Athlete to Agent (real estate) My name is John Yablonski athlete and agent (real estate that is). I have been playing and loving sports for as long as I can remember. The thrill of competition, the comradery of my teammates, or the satisfaction of accomplishing goals, is what I know. From an active child who grew up in Union County New Jersey, I couldn’t wait to get outside and get dirty. I was always looking for the next game or anything that could challenge me.
Playing basketball was always my #1 passion. It was part of my spirit and was part of my soul. From NERF basketball in my room as I pretended to be the great college point guards of the 80’s, to playing one on two in the park or shoveling half of a court after 6 inches of snow, it was always what I wanted to do. That love kept me going even though I only started 5 Varsity games in my whole HS career. Onward to Seton Hall University to enjoy regular college life. But not so fast! Who knew I would make the Pirates as a walk-on for 2 years and then earn a scholarship my last two seasons. The influences of mentors, coaches and other players over that time were invaluable to my growth as not only a basketball player but ultimately a person. Teamwork, trust, sacrifice, commitment, brotherhood, structure and dedication that came along with my basketball experience were shaping me and I did not even know it.
Athletes are all around us. The key to the development of those athletes in any sport in my mind is the lessons learned in competition and having great coaches. If any of us look back at any of our experience in sport’s we usually can pinpoint both the good and not so good coaches that were guiding us.
It is no wonder why so many athletes become sought after employees in the workforce. Companies want all the qualities that I listed above. It is a fraternity that comes in all shapes and sizes, ethnicity, religion and race.
As I transitioned a few years ago into real estate, I found myself using so many of the qualities that were valuable to me as an athlete. My career needed a game plan and strategy. Check. I had to be consistent in my approach. Check. I had to hone my skills through study and repetition. Check. I had to hold myself accountable for my actions with no excuses. Check. I had to be committed to my goals. Check.
It is amazing how you do not have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to success. It is how quickly you figure out that you need a positive mindset and do not let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. My real estate business has flourished over a short period of time and I have no doubt that sports are the reason. It does not matter whether you decide to do real estate or something else after your athletic career. Stick to your values and you will see success.
I am now so excited to be part of Next Move, which gives me that ultimate connection to working with athletes and coaches while helping them with their real estate needs. Once an athlete always an athlete. There is a bond and understanding of how you perfect your craft. I am happy to help in the process as these current athletes get to be the best at what they do.
Sport has come full circle and I love it every day. Who am I? Today an agent, (real estate that is) always an athlete!
John “JY” Yablonski