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UK Coaching Team
Self-care and development

Being the Best Version of You: The Coach’s Transition

Advice and strategies to help coaches with your own transitions, developed in partnership with Assistant Coach of England boys’ U18 hockey team James Culnane. Suggested actions include finding opportunities to interact with and learn from other coaches

Transitions occur when someone or something moves from one state to another. In the context of human behaviour, there is likely to be an adaption based on either an anticipated or unanticipated transition. 

In simple terms, anticipated transitions are somewhat planned or expected and unanticipated transitions are less predictable. As coaches, anticipated transitions may occur when changing roles or working with a new mentor. Unanticipated transitions can take place when opportunities to learn about yourself arise.  This might be in competition or when decisions need to be made that challenge your philosophies.

Schlossberg’s 4S model is a useful way to frame what is happening and to help develop the coping strategies or understanding of how to transition smoothly. Try to understand the situation, one’s self, the support available and the strategies that you may require to help transition smoothly. 

Anderson’s integrative model of transition highlights moving in and moving out. These refer to the transition in or out of an environment. As a leader in those environments it is important to remember that your influence may stretch beyond the timeline of your actual involvement. You will be crossing over with someone else’s input, which should be considered carefully.

Strategies to ease transition

Below are some helpful ways of looking at the situation to help you understand yourself and build strategies that ease transition.

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