Finding time for your passion: 5 lessons from Charlotte Hounds’ Brett Schmidt

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My new neighbor, Brett Schmidt, 27, plays defense for the Charlotte Hounds, one of nine Major League Lacrosse teams in the United States. He is also a financial planner with BB&T’s wealth management division.

Photo 1 Credit Charlotte Hounds

How does he balance reaching his athletic goals — playing professional lacrosse — with a full-time job? We thought his methods might inspire you:

Plan ahead

“What steps do I need to take?”

Schmidt followed his childhood dream to play lacrosse professionally. One of his biggest hurdles was money – MLL players are paid, on average, between $10,000 and $20,000 a year. He knew he would have to work full-time in another career while being a professional athlete.

Schmidt played lacrosse in college and graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park with a degree in finance.

Do what makes sense

“What adjustments do I need to make?”

Schmidt was drafted by the Denver Outlaws in 2011 after graduating college. He moved to North Carolina in 2012 for his job with BB&T. Due to this move, the MLL was willing to let him play for the Charlotte Hounds instead.

Look for flexibility

“How will I work around my other commitments?”

Schmidt has been lucky to work with a company that has worked to accommodate his schedule during the season. He has used vacation days when necessary.

Find balance

“What am I giving up?”

Schmidt admits that he has made sacrifices to succeed at work and on the team. He strives for a balance between professional advancement at the bank and surviving on the team. Schmidt is aware of the limits he could potentially setup for himself and how his choices affect all aspects of his life.

Can’t coast through

“How much work am I willing to put in?”

There is no time commitment or expectations during the offseason for MLL players. Schmidt is on his own to stay physically fit and practice. He risks sitting on the bench, or being squeezed out, if he is not one of the top players in the league.

Photo 3 Credit Charlotte Hounds

See Schmidt and the Charlotte Hounds play their last game of the season 7:30 p.m. Aug. 6 against the Chesapeake Bayhawks at American Legion Memorial Stadium, 310 N Kings Drive. Ticket prices range from $9-$40.

Photos: Courtesy of Charlotte Hounds

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