Former South Sydney enforcer Scott Geddes is urging the current crop of NRL players to think about life after the game.
The 10-year, one-club veteran managed just 125 games during his time with the Rabbitohs with a series of injuries plaguing his time in the NRL.
"I was pretty unlucky with my career. I actually spent half the time on the sidelines," Geddes told NRL.com.
"After one of my big injuries – it might have been an ACL or something like that – it was a bit of a wake-up call to get my arse into gear and start getting an education. That was the kick I needed to get started."
Speaking at the launch of the NRL's pathways program into the fitness industry, Geddes told NRL.com that today's players needed to realise that life after rugby league was equally, if not more important, than their playing careers.
"Football is just a really small part of your life so if you can build something while you're still playing, it makes the transition a lot easier," he said.
"I was lucky to step straight into it when I finished. I guess the whole personal training industry is a little bit of a natural progression. That's what we've done our whole life. Most people leave school and go to TAFE or uni or get an apprenticeship, but we didn't get to do that."
Having retired from the game in 2012, Geddes immediately became involved in the fitness industry, which he believes is an ideal fit for rugby league players looking to extend their working life post rugby league.
"Hopefully we can give them a bit of education outside of the stuff they're doing on the field at the moment," the 35-year-old said.
"I'm going to be doing a bit of a mentoring role, telling them about the transition from playing through to running your own business and being a personal trainer and hopefully get some of the boys into the gym and get them going from there."
While rugby league players have no problems with the physical side of personal training, Geddes says the crucial component is understanding the theory behind it and how to apply that to the work done in the gym.
He's hoping courses such as the one launched with the NRL will be the impetus needed to motivate players to learn.
"That's always the challenging part. It's pretty tough for us. We're physical people," he said.
"We're usually out on the field running around and in the gym lifting things. So for us to actually sit down in front of a computer or in a classroom and have somebody throw all these numbers at you about what the body does is actually quite hard to take in."
This story first appeared on NRL.com.