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Career Reconversion of Elite Athletes: Their Journeys

Reinventing oneself after a sports career is often more difficult than winning an Olympic medal.” These words from Laura Flessel, a five-time Olympic medalist in fencing, highlight the importance of career transition for high-level athletes. Sport Excellence Reconversion (SER), co-founded by Flessel, is dedicated to supporting these athletes in their transition to a new career, utilizing the skills and values acquired over years of competition.

Discover the journeys and testimonies of athletes who have successfully transitioned.

Thomas Aupic: From Footballer to Coach and Trainer

Thomas Aupic, Reconversión de deportistas

Thomas Aupic spent over ten years as a professional football player, distinguishing himself through his commitment and performance. This career gradually led him to become interested in coaching and personal development. Thomas’s transition was not without challenges. He had to redirect his career, undergo training, and rediscover his skills off the field. “My path of reflection has become more refined over time, through experiences and the feelings that have opened up to me” he says.

Today, Thomas is a key speaker at Sport Excellence Reconversion, where he manages modules on Public Speaking and skills and career coaching. He is also the founder of TriangulAction, a mental coach and sophrologist, and a consultant for the mental and psychological unit of the UNFP. Thomas has enriched his career with a degree in sports training and management, a university diploma in mental preparation and coaching, and a certification in team management and performance excellence, in addition to being a certified sophrologist.

Drawn to the values of SER, Thomas found a vision and empathy in Laura Flessel and Richard Hullin that resonated with his own convictions. “The values that Laura and Richard advocate resonated with me, and they want to make profound changes” he explains. What struck him the most was the inspiring discourse and athlete-centered approach of SER. “The discourse, the experience of the actors, the desire to bring new processes, and the fact that the athlete is at the center of the approach motivated me” he recounts. Thomas believes in the importance of developing curiosity, self-awareness, and the recognition of transferable strengths in athletes. He aspires to help them play a broader role in society beyond their sports identity. “It is essential to help them realize that confidence is not dependent on context.” Thomas Aupic thus perfectly embodies the mission of SER: supporting athletes in their transition, valuing their skills, and offering them new future perspectives.

Thierry Jullier : Jockey to commentator

Thierry Jullier had a remarkable career as a jockey, winning 1,800 races. Recognized for his talent and determination, he became a respected and admired figure in the world of horse racing. Upon retiring, Thierry faced significant challenges. The transition to a new professional life was a struggle, marked by a sense of loss and uncertainty. “It was difficult to reinvent myself after years of dedicating my life entirely to my passion for racing” he expressed.

Today, Thierry Jullier is a commentator for the Equidia channel, where he shares his expertise and love for horse racing with viewers. Additionally, he has joined Sport Excellence Reconversion (SER), where he helps other athletes navigate the same transition process. Thierry Jullier found new meaning and direction through SER. “Joining the program allowed me to find a guiding line and realize that I had qualities I wasn’t necessarily aware of” he confided. His involvement with SER has not only provided him with invaluable support but also allowed him to restore confidence and hope in transitioning athletes.

The most striking aspect of Thierry’s engagement with SER has been the personalized support and constant encouragement. “The end of my career was difficult” he admits, but with the help of SER, he discovered new skills and managed to reposition himself professionally. Thierry Jullier is passionate about sharing his experience and helping others succeed in their transitions. “It is important to restore confidence, desire, and to show them that they are capable of anything” he insists. Thierry Jullier perfectly embodies the mission of Sport Excellence Reconversion. His journey is an inspiring testament to the ability to reinvent oneself and find new purpose in life after sports

Eva Yaneva : professional volleyball player

Eva Yaneva, Reconversión de deportistas

Eva Yaneva, a professional volleyball player and student at Sport Excellence Reconversion (SER), was recently crowned French champion for the second consecutive year. Known for her impressive performances on the volleyball courts, she is now preparing for a new phase of her life thanks to SER. Eva Yaneva has had a brilliant volleyball career, winning numerous titles with prestigious clubs, including Voléro Le Cannet. Her recent victory as French champion for the second consecutive year is a testament to her talent and determination.

Like many athletes, Eva anticipated the need to transition before the end of her sports career. “I joined Sport Excellence Reconversion because I wanted to requalify after my professional sports career” she says. The SER program offers her the flexibility needed to balance her studies with her sports commitments.

Thanks to SER, Eva is actively preparing for her career transition, finding the program perfectly suited to her schedule. “The program is interesting and useful, adapted to the pace of my life” she explains. The accessible courses and constant support from the teachers help her progress in this transition. Eva expresses her gratitude to SER and her club for their support. “I work with wonderful teachers who are always there for me. Thank you for being partners with my club Voléro Le Cannet” She is confident that the skills acquired through SER will allow her to succeed in her transition with the same excellence she demonstrated on the field.

These testimonials highlight the crucial importance of a successful career transition for high-level athletes. The journeys of Thomas Aupic, Thierry Jullier, and Eva Yaneva demonstrate that, despite the challenges, it is possible to reinvent oneself and find a new passion after a sporting career. Thanks to the support of Sport Excellence Reconversion, these athletes have not only discovered new skills but have also regained confidence and motivation. Their inspiring stories demonstrate that, with the right support, every athlete can succeed in their transition and excel in a new path.

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