As athletes make the transition from junior athletics to the collegiate levels there are many things that are a part of the new experience. Expectations of the player, competition levels, living changes, training requirements, and academic loads are just a small part of the changes that await athletes as they make the transition. One of issues many athletes face is a change in their role and identity. Many athletes find the experience of the new beginning to be hard. These difficult transitions will be the topic of this article.
What one believes about themselves will directly effect the way they transition into the collegiate ranks as well as cope with the many issues that they will experience in their transition. One of the key areas that helps increase a positive transition and success in academics, athletics, and relationships is having a clear idea of identity. We are designed for relationships and function best when we are connected to others. While we have the ability to compete and produce things the most satisfaction we gain is when we are able to be in and around others. To win by yourself is much less rewarding than the win along side or with someone else. When we are alone, our ability to handle stress, create solutions for problems, and find success is limited. Having a good support system in transitions is very critical for success to be obtained, confidence to be developed, and healthy identity to be had. New beginnings can be difficult and rewarding at the same time, but it is when we are able to live in relationship with others, we find the difficulty is not as large of an issue and rewards can be much sweeter.
All new beginnings come with difficulties which can steal the joy from what the new experience could offer. In new beginnings it is critical to recognize the truth that difficulty will happen but it doesn’t have to destroy the experience. I like to tell my clients that a situation may be hard, it may be very hard, but rarely do I see a situation where the experience is too hard. I personally like to hold onto this idea and apply it in my life. I make an effort to tell myself the situation is hard, but not too hard. No matter the score of the game, career change, family struggle, personal emotional strain, or situation that may cause anxiety or fear, it may be hard, but not too hard.
New beginnings can and should be learning experiences but will come with difficulty. Difficulty is like a large sign on the side of the road, when we read it we can be challenged to the point of no return or we can continue on in the journey and fight for the goals that we have in place and continue down the road towards those goals. There are only a handful of reasons why difficult situations should lead someone in a different direction and change the path to their goals. There are only a handful of situations where difficulty should steal the joy of a new beginning. Finding supportive relationships and a helping hand is always a good thing to be searching for in whatever new beginning you come across. The situation may be hard but rarely is it too hard if enough effort and support is there.
New beginnings can bring joy and happiness. To experience this joy and happiness you may have to fight through difficulty but in the end, success can be sweet.