Favre's retirement Hail Mary
It's every player's dream: to hand-pick their next coach. Ask certain big-name free agents why they moved from the Patriots to the Jets, then quit Gang Green for the Cowboys. They'll chant in unison, "I wanted to play for Bill (Parcells) again."
Now that Brett Favre has called it quits, he's in prime position to do that very same thing: get choosy about his coach.
Huh? Favre's next coach? This guy know something ESPN doesn't?
I really love Farve, but fear he's in for rough sledding. When asked what he looked forward to doing next, he replied, "Nothing."
Nothing is the worst possible answer to this question. It's the stuff of early retirement failure. Ask any career or life coach, or outplacement person worth their salt, and they'll tell you the same thing.
I'm not saying Favre needs to don the yellow Century 21 jacket tomorrow, or get cracking on his memoirs. Actually, quite the opposite. A period to decompress, to rest, to do things that include spells of sheer nothingness is completely in order. But only if there's commitment to developing a plan for the other side of that tunnel. (Or, simply realizing there's even a tunnel to begin with.)
The right coach can be critical in developing Farve's post-football playbook. A coach who understands that a retirement activity plan needs to be flexible, and include a number of possibilities. And who gets the role of personality in planning.
Farve's free-slinging tendencies give us a window into his risk-taking, pressure-loving make-up. He craves excitement, if not the spotlight, and will want to consider pursuits that can deliver these same feelings and outcomes – whether that's in sports, or in business, or perhaps politics, given his strong leadership abilities. The same goes for his leisure pursuits.
I know, give him a break. The guy just decided to hang it up.
But nothing gets old fast, and gets you into a funk even a Brett Farve can't readily scramble out of. I hope he makes the right call and gets a new coach. While there's no instant replay off the field, he just may realize there's more than one route to run.
Randy Burnham is a Westport, CT-based clinical psychologist and co-founder of My Next Phase (wwww.mynextphase.com), a consulting firm expert in non-financial planning products and processes.