One of the Athlete's to watch this year is on the USA Swim Team. Rachel Bootsma is one of the best swimmers in the world, ranking ninth among her peers in the sport. In 2009 she was the first junior swimmer to complete the 100 back in less than one minute.
Athletes before Rachel Bootsma have been in the same place at some point in their career. Fierce competition, extensive training and solid future plans are a part of the career of an athlete. All these ingredients are needed to build a brand as an athlete.
As Bootsma's career grows, she can learn from athletes like Monica Abbott, a pitcher with the US Women's Softball Team. Abbott, a silver medalist, turned her world class talent into a world class brand. Monica Abbott’s game plan of building her personal brand included building her skill in practice for games, speaking engagements, grabbing an endorsement deal with Adidas for women's softball cleats and sticking to social networking sites to reach out to fans and supporters. Abbott advises young athletes to go after their dream and believe in themselves.
“You gotta bring it when the moment is right,” Abbott said. “Don't be afraid. You have to prepare for the big moment. Do everything you can think of to train and prepare.”
As a Olympic hopful for the 2016 Rio games, Mike Nackoul of the USA Weightlifting division leans on mentors for training support and learning the business of being an athlete. Nackoul said his coaches and idols like Casey and Natalie Burgener are his inspiration for the sport.
“The best way to build a brand is performance. The better you perform, the easier it is to get sponsorships, support, and other necessary materials to help build your brand,” He said. “Weightlifting is a very demanding sport, so the most important thing is to keep your emotions calm and never be too hard on yourself.”
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