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Advice For Multi Sport Athletes Transitioning From One Sport Season To The Next

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

sports psychology

With the change of seasons, I am reminded of all the multi-sport athletes who are transitioning from one seasonal sport to the next.  Some athletes will rely heavily on their coaches to make this transition for them, hoping that the conditioning and training sessions are enough to successfully prepare them for each sport season.  Others may work with individual trainers to help them transition from one sport season to the next.  While both of these approaches can work for athletes, here is something to consider as you shift from one sport to the next.

Goals Setting

Goal setting allows you to set personal expectations or areas of focus as it relates to the technical (skills development), tactical (learning the "x's" and "o's" strategy), physical, and mental preparation necessary to be successful for each season.

For example, a high school athlete who plays football in the fall and wrestles in the winter has to transition from a football weight to wrestling weight (e.g., 225 pound football weight to 215 pound wrestling weight).  While the prior sport focuses on the healthy weight gain, the latter sport focuses on healthy weight loss.  Since it is not realistic for an athlete to start cutting weight during the football season, the athlete must make a plan or set tangible expectations to reach their target weight for each season.  This could include figuring out a healthy nutritional plan and setting an expected amount of time to manage-ably drop the weight, e.g., creating a 2 month plan to drop weight and wrestle in the 215 pound weight class before the championship season.

Creating Short Term Goals (daily and weekly goals) and Long Term Goals (expectations for the whole season) can be extremely beneficial for athletes.  Goals keep athletes focused because they have a plan of action that is within their control.  Furthermore, goals help to keep athletes motivated because it's a reminder of what they are working toward.  Lastly, it allows athletes to focus on the present moment – in this case, being present for the sport you are committed to for the season. 

Remember, confidence is built on the foundation that you are physically in shape and healthy, that you take the time to develop the techniques necessary to be efficient and effective, and that you work on a strategy to prepare you for competition.  When you set goals, it builds confidence and sets you up for success because you have committed to a plan that you believe in and are motivated to work toward.

For more information on how to best navigate the transitions as a multi-sport athlete, schedule a session!

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