National Careers Week with Opal, Tess Madgen.

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Australian Opal, Tess Madgen is just as busy off the court as she is when playing in the Olympics or winning the WNBL Championship.

Prioritising a work/life balance, Madgen is a strong advocate for elite athletes putting their minds to something outside of their sporting careers. Beneficial for not only their life after retirement but also for their mental health and wellbeing.

Having previously completed a Business of Exercise Sport Science, Madgen has now moved into a Master of Teaching, gaining all the right qualifications for a post-basketball career as a high school PE teacher. Supporting this, Madgen is the Melbourne Boomers’ academy coach and now manager, expanding her role to learn the business side.

“I want to develop skills in a lot of different areas to give me lots of different options for my life after sport,” Madgen told BA Media during National Careers Week.

“I love the coaching side of it, I love being a role model for the young female athletes coming through. That’s why I want to become a teacher, see people learn new things and see their faces light up when they can do something that they couldn’t do an hour before.”

A pro-basketballer with a grueling schedule, Madgen acknowledges the importance of an external release, especially throughout the highs and lows of elite sport.

“Your identity shouldn’t be that you’re just a basketballer, I definitely find when I live a more balanced lifestyle, I play better.”

With the 31-year-old still having plenty to give to her playing career, especially with a focus on the FIBA Women’s World Cup later this year, Madgen wants to remain prepared for whatever life throws at her.

“You could suffer a career-ending injury, you never know what’s around the corner, so to make sure you set yourself up either studying, working or volunteering, it definitely helps my mental health.

“The more strengths to your bow, you see what you like and what you’re good at. Give yourself as much of a rewarding and successful life after sport as you had in it and hopefully it makes that transition that lots of people say is difficult, a lot easier.”