1. You must tread the fine line between babying us and pushing us too much.
Listen, we are fragile. We are finished playing the sport we love, so we don’t know what to do with ourselves. We are lost. We are terrified. We are a useless bag of muscles and if we can’t play games and beat teams then we don’t know our purpose, so be patient with us.
But don’t baby us. We are still the same competitive a$$hole. We will want to win, and we still will beat you in every race. So love us tenderly, but also fiercely. We like a challenge.
2. We like our rituals…so you should embrace them.
This will never change. Our lucky pair of socks, cutting our hair after a bad weekend, going to the gym right after work, and lazy Sunday afternoons. Don’t judge us because we enjoy these simple things. Meet us at the gym or curl up with us on the couch. We’ll make room.
3. We know we’re not on the team anymore (duh) but we want to be, so don’t judge us.
Don’t judge us for sitting front row at the games, for making an obnoxious good luck! post on Facebook or for wanting to travel three hours to watch the season opener. Sometimes we’re not sure where we fit, so we try to fit where we don’t belong. Be understand, and please don’t roll your eyes when we show up head to toe in spirit wear.
4. Try to understand what we’re talking about with stats.
We like to pretend that stats don’t matter, but they totally do. Even when we’re out of season, we’ll probably look back on our stats, or compare our old stats to the new team’s stats. It might be a little weird (or borderline crazy) but understand it’s just how we’re wired.
5. Our energy levels might be all over the place, so hang on tight and enjoy the ride.
Some days we’re going to want to bask in our post-season-couch-potatoness and some days we’re going to want to start a new lifting program. We’ll be unpredictable, so embrace this and try to love us the best you can.
6. Just so you know, our love for food will not change.
We ate a lot during season, and despite our change in activity…this will stay pretty much consistent. You give it to us, we’ll eat it. So take that how you will. (PSA: You can’t go wrong with an all-you-can-eat buffet date.)
7. We still are athletic…so don’t try to make us lazy bums.
We’ll always consider ourselves athletes. Anything sport-related, anything that involves sweat and fat-burning and muscle stretching and healthy competition: we’re all for it. So don’t think that we’re going to be content sitting around for the rest of our lives. As much as we love you, that’ll never happen. Sorry not sorry.
8. Please don’t treat us differently.
We’re going to be sensitive about the game. We’re going to be weird and emotional and probably insecure, but don’t treat us like aliens. We’re still humans. Just ex-collegiate sport-playing humans. We’re a weird breed.