About Athlete Life

The Athlete Life Programme is here to help you maximize your opportunities and minimise any constraints on your performance. We will help you plan and develop your career as an athlete and other life goals.

Our strategies

Athlete Life Advisors work closely with athletes, coaches and National Sports Organisations. We can put you in touch with an agreed provider network through High Performance Sport NZ. We also have a well-established external network of advisors on career, employment, education, sponsorship, financial planning and media issues.

The Athlete Life Matters brochure (PDF) takes a closer look at what we do, and features athlete stories and more. 

Your Athlete Life Advisor

Most Athlete Life Advisors have a background in high performance sport, along with professional qualifications, so they understand the demands faced by elite athletes. There are currently 16 Advisors throughout New Zealand working with more than 500 athletes. Our advisors have specialised skills in areas such as counselling, psychology, and career planning.

How we work with sports and coaches

The Athlete Life Programme is well integrated with sports and coaches to help athletes maximise their performances on and off the field. For example, in the Swimming programme, Lead Advisor Susan Thomason is often on the pool deck talking to athletes in their environment. 

In a team sport, such as Football, the support team works closely together. This includes Lead Athlete Life Advisor Carolyn Donaldson liaising with the Assistant Coach, Strength and Conditioner, as well as acting as one of the Team Nutritionists. In Yachting, Lead Advisor Karin Adelinger-Smith has 10 years’ experience working with the Sport and National Programme Director to ‘help athletes and get the job done’.


Athlete Life Plan  

Each year, an Athlete Life Advisor will work with you to determine your goals and objectives for the coming year and identify how we can best support you to achieve them. Your Athlete Life Plan becomes a general health check to determine what you need to achieve your performance goals. Athletes evaluate themselves across a wide range of areas and then develop strategies for addressing the areas that will have the biggest impact on their performance ability.

The Athlete Life Plan captures a range of information, including:

  • your long-term life goal
  • your performance goals for the next 12 months
  • the members of your support team
  • how you currently volunteer in the community, or would like to if not already doing so 
  • which professional development opportunities interest you the most


If your Advisor has asked you to complete this plan, begin by downloading the Athlete Life Plan template (PDF).