Friday, March 21, 2008

Helping pro athletes reboot after their playing days are over

Great story in this week’s New Yorker about former Mets and Phillies baseball star Lenny Dykstra, who is launching a new magazine aimed at pro athletes called The Players Club.

With the magazine as his main vehicle, he wants to encourage athletes in their prime to set aside a half-million dollars a year in a customized retirement account to insure their financial security for later life.

“There are all these hard luck stories (about former athletes),” said Randall Kane, editor of The Players Club. “We’re going to educate these guys to take advantage of this windfall. ‘Keep Living the Dream,’ that’s our working slogan.”

It’s a fun article about a true character who says, “I’m forty-four, with a lot of mileage, dude. A lot of mileage… You get to a point in your life where, yeah, I loved baseball, but baseball’s a small part. I’m going to build something that can change the ---- outcome of people’s lives.”

He describes critical decision points in life as “like the one-one count.” A baseball metaphor, it means that “some moments, and the choices they bring, are more fateful than others (i.e., the next pitch makes all the difference)… If a batter falls behind, one ball and two strikes, he’s in a hole from which, the statistics augur, he will not recover, even if he is Barry Bonds; and if he gets ahead, to two balls and one strike, he wrests control from the pitcher and takes charge of his own destiny.”

Maybe you weren’t able to “set aside a half million dollars” for your later years, but the game is not over. Lenny might say you’re at the one-one count. What decision will you make about the rest of your at bat? A reboot could make the count two and one in your favor.


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