Professional sport has long been a magnet for dreamers, and people fuelled by nothing more than a hunger for success.

That hunger comes at a price, and we’re given all the warning signs before we even start. That sports will prepare you for nothing, that your career can end in an instant, and that you’ll have nothing to show for it once it’s all done.

My career ended when I was 28. Too many knocks to the head and it was finally time to admit that the only option was to walk away.

Pete Smith - Seattle Seawolves Passing

It took months to bring myself to a decision. I ignored it for a long time. I knew what the right call was, but the right call was to walk away from the only thing I ever wanted to do.

I’d been cut from teams before and forced to figure it out. I thought I’d be better prepared for it. But this time my team offered me a 3-year deal to stay. It was hard to let that go.

And so, at the end of an eight year professional sports career, I was forced to commit to something else, and now had to face the harsh reality that everything I had achieved up to this point was meaningless on a resume.

I kept thinking back to a bus trip I took from Bloomington to Chicago in 2016.

I had left a six-figure rugby contract to play College Football where there was no pay because it was something I wanted to do.

Pete Smith - Seattle Seawolves Passing

At the end of my College season I signed for an Arena Football team, and spent months training and kicking a ball to prepare for training camp.

I competed with a guy who had been with the Pittsburgh Steelers and felt like I had beaten him. But on the last day of camp, after all the other cuts had been made, they knocked on my hotel door, looked me in the eye and said “thank you but we’re going with the other guy.”

And there I was, 26 years old on a long bus ride in the middle of America with nothing to do and nowhere to go, forced to think about every wrong turn I had made.

Suddenly, two and half years later, I felt like I was back on that same bus. Nowhere to go and nothing to do.

Sport teaches you something that not many things in life can. You learn to work hard when things don’t go your way, and to work harder when they do.

You learn to keep moving when your mind won’t let you go any further. You learn to believe in yourself when no one else will. It’s called perseverance.

To cut the story short, I ended up playing Arena Football, and then went back and played professional rugby, winning the Major League Rugby championship with the Seattle Seawolves.

Pete Smith - Seattle Seawolves Passing

The ability to persevere is one of the most important things you can learn, and it’s the one thing that will set you apart when you enter that next chapter in your life.

I went into business with my brother after our playing careers. We were driven by the need to help aspiring sportsmen and women succeed, and so we built ProCoach.

ProCoach is a sports coaching mobile app that lets users get coached by professional athletes.

You simply take out your phone and record yourself performing an action, from a cover drive to a squat, and send it to one of our coaches.

They will analyse what you’ve done, and tell you everything you need to do to make it better.

We have 43 coaches across three sports, including NFL players, international and first-class cricketers, and Olympians and Commonwealth Games weightlifting medalists. We connect athletes to the best in the world.

Everything we have encountered in business we had encountered in our playing careers. Sure, we had to learn different skills, but the journey has been all too familiar.

There were times where we wondered what the hell we were doing, whether our idea was good enough, and whether or not we were wasting our time.

There have been many times when we thought working a normal job with a steady income was a better way of life.

But there was always that end goal, and this time it had nothing to do with contracts or game time, and everything to do with revolutionising the sports coaching industry.

We were motivated by the prospect of creating something that will help others succeed. And so, we persevered.

Since launching in October, we have grown to a few thousand users from over 30 countries in just a few months.

We help athletes all around the world. We provide them with the cheapest access to professional coaching. We want them to keep working towards their goals, and we want our coaches to help them get there.

Sports prepared me well for the next chapter in my life.