Life Transitions for Athletes

2204185289Your dream voyage abruptly stopped.

Life as you knew it just ended. You’re devastated.

You graduated from school, and just like that, you’re no longer part of a sports team. It feels like you lost your athlete-family, purpose, and the thing you were most talented at all in one swoop.

Or, you’ve been working for your lifelong dream of finals, nationals, a scholarship, or the Olympics, but an injury just crushed your dreams. You’re angry and emotionally shattered.

Maybe you know it’s time to retire from your sport, but the idea of losing your identity without it is terrifying. Leaving the grueling training behind will bring physical relief, but you have no idea who you are or what you want to do in the world beyond athletics.

If the end came too soon, you’re ashamed that you didn’t accomplish “the goal.” You feel like you’ve failed yourself, your family, coaches, and teammates who have all sacrificed so much for you. You’re filled with “should haves”: tried harder, trained smarter, been tougher.

You think, “All my hard work and sacrifice has been for what?!”

Your compass isn’t calibrated, and you can’t find your True North.

The life of an athlete is like no other. For as long as you can remember, your life has been highly disciplined with workouts, nutrition plans, icing routines, physical therapy, watching films, travel to competitions, and game-day rituals. You are highly driven and dedicated to your goals.

No matter what else you did in your life, a part of your mind was constantly focused on your sport. Even on the hardest training days, it was your life’s passion and gave you meaning.

Now it’s over. You’re lost and directionless. You have no idea how to be a NARP (Non-Athlete Regular Person). Overnight, life as you know it was snatched from you, and suddenly even the simplest things seem confusing. How do “normal” people eat, exercise, socialize, and just “be”?

2199674097Let’s point you in the right direction.

I get what you’re going through. I was an elite athlete who made many life sacrifices for my sport. An injury stole my dreams of going to the Olympics, and then chronic pain forced me to end my career as a collegiate gymnast early. I lost my scholarship and nearly lost my life.

As an athlete, you have coaches who help you figure out how to move, set goals, see the vision for the future, and be prepared for the tasks ahead. When you suddenly leave the sport, you are completely alone to figure it out. The world “out there” is nothing like the world of sports you’ve known.

I have been where you are and struggled through it solo, resulting in years of unhealthy coping and feeling entirely lost. Thankfully, I eventually found my way to a therapist who helped me rebuild my life. You don’t have to do this alone. I am here, and I can help.

There’s a whole new world to explore. How therapy can help.

I understand the unique culture of high-level sports, so I understand the jarring transition you are going through.

To start, we’ll work through the practical aspects of learning how to live life differently. We’ll use talk therapy including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, brain science, and psychoeducation to help you find a new rhythm.

Whether it was a traumatic ending or an age-appropriate evolution, you’ve experienced a huge loss. We’ll use art therapy, trauma therapy, and depth psychology to move you through grief in productive ways.

We’ll also honor and celebrate your sports career and the years of tireless devotion you’ve committed. Your sport will always be a part of you. We will identify how to move the best parts of your athlete-self forward into the next chapter of your life.

Finally, we’ll help you envision what’s next. Maybe you want to stay connected to the sport by being a coach, judge, or trainer. Or maybe you need a clean break. We’ll work together to discover new passions that give you purpose and offer a sense of deep meaning for your future.

2138299561Are you up for the challenge?! Your next journey awaits.

I’m on Team YOU and I’m here to cheer you on! One part of your life has ended, but there are exciting possibilities for the rest of it.

Let me help you – just like a coach would – make it through this transition so that you can thrive in the most important game of all, your life.

Call or text me to set-up a free phone consultation: (904) 201-2122.

Destination peace, purpose, and happiness are close by.