Transition happens in football and in life. Here's how to deal with it.

By Michelle Hill | Posted 12/28/2016

Transition happens in football and in life. Here's how to deal with it.

You’ve toiled. You’ve trained hard. You’ve played your heart out. You’ve personified the saying, “He eats, lives, and breathes football.” But now the season is over, and you’re transitioning in a multitude of ways.  

You’ll be transitioning your daily training out of beast mode and into offseason mode. You may be transitioning into playing college ball. Perhaps you had a tumultuous relationship with your coach, and now you want to transition into a more pleasant relationship for the next season. Or, you might be tired of football and will be transitioning to another sport.

Transition is transition no matter what face it presents, and there are basic components you can put in place to make any transition smoother. If you embrace these transition power tools and put them into consistent action during your high school athletic career, you will be able to plug them in anytime throughout your life.

So, how do you power through the waters of transition?

Here are five transition power tools to help you:

  • Mentally prepare. As you’re preparing to transition out of the season, take a few minutes each day and visualize everything going smoothly. Imagine your exercise powering down into more strength and flexibility training. If you plan to have a pow-wow with your coach, envision the conversation going well; picture positive interaction between the two of you. If you’re planning on playing college ball, imagine yourself performing powerfully on the field and getting along well with your teammates and coaching staff. If you’re seeking to get out of football and into basketball or another sport, spend some time visualizing yourself excelling on the court or field as you never have before. Visualizing your transition will fuel your mind with the energy it needs to cope better with your changing landscape.


  • Do one action immediately. It’s not enough to mentally prepare; you must take steps to make your transition a positive one. The sooner you take an action step, even a small one, the more you’ll feel empowered to move forward during your transition. If you want to improve your relationship with your coach, initiate a call or email to him…right now. If your intent is to transition into offseason training mode, change up your very next workout. It’s easy to stay with the same training routine because it’s comfortable and familiar but you need to rest and refresh your body with a different workout during the offseason. If you’re changing sports, find a place where you can practice and perfect your mechanics and style.


  • Give yourself a break. Transitions by their very nature are loaded with change. You’re wandering into new territory and you might not know everything you need to know about your new situation. That means that you might make some mistakes and missteps along the way. The very fact that you’re making mistakes means that you’re in motion and not idle. Give yourself a break during your transition to a new sport, new college or new training routine. Providing yourself a margin of error will reduce your stress during your time of transition. Allow yourself to be human while still striving for personal greatness.


  • Use your character. No matter what you’re transitioning into, or where you are in your transition, using your character traits can greatly aid you in the process. Why? Because tapping into what you already possess is easier than trying to identify new, unfamiliar tools. You might have to think for a moment to pinpoint your exact character traits. The simple act of googling “list of character traits” will lead you to find what yours are. After reviewing a list, identify and write down what character traits you feel you already have. If you want, you can enlist the help of your immediate family or close friends to help you zone in on your best character traits. For example, two of your character traits might be reliability and resourcefulness. You can use those two traits to approach a disagreeable coach with a concrete plan of how to improve your relationship. You could draft an agreement between the two of you or schedule regular meetings to discuss how to effectively manage your differences and how to build on your similarities. Show up on time to meetings with fresh, creative ideas, and you just might find an ally in your coach.


  • Take charge of your transition. No one is going to do it for you. As you mentally prepare, take immediate action, give yourself a break, and use your character qualities during your transition out of high school football and into another sport, or into the offseason, remember that YOU and only you are the captain of your transition. Think about the positive and negative aspects of your transition. How can your leverage who you already know to create new opportunities? Calculate what resources are available to you. Think about how you’ve successfully navigated other transitions in your life. Who can you go to for support during your transition? You’ll need emotional support during your transition, and you know the people in your life who will support, guide and mentor you in a positive, uplifting, honest way. Write down an action plan with check-off boxes and dates you plan to accomplish each item.

Don’t just let transition happen to you. Plug in your power tools and build your personal kingdom through your transition. You’ll create a more powerful YOU.

Michelle Hill, the Strong Copy QB at Winning Proof, helps athletes tell their stories by ghostwriting books. She works exclusively with pro athletes, coaches, team owners, and other sports professionals by helping them move their book idea from the red zone to the end zone.