The Transition by Derrick May


The Transition by Derrick May

My Oldest son and I were talking. He asked me about my and other players transition to the “real world”. I said some do well and some struggle with it. The transition can be tough. After devoting most of your early years to baseball, the end leaves some lost and searching.

When the lights go out on your career or when they start to fade in the transition from professional baseball to the “real world” it can have an emotional, physical and psychological effect on a player. Searching for what’s next, losing sight of the value and skills they have.

Once filled with confidence, decisiveness and focus some will turn to doubt, indecisiveness and lack of focus due to the unknown of what happens next. I’m not talking about the players with the 7-9 figure contracts although fear of the unknown affects them as well. I am talking about the minor league player to the middle of the road player who makes up the majority of baseball. These players will most likely still have to continue to work. Especially, if they have a family.

Transitioning to the “real world” can feel like you are by yourself on an island or dropped on earth from outer space. You feel lost and feel like you have nothing to offer.


However, that is not true. The Transitional players have certain skill sets that translate and have a lot to offer. Some seen and some unseen. As a baseball  player they show abilities they don’t even realize.

  1. Resiliency/mental toughness- bounces back from failure
  2. Competitive- desire to succeed
  3. Compassion- understands and picks people/teammates up when they are down
  4. Sacrifice- does whatever he has to
  5. Doer- does whatever it takes mentality
  6. Humility- understands to speak little when doing well and speak less when not
  7. Teamwork- works together for the same goal
  8. Goal setter- understands the importance of setting goal to succeed
  9. Game planning- plan to succeed

Transitional players should realize that they need a game plan for the transition. They should realize they have a lot to offer and have all the skills to succeed, they were just used in a different way. Transitional players should realize its just a matter of game planning, seeking a mentor and believing. Most Major sports leagues have started transitional programs for transitional players. I believe that MLB will have a Career Transitional Development Program to go along with their Rookie Career Development Program as other Major sports leagues have.

Having a game plan will help with focus to stay on task, confidence in reaching their goal and a sense of levity in knowing they are taking steps to move into his new life and career.

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