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Life Transitions


Life transitions occur in our society on a day-to-day basis. We have natural transitions such as the natural development from childhood to adolescence to adulthood and we have forced transitions such as promotion, retirement and the regrettable "let go". These transitional phases in our lives affect us all in someway or another and understanding the impact of these transitions can help us develop the skills to cope with them. Psychological skill development is no easy task. It takes time, hard work and determination, which if the mind set isn't right can often lead towards overlooking the symptoms associated with transitions such as anxiety and stress.

Being focused and taking the time to adequately reflect on your current and potential upcoming transitions is the ultimate key to for self-actualization to occur and for the development of psychological skill training to begin.


Moving forward with an example we can look at retirement in elite sport. Retirement in elite sport is a highly important topic as there are 3 fundamental routes to retirement. First is simple, chosen retirement, where the athlete has opted on a date for their own selected retirement from sport. The second is forced injury, where the athlete has a career ending injury and they are forced into retirement by mutual consent as they are no longer physically able to compete at elite levels. The third is forced retirement by external sources, where the athlete is no longer required to provide services for the organization. These three scenarios can all lead towards increased levels of anxiety which can impact on performance before the transition has occurred.

"Anxiety is a negative state characterized by nervousness, worry, and apprehension and associated with activation or arousal of the body" (Weinberg and Gould, 2007).

This negative state of mind can begin to influence the physiological performances in sport and in the every day lives of individuals and learning to cope with anxiety can help to aid and improve the individual through their transitional periods. There are basic and advanced psychological skills with basic skills such as goal setting, imagery, relaxation/activation and self talk can lead to advanced skills which allow for self-regulation of confidence, motivation, anxiety and attention. Just learning about these states can help conquer any transitional phase in your life. Being mentally ready for what is to come is vital not only in sport/exercise but your general life as well.


If you wish to learn more about psychological skill training contact me at peaksportpsychology@gmail.com


Have a great weekend!


Sam