Making My Own Real Job

guest post from Patrick MacHugh

“When are you going to get a real job?”

My friends and family asked me this question for years! Looking back, it was a question that I chose to ignore for a vast majority of my badminton career. However, in 2016 it was something I started thinking more and more about.

Having trained full time from the age of 18, albeit studying Marketing at the University of Strathclyde alongside, sport had played a huge part in my life and the leap away from it was a scary one.

Throughout my career I had always been very self-sufficient and when I started looking at ‘real jobs’ and all my university friends were applying for Grad jobs, I realised this wasn’t a route that appealed to me. I wanted another challenge (just slightly less physically demanding).

Going out on the Gold Coast

Having been selected for Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, I knew I wanted this to be my last professional event playing badminton and what a way to finish! I had made my coaches aware of my decision and that for me, I had done everything I wanted to do in sport (in the grand scheme of things I was only 26 at the time which is deemed to be quite young).

Fortunately, prior to the 2018 Commonwealth, my brother Finlay and I had been chatting amongst ourselves about my next steps and we started brainstorming ideas of what I could do. His background was within Strength & Conditioning and he was working closely with Scotland’s best athletes. His knowledge combined with my love of coffee and use of it for training led us to come up with Power Press Coffee.

Simplifying Supplements

Power Press Coffee stemmed from our mutual frustration of the sports supplement market. From my perspective, I was always conscious of trying to take clean products and avoiding any potential cross contamination from banned substances. From Finlay’s perspective he had seen and heard athletes using products that were the latest fitness craze but had little or no scientific evidence to back this up.

We wanted to strip it back and make it simple – we knew caffeine itself was one of very few supplements proven to improve sporting performance and to get it from a naturally occurring product like coffee, what’s not to like… great coffee and sporting improvements!

I was very fortunate that after that last shuttle was hit out in Australia, I knew that when I arrived home I’d be straight into work that excited me. My passion, even before the games, was clearly there for this new and exciting venture and I believe that this made the transition from sport to work a lot easier for me. I almost didn’t have any time to stop and think as before Gold Coast, we had started selling through our Instagram page and much to Finlay’s and my amazement – people were buying it!

I think the assets you pick up from being an athlete are so transferable to the ‘real world’ and you develop a crazy amount of drive, dedication and determination to succeed which I think is so valuable for employers or if you’re starting your own business.


Go and take a look at Patrick’s business at the links!

Instagram: @powerpresscoffee

Facebook: @PowerPressCoffee

LAPS Members can discuss Patrick’s post on our Community page.