EPISODE 49: Life After Hockey – How George Hughes Found Purpose Again

Welcome back to Warriors Unmasked - The Podcast!

For many elite athletes, life after sports isn’t on their radar until it’s too late. When you are performing at your best, focusing on winning games, trying to stay disciplined with your practice and training schedule, getting to know new people and places…all while trying to keep your contract (aka your job) going with your team.

While most people may not relate to being traded to a different team, or losing your starting position, the pandemic left millions without a job…or a sense of identity.

Join us as we take a look at purpose, identity, and the question that comes after every fall. 

“What do I do now?”

Our guest today has shown incredible courage and perseverance in the face of adversity. George Hughes is a retired professional hockey player and co-founder of “Next Shift” a platform designed to help hockey players find direction in life after they’ve stepped off the ice. George takes us on his journey of struggling with alcohol and nicotine addiction at just fourteen to overcoming all obstacles and finding purpose and hope after hockey.

Michael Jackson said, “I’m starting with the man in the mirror” and that is exactly what George did. Listen in as he talks about the moment he had to sit down and take responsibility for what he wanted to do with his life. And how vulnerability and believing in himself helped change his perspective, overcome addiction, manage his depression, and reduce his anxiety. We talk about the importance of proactively taking steps for “after” and why waiting for it to end will only set you up for disappointment.

No matter if you’re an elite athlete, corporate worker, student, mother, or father, this episode has lessons that will help with any stage of life. If you’ll only steel your courage, and know that it is good on the other side. 

For more resources or to connect with George, check out the links below!

Always in your corner,

Chuck and Clint

More of what we talk about...

  • The power of understanding your story
  • Learning how to deal with failure
  • The moment that anxiety started creeping in for George
  • Looking at the bigger picture to help forgive yourself
  • Using old talents to accelerate your new purpose
  • Taking responsibility for how you respond to disappointment
  • Why you should be proactive with your path
  • Setting yourself up for success
  • Creating connections that last a lifetime
  • Applying life lessons to everything
  • And much more!

Episode Minute By Minute:

  • 0:02 What we cover today!
  • 1:44 Introducing George Hughes
  • 6:01 Where it all started
  • 10:16 Being shaped by adversity
  • 12:58 Drinking and smoking at 14 years old
  • 18:13 Life after hockey
  • 23:03 Finding a new purpose in life
  • 28:26 Picking yourself back up after failing
  • 33:07 How to manage your transition well
  • 37:52 Where to connect with George
  • 39:57 George’s advice for you
  • 41:03 Closing thoughts

Guest Links:

Connect to Warriors Unmasked - The Podcast

Links to Chuck

Links to Clint

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