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

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4 Reflecting on normative transitions

As you reach the end of this session, take a few moments to reflect on what you’ve learned and how you can apply it to your own situation by completing Activity 4 below.

Activity 4 Your reflections on normative 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 (as an athlete or someone supporting an athlete).

If you are an athlete …

  1. What normative transitions have you experienced in your career so far?
  2. What impact did these transitions have on you and how did you cope with them?
  3. Is there anything you would do differently to help you cope better with these transitions having now completed this session?
  4. What normative transitions do you expect to face in the future?
  5. What strategies will you put in place to help you cope with these transitions?

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

  1. What normative transitions have the athlete(s) you support experienced?
  2. What impact did these transitions have on the athlete(s) you support and how did you help them to cope with these transitions?
  3. Is there anything you would do differently to help support your athlete(s) with these transitions having now completed this session?
  4. What normative transitions do you expect your athlete(s) to face in the future?
  5. What strategies will you put in place to help them cope with these transitions?

Discussion

Your reflections will be very personal to your own situation and experiences, but below are the brief reflections of an ice hockey coach Lesley in response to these questions.

  1. I coach the junior team so I see both ends of the transitions into the junior age group – the younger age group moving up into my squad and the older athletes moving out of my squad to join the senior team.
  2. There’s no one answer to this question as different athletes respond differently. Generally, the challenge is change – all of them have to cope with things being slightly different when they move up a level. That might be different coaching styles, different teammates or different expectations and some of them find that more difficult than others.
  3. Reflecting on what I’ve learned on this course so far, I probably could have done more to help them get ready for the change ahead and talked it through with them more. Also, Section 2 has helped me to appreciate that they might also have lots of other adjustments going on in different aspects of their life, like education, that might have an impact.
  4. I am continuing to coach the junior team, so the most significant change I can have an impact on is their transition from junior to senior level.
  5. Having read this session, I am going to talk more to my older players about moving up to the senior team and how they are feeling about it, and also ask them about their life outside ice hockey. I’m also planning to work more with the senior team coach on a transition programme and am thinking of different things we could put in place such as linking the older players in my squad with mentors on the senior team. Hopefully this can help them with the transition.