How to Approach Transitions and Finish the Season Strong

I was in a mental coaching session for one of my multi-sport athletes where she was describing the feeling of going through the motions and having a hard time staying zoned in during practice because she knew basketball season was right around the corner. As she spoke, I reflected on my past when I was in the process of leaving the corporate world to pursue my own passions. I vividly remember the mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion from feeling torn and like I was not giving my all and failing in every area. Can you relate? Consider a time when you were closing out a current season to step into another and felt like you were disconnected, wishing time away. 

In life, we are constantly experiencing change and it is important to understand how to transition well. Whether you are approaching the end of a sports season, school, relationship, job, etc. there are mental shifts that need to happen so that you can stay engaged, grow, and experience success instead of checking out. The idea here is that you can stay fully committed to and in your current situation and still feel motivated and like you are doing great things instead of feeling trapped or pulled in different directions. 


This is the final post in a 3-part blog series where I cover the 3 primary areas where finishing strong matters most for the athletes and parents I support. By reading this post, you will gain insights into ways that you can get out of your own way and stop sabotaging your success as well as tips for pushing through so you can finish strong and achieve the success you desire no matter where you are. 

5 Mindset Shifts Required to Transition Well and Finish The Season Strong

#1 See The Opportunity

The first thing to understand is that life transitions are a great opportunity to practice persistence. By honoring the commitment you made at the beginning of this season and continuing to show up you are teaching yourself that you are a person of integrity who does the things you say you will do. That builds self-confidence and trust in yourself. Replace the belief that you have to be all in all the time forever more in line with, “I am excited about the impact I can create today.” Connect with your purpose for the day and focus on the actions and habits that will help you see that through.

#2 Assess your 100% Daily

This one is for the perfectionists in the room, which I assume describes you or else you would not be reading this (unless a parent is forcing you which means they are or think you are… either way, I am glad you are here 🙂 ). A huge challenge is when we compare where we are with where we have been or where we should be. It causes our perception of what we are actually doing to be skewed and causes feelings of lack, judgment, and disappointment. This causes a chain reaction that can lower self-esteem, increase comparisons to others, and heighten fear of negative social evaluation. To combat this, on a daily basis, ask yourself, “What does my 100% look like today?” This brings you back to the present and assesses your plan based on what you have to give that day. It also illuminates the truth that no matter what, you can always give your best. Just remember, your best does not look the same every single day… and that is ok.

#3 Trust the Journey

Remember,  life is a journey and every experience (good and bad) works together to make you who you are. A quote from the great Tony Robbins, says, “Life happens for me not to me”, which to me means that I was meant to be in every moment of my life and have an opportunity to learn from each one. Sometimes we think that life is segmented and we leave seasons to step into new, fresh starts but that is not what happens. You shift and evolve and make decisions based on everywhere you have been and where you believe you are headed. Because of this, another important phrase to remember is “don’t burn bridges”. Just like where you have been, you do not always know where you are headed so leave with your integrity intact. My path has been a winding, crazy road but I can see exactly how every experience fits together to make me who I am today and I wouldn’t change a thing.

#4 Shift Your Goal

Think back to that last major decision you made where you allowed the fear of making the wrong choice to keep you stuck for way too long. Fear of failure is a perfectionist’s worst enemy (disguised as a best friend). It causes us to believe that there is only 1 correct and perfect future and taking a wrong turn could be catastrophic (just ask a high schooler working through the decision of where they want to go to college or be when they grow up). When we know where we are headed and are taking actions in alignment with that future, we experience energy, motivation, and joy. In seasons of transition, a disconnect happens between what we are doing today and where we are headed in the future so we feel sluggish and unmotivated. Instead of focusing on the gap from where we are to where we want to end up, focus on the path and how your experiences today can set you up for success. I am talking about setting daily goals for yourself that involves skills, connections, and values instead of results or achievements. Let go of the outcome focus and expectations and focus on the process.

#5 Get Lost In The Process

Let’s talk about 2 values that I fear have become extremely undervalued today …  athleticism  and character. The default way of assessing success is by looking at results but there is so much that is lost by narrowing the focus in this way. As a coach, one question I ask my athletes to consider is why is it important to show up and play hard even if there is no chance of winning… It is amazing how many times they are stumped by this question. I think back to a crossfit competition I judged where a group of gym owners decided to skip one event so they could get 1st in another… I saw this ‘strategy’ as an integrity issue because winning to me means leaving competition knowing you did your absolute best. When you show up every day ready to work hard and learn from mistakes while honoring your values you are building athleticism and character which allows you to trust yourself and achieve success long-term. As an athlete, even if you are in the middle of a season that did not turn out the way you wanted, you can continue to build athleticism and character which will serve you better than a win. Find reasons to get excited and connected to your purpose daily then show up, ready to be your best. 

(To dig into more values of confident athletes check out my blog by clicking here)

There you have it. I am not sure where you are in your journey but know that by implementing a few of the strategies I shared above, you can transition well and set yourself up for long-term success. If you are interested in learning more about the process of setting yourself up for success check out my prepped for success bundle by clicking here. Use coupon code FINISHSTRONG for 10% off.

The content is great but real change happens in the application. The most important thing I do for my clients is to keep them accountable for applying their mental game skills every practice and game. I offer them support so they never have to stay stuck.

I am here to support you. A performance check coaching session is a great way for me to learn more about where you are and your goals and to identify any gaps. I am only able to work with a limited number of clients at a time to be most effective so If you are interested in learning more, make sure you reserve your spot today. Sign up now by clicking here.

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