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The athlete’s journey: transitions through sport
The athlete’s journey: transitions through sport

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6 Reflecting on your own experience of transitions

As you reach the end of this session, it is a good point to reflect on what you have learned about transitions so far and how you relate to this.

Activity 6 Your reflections on what influences transitions

Timing: Allow about 20 minutes

Reflect on what you have covered in this session by answering the questions below. Only answer the questions that are relevant to your role − whether you are an athlete or someone supporting an athlete.

If you are an athlete …

  1. What factors do you think have influenced your experience of transitions in sport?
  2. What impact did these factors have on you and how did you cope?
  3. Having studied this session what is the main point you will take away?

If you are someone supporting an athlete (or athletes) …

  1. What factors do you think influence the transitions of those you support the most?
  2. What coping strategies do you think the athletes you work with use?
  3. Based on what you have learned in this session what is the main point you will take away?

Discussion

Your reflections will be very personal to your own situation and experiences, but below are the brief reflections of former 200m runner Raja in response to these questions.

  1. The level I competed at and my identity were definitely big factors for me. I remember turning up at the track at club training and everyone would turn and look as I was the best runner there, the only guy to make the national squad. It was who I was, Raja the sprinter. The newer athletes looked up to me, I loved how that felt. I remember going back a few years ago to help coach a session and no-one knew who I was anymore!
  2. I think the biggest impact was when I decided to retire from athletics, but I was already doing a bit of coaching so had a plan in place. I knew that was what I wanted to go into. It allowed me to stay in the sport and my support and social network didn’t really change as I was still around the same people. It was what made it all pretty positive for me that I had things in place.
  3. I think one of the main things I have learned is that everyone’s experience is different, just because my experience was positive it doesn’t mean everyone’s will be. I was lucky I had systems in place, but I have seen others who didn’t. They didn’t have a coaching focus and as such when they had an injury or retired, they really didn’t know what to do with themselves.