Hi, I am Susan Salzbrenner, the author of the “Play Abroad 101” guide. My work with athletes and sports teams focuses on supporting the transition process, building a sustainable international career, and strengthening their cultural and emotional intelligence.
You probably know that it takes a lot of determination and mental strength to succeed as a pro athlete. But when you go abroad for a contract, there are so many overwhelming decisions that need to be made. What country to go to? How much can I negotiate? Should I bring my family? How do I make the best out of those months away from home?
While there are many personal blogs and success stories out there, the sports industry is lacking a comprehensive guide to explain to players, coaches and parents what life abroad is really like. That is why I created this Play abroad 101 guide to save you time and nerves when researching the best way to your international pro career as an athlete.
When I was younger and fitter, I did gymnastics and ballet for 12 years before I switched to playing basketball in various countries. I have been coaching and training athletes, corporate managers, executives and families during times of transition for many years now.
My background in organizational and social psychology, my passion for neuroscience and mindfulness, as well as my postgraduate degree in intercultural communication equips me with the expertise to develop these skills in individuals as well as teams.
I have led train-the-trainer workshops, lectures and webinars with specific focus on intercultural competence development, cultural intelligence, and inclusive leadership. In 2013-2014, I conducted a research project with professional athletes playing abroad to examine the challenges and transition management strategies. Since then, I developed an online program and live workshops to address those needs.
As a native German I have worked and lived in six countries on four continents (Germany, USA, Australia, China, Denmark and France). While learning (and failing at) many languages, I currently speak German, English and French fluently, and have knowledge of Danish, Portuguese and Mandarin Chinese. In my free time, I continue to explore other cultures through travel, sport, and food with my Brazilian husband and my two multicultural children.
My consulting business, “Fit across Cultures,” focuses on providing training, coaching and consulting to sports companies, player or coaches’ associations, sports club, and non-profit sports organization, with a focus on
- global leadership
- cultural intelligence (in coaching, marketing, leadership, management, operations, sponsorship)
- multicultural team building, creating an inclusive culture
- sustainable international career development
- new international market entry, international branding/marketing strategies