Vin McCaffrey is a former college basketball player at Lehigh University and is now the Founder & CEO of Game Plan. Game Plan is a student-athlete development platform that unifies the student-athlete experience and aligns athletic departments, athletes, and employers for the good of all.
As a member of the men’s basketball team at Lehigh University Vin saw first-hand the challenges student-athletes face. Early on in the interview we talk about the giant GPA holes we dug for ourselves in our first semester of freshman year. Vin eventually went on to earn a Bachelor’s in International Relations in 1998 and started his professional career with Lexmark International. Following Lexmark, Vin worked in the financial and technology industries leading various business development initiatives. His passion for the student-athlete experience never left him and after he completed his Master’s in Business Administration in 2008 from Indiana University, he started Game Plan. In this episode Vin and I talk all things related about an athletes journey to a life after sports. We hope to prevent athletes from going through some of the things we struggled with throughout our athletic careers and after retirement from sport.
Below are some of the topics we touch on in our conversation:
- Managing the new found freedom experienced when freshman get on campus.
- The benefits of the structured sports schedule.
- How to identify key interests, choosing majors and career paths, through the use of interest inventories.
- College majors and schedule conflicts for athletes.
- Vin talks about the sting of getting cut his senior season at Lehigh after a coaching transition.
- Transitioning to a life after sports after an abrupt end to a career.
- Translating athletic experiences into real world skills.
- How the process of becoming a college athlete is entrepreneurial.
- Underemployment in the workforce today.
- Why playing sports doesn't have to be a liability for getting a job/transition into the work force.
- How student-athletes are out-performing the general student body today.
- Game Plan's approach to addressing the athlete identity.
- The importance of not understating the uniqueness of each athlete's journey.
- Why division-3 athletes might be more prepared for life after sports than division-1 athletes.
- Advice for high school athletes who aren’t able to play in college.
- Athlete-friendly companies and things to look for when searching for jobs.
- Who is most at risk to struggle in their transition to life after sports.
- What questions to ask yourself before accepting a job offer.
- Common mistakes that make athletes unattractive to employers.
- Why coaches need to be on board with preparing athletes for their transition to life after sports.