Finding Your “Special Sauce”

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My first career was teaching. I became a teacher because of my mother’s love for and value of education. Two of my siblings were also teachers. I first experienced my love for teaching when I taught my little sister, two years younger, how to read when I was in first grade. The rush and feeling of accomplishment I felt at age 7 let me know that teaching and developing others was my passion or “special sauce.” Little did I know that this experience would lay the foundation for an amazing career in sports that I could have never imagined. I’ve been blessed to live my passion in education and sports developing athletes and those committed to their success.

The field of athlete development is becoming increasingly popular. There are many individuals who desire to help athletes achieve their personal and athletic goals and I am passionate about helping them to do so. At Hilliard Solutions, our career coaching process provides clients with knowledge, resources and a customized plan that assists them with reaching reach their career goals. While the model consists of six distinct steps: Self-Assessment, Career Exploration, Networking, Professional Development, Career Development Plan and Job Search Plan, the most important aspect of my coaching is helping clients identify their “special sauce.” “Special sauce” is one’s own unique talent, gift or contribution that sets you apart from others. This secret recipe is especially valuable in sports where jobs are extremely competitive and can be hard to land.

Today, more diverse positions exist in the field of athlete development. Non-traditional opportunities are becoming available for those with backgrounds in mental health, social justice, performance enhancement and research. Additionally, Name, Likeness and Image legislation will change the future landscape of college athletics and require a new model of student-athlete development and individuals with broader skill sets and work experiences.

Interested in a career in athlete development? What can you contribute to the field that doesn’t already exist? What opportunities are you preparing yourself for? How do you develop a network critical to your career success? What can you do right now to set yourself apart from others? Most importantly, what is YOUR “special sauce?”

I invite you to check out our career coaching model and attend the Women in Athlete Development Symposium and Networking Event April 5-6, 2020 at the University of Florida. In partnership with the Laboratory for Athlete and Athletics Development Research (LADR), Hilliard Solutions is bringing together industry leading women, practitioners and researchers in the field of athlete development to help you identify your “special sauce” and create a plan to achieve your career goals. Follow us on twitter @HilliardSoluti1 and Instagram at hilliardsolutions for ongoing information and upcoming registration. Live your dreams!

Next Blog: Interested in a Career in Athlete Development?

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