Keith Elias: Pro Sports Retirement Doesn’t Have to Be a Fumble. NFL’s Support Systems Ease Transition to Next Chapter

March 28, 2024
AJ Krow


The spotlight is shifting, we’re not just cheering on professional athletes during their prime, but also wondering what happens when the final whistle blows as they move from the peaks of their careers into the next chapter of their lives. The conversation turns to the challenges they face outside the sporting arena and the strategies they can employ to navigate this significant change smoothly.

What does life after professional sports look like for athletes, and how can they navigate their transitions successfully?

This episode of the “Krow Knows Podcast” by AJ Krow features Keith Elias, the Senior Director of Player Engagement with the NFL. He offers a unique perspective on transitioning to the next chapter after a professional sports career, drawing from his own journey from the pinnacle of athletics to life beyond the field. Keith sheds light on the complexities of player engagement and the NFL’s support systems designed to smooth the transition for athletes moving on from football. He underscores the league’s dedication to helping players adjust and thrive in their lives after the game.

The conversation covers:

  • Challenges of Transition: Elias discusses the multifaceted nature of transitioning from professional sports, from loss of identity and purpose to financial adjustments and the impact on personal relationships.
  • Support Systems: The NFL’s initiatives to help players through these transitions, including educational programs, financial planning, and personal development opportunities.
  • Life Lessons from Football: Elias reflects on how the principles and challenges of football can offer valuable lessons for personal growth and resilience.

Keith Elias’s background is as inspiring as it is impressive. With a storied career at Princeton setting records, followed by playing for the New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts, his journey through high school, college, and professional football in the same state is a testament to his dedication and passion for the game. Post-retirement, Elias’s transition was filled with challenges that he overcame by finding a new purpose in helping others navigate their paths, eventually leading him to his current role with the NFL. His insights into the transition process are grounded in personal experience and a deep understanding of the support players need.

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