Intentional Performers with Brian Levenson

Phil Costa and Rob Curley on Athlete Transition

May 22, 2019

Phil Costa and Rob Curley join us on this week’s episode of the podcast. Phil and Rob recently wrote a book called The Transition Playbook for ATHLETES: How Elite Athletes WIN After Sports. Phil played professional football and was the starting Center for the Dallas Cowboys. After football, he worked for a medical device company assisting heart surgeons through more than 500 operations. In 2018, he decided to go back to school and got his MBA from Columbia Business School and today he lives in Madrid, Spain where he is enrolled in Spanish Language School. Phil has played football at the highest level and has also done academics at the highest level, and he’s somebody who is very thoughtful and intentional with how he’s going about his life. Rob was the winner of the Charles L. Albert award for the most outstanding athlete at Lafayette College. Phil and Rob played football in high school together where Rob was the QB and Phil was the Guard, and Rob went on to play professional football in Europe. Rob has worked in sales for a leading global pharmaceutical manufacturer and today he lives in Bern, Switzerland, where he attends German Language School. These are two worldly guys who also played football at the highest of levels and they’ve come together to share their knowledge and research on athlete transition. Their passion in life is to help people and give advice on how people can better get themselves ready for massive transitions.

In this episode, they discuss what high school was like for them (6:10), if football was their passion (8:10), what college was like (8:40), what Rob did mentally as a QB (10:20), if they loved football (11:20), the details and how they dealt with pain (16:30), what it felt like for Phil to leave the NFL and Rob to leave Lafayette (17:30), what they did on gameday to make sure they were there mentally (20:10), the idea of being a novice vs. an expert (26:20), the advice he’d give to Gronk transitioning out of the NFL (29:00), how they thought about leveraging themselves as athletes (32:10), what they’d tell a high school kid going to play their sport in college (34:20), how people respond to athletes looking at things outside their sport (36:10), if leagues are trying to help current players explore job opportunities once they’re done (39:00), when they realized they wanted to write a book together (42:20), what Rob’s transition was like after playing sports (46:00), what is currently out there on this topic (47:30), what it was like interviewing people for the book (49:00), the similarities athletes did to be successful with the transition (51:10), what athletes miss the most when they left their sport (52:20), the knowledge that Jordan Steffy shared (54:40), transition outside of sport (56:00), and the process of writing a book together (57:20)

Thank you to Phil and Rob for coming on the podcast. Their book is coming out in late May and 100% of the pre-order proceeds are donated to the AthLife Foundation https://athlifefoundation.org/ which supports student-athletes all across the U.S. You can find their book on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Transition-Playbook-ATHLETES-Athletes-Sports/dp/0578500876 and Barnes & Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-transition-playbook-for-athletes-phil-costa/1130810803. Finally, we encourage you to check out their website https://thetransitionplaybook.com/ and you can find them on Instagram @thetransitionplaybook.

Lastly, if you liked this episode and/or any others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

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