentor in your back pocket!

What else can help me?

Kelly works with organisations such as Switch the Play, LAPS (Life After Professional Sport) and Gameplan Financial who are all dedicated to support an athlete’s journey into a new career.

They all offer tailored support in the shape of new career roles, 1-to-1 mentoring, training, knowledge hubs, events… and lots more.

Kelly also provides 1-to-1 mentoring to elite athletes who are thinking about transitioning or who have just taken the plunge and need a little extra support. Please contact her for more details.

Bite-sized Tips for Transitioning Athletes

Q1: Why should I plan for transition now when my sporting career is going so well?
Q2: I only know how to play my sport. How do I relate this to a new career in business?
Q3: It’s so overwhelming, where do I start?
Q4: I don’t know anyone outside sport, how do I find a job?
Q5: I’m fully committed to my sport, where do I find the time?

Published by Kelly Whalley

Co-Founder of Find Your Wings. Mentor, digital marketing expert, H.E.A.L.T.H.Y career creator and consultant, on the side of being a mum of two.

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