Most athletes enjoy an exciting athletic career with little preparation for the road that lies beyond sports. Research indicates it takes college athletes between 18 months and five years to become fully adjusted to life without sports participation. During this transition to transformation (T2T) process, athletes can suffer depression, loneliness, alcohol and drug addiction, lack of confidence, and unrealistic expectations for life without sports.
Over the years through research, I have read countless numbers of articles on athletes and transition. I have also worked with athletes through this time consuming and delicate process. The majority of research is specifically geared towards transition as a career ending process. However, when working with athletes, my approach has been to prepare them for the multilevel platform of transition, which consists of much more than exiting out of a career in sport.
The essence of transition for athletes is centered in the personal, social and professional development of the athlete. Transitions include but are not limited to: being drafted to play on a team, not making the team, being released from the team, having to play a lesser role on a team, the unexpected injury (short, long and career ending), playing on the junior team to playing on the senior team, management changes, coaching changes, etc. These are some of but not limited to the transitions that affect athletes competing in sport.
Athletic Identity Transitional Management (AITM) is a component of personal player development. It has been designed to provide an industry name as well as an explanation of how this process affects athletes and helping professionals. For athletes to make a smooth transformation (of any kind), they must understand how the athletic environment shapes their thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Understanding these environmental elements directs athletes to one of or multiple, athletic identity T2T perspectives, get your copy and learn more about the transition process of athletes.