WYC 147 – Thriving On & Off the Field – Tywanna Smith talks Preparing for Transitions

Tywanna Smith, President & Founder of The Athlete’s NeXus, has several years of experience working with professional athletes in a financial and business capacity. Smith earned her Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) in Marketing and her Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) from The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). She was also a four-year starter for the SEC program’s women’s basketball team, eventually taking her talents to Europe for a 2-year professional career.

As a Registered Financial Representative, Entrepreneur, and Best-Selling Author of Surviving the Lights: A Professional Athlete’s Playbook to Avoiding the Curse, Tywanna takes pride in her business professionalism and integrity. She is committed to helping each professional athlete become a better citizen, a better role model, and a better businessman.

Website: theathletesnexus.com

Book: Surviving the Lights

Facebook: /TheAthletesNeXus


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  • Athletes are always preparing for the next transition, on and off the field
  • Tywanna tore her ACL her junior year of high school – she used this as fuel when people starting to write her off.

The importance of education

  • Even if a student athlete’s priority is to play college athletics, their grades will be extremely important in determining what opportunities they will be afforded

Off the field keys

  • Grades
  • Social media – future coaches, employers – will look over your entire history of social media posts

Mental toughness

  • It comes from the top down. The coach’s energy and confidence in the players is very contagious.
  • Tough practices teach athletes how to deal with adversity, and they want competition
  • Visualization – Have the athletes close their eyes and visualize favorable results

Surviving the Lights

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • An athlete trying to play professionally was struggling to make in into the pros.
  • Tywanna worked with him to re-center – and reaffirm him what his gifts were and that he had great talents off the sports field

The one that got away

  • The day Tywanna tore her ACL her junior year, and her team was poised to win the state championship
  • But she says it was the best day in her life because it gave her the perspective on life that there’s more to life than sports

Best learned/stolen idea

  • The balance between sports and life. Tywanna’s college coach, when she walked out of practice was done with sports and focused on life off the court

Favorite quote

  • ‘If you stay ready, you never have to get ready’

Parting Advice

  • Take the edge off a little bit, it’s just a game.

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