Meet the #ESP2021 speakers: Wolfgang Stockinger

At the upcoming European Sport Platform 2021, Wolfgang Stockinger will be one of the guest speakers in the Dual Career session, presenting the“TW1N PERSPECTIVES – Dual career support in practice on athlete and practitioner levels”.

Wolfgang Stockinger is a management consultant, psychological counsellor, academic sport coach and former professional football player. After acting as the Head of Career Development Austria for the national dual career organisation KADA between 2013-2018, he has founded the first Europe-wide dual career consultancy TW1N in 2019. In his professional life, he has worked with hundreds of European athletes on their holistic personal development, dual career and mental health. Moreover, he has provided advisory services to international policy-makers, sport systems, educational institutes and EU-funded projects.

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What are the biggest obstacles athletes face when combining professional sport with education (University, schools)?


Performance programmes have experienced new recent dynamics, becoming particularly apparent in professional sports. In fact, high-level demands and a multitude of manifold transitions at a young age represent modern athletic pathways. Therefore, balancing sport, education and private life, as well as establishing high efficiency in one’s multi-sided undertakings are crucial dual career skills. Furthermore, when it comes to the transition into secondary school or from school to university, the thorough and well-thought-out choice of an education institute or study programme is key to an intrinsically motivated and sustainable pursuit of personal goals, integrating sport and education. In these regards, a lack of meaning, a lack of dual career skills and a lack of flexible-enough frame conditions can turn out as barriers to dual career success.


Why is it important for professional athletes to have a dual career; professional sport + education or vocational training? How is TW1N contributing to this?


I would like to re-phrase this question into “Why is it meaningful for professional athletes to have a dual career?” as the quest for meaning becomes a crucial factor for mental health, adolescent flourishing and performance enhancement. Consequently, the answer to this question is supposed to be very individual. TW1N joins this quest on two levels. On one hand, we provide athletes with an individualized counselling service and a global partner network to make successful dual careers possible across borders. On the other hand, we help athlete environments, namely institutions and policy-makers in sport, education and the labour market, establish programmes that allow both the athlete and the system to exploit their full potential.


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