Cletus Coffey, Excelling in Life After Sports

There is power in positivity. This week, we hear from athlete and entrepreneur Cletus Coffey, who considers himself an eternal optimist. After an injury brought his sports chapter to a close, he struggled to find a new identity off the field in the world of business. He talks about learning to overcome doubt during tough transitions and using optimism, empathy, and gratitude to build a strong framework for the future.

Having a negative outlook can cramp our creativity. Without creativity, it can be hard to keep competing with ourselves to be better than we were yesterday. We can develop a positive mindset by counting the little wins, and making a commitment to learn and grow. Sometimes, it takes closing one chapter to open another, so it’s important to keep looking forward to new opportunities on the horizon.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Make the small victories count
  • Find your identity, purpose, and meaning
  • The importance of practicing empathy and gratitude
  • Develop consistency in work and life
  • Have an optimistic mindset to move past failures


If you want to be a great competitor, you’ve got to hold yourself accountable. You’ve got to find a way, whatever it takes, to make progress every single day. You’re always building on the day before so that you are constantly in pursuit of greatness.” -Jake Thompson

“When you compete against others, it creates blood in the water … when you compete against yourself you get creative versus competitive.” -Cletus Coffey

“It’s doing those things when no one else is watching.” -Cletus Coffey

“If we’re stuck in that negative mindset, it really puts blinders on us. That negativity stops us from that creative mindset, whereas a positive mindset creates a quiet mind.” -Cletus Coffey

“It’s having to let go and flush those mistakes, flush those failures, and turn around and have that optimistic mindset that I can turn around and go get it back.” -Cletus Coffey

Contact: You can follow Cletus Coffey on social media @CletusCoffey and check out his website, where you’ll find links to his podcast, “The Recovering Athlete.”

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Episode 87