Beyond the Game: My Interview with Olympian and Motivational Speaker Trainer Annette Lynch

Posted on by jafremow

Annette Lynch is a 2000 Olympian in the sport of beach volleyball, author of Success Beyond Sport: How to retire from sport and still keep winning and now athlete mentor with Trilogy (, helping athletes with life-long achievement. A motivational speaker, and NLP Trainer, Annette has inspired and taught 1000’s worldwide. I asked Annette to share some of her winning points to help athletes transition beyond sport to fresh and rewarding careers. That is, how can a retired athlete make life their new sport? Read on for Annette’s response:

annettelynchmotivationalspeaker-330x150When I first retired from sport in 2000, I was looking forward to it. I thought I was ready. Six years and 3 retirements later, I retired for the right reasons. I went about studying the science of success, and also saw that other athletes were struggling with transition, traced the steps it took for me to successfully transition, and wrote my book and program, Success beyond Sport, answering the painful questions, “What do I do now?” and “Who am I…without sport?”

Here are 5 winning points to help an athlete transition to new and rewarding careers:

1. Plan Ahead with New GoalsRetirement from sport is inevitable, so plan ahead. Don’t wait until the last whistle blows to decide what you want to do with the rest of your life. Think of your sporting career as part of your overall big picture and consider how your sporting goals are connected to your overall vision for your life?

When considering your future career, dare to dream as you did with your sport. Imagine what it is you really want to do, rather than what you think you should do (or what will make you the most money). You are passionate about your sport, and to be successful in a new career, you want to find that same passion.

2. Believe in YourselfSuccessful athletes have this belief in their ability on the sporting field. This self-belief is what drives champions to win. You need that same self-belief in yourself in a new career. Failure to believe results in failure. If you don’t believe you can do something, then you won’t try or you won’t give 100%. This is the root of self-sabotage. Similarly, limiting beliefs, such as “I am stupid” or “I don’t have the right education” can stop someone from seeking the necessary education and training. You can do anything when you set your mind to it.

3. Define New PrioritiesWith sport out of the equation, an athlete needs to define what is most important now. These priorities need to align with your goals. If you want to achieve financial success, then you need to pay attention to your finances. If you want to have a great relationship, then you need to pay attention to that. With priorities, it’s not about having only this, not that. It’s about balancing and paying attention. If you don’t like the results you are getting, then look at what you are paying attention to and whether your actions are supporting you.

4. Build a TeamAthletes do not achieve success on their own, and neither do business people. You need people to support you and work with you in some capacity. I believe coaches are an important part of that team. I am a coach, and I have had several coaches over the yearssupporting me, teaching and mentoring me to greater levels of success. A coach will have experience that you don’t; will provide honest feedback; and help you think outside of the box. Beside a coach, consider who else to align with to help you reach your goals.  

5. Be more than an AthleteThis is the most important point to transition. An athlete needs to identify with a new expanded role. An athlete is in danger of defining themselves by their sport and their athletic career. Labels are limiting and are only in our mind. When you choose who you want or need to BE in order to achieve your goals, you will find greater success comes your way.

Transition is challenging, and it takes preparation, awareness and flexibility to move forward and make it as smooth as possible.

Annette Lynch on the Internet:



Dr. Jim Afremow is a leading mental coach, a licensed professional counselor, and the author of The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train and Thrive (Rodale, January 2014.) Though his private practice is located in Phoenix, Arizona, Dr. Afremow provides individual and group mental training services across the globe to athletes in all sports, as well as to parents, business professionals, and all others engaged in highly-demanding endeavors. His website is