By Robert B. Andrews MA, LMFT
Over the last few weeks, I have seen quite a few athletes who are leaving for college for their freshman year. Some are going to schools close to home here in Texas. Others are heading off to schools a long way from home in the Midwest, New England, and the West Coast.
I am grateful to have been able to spend time with these athletes before they left. We spent our time together talking about their sadness around leaving home, family, and friends, their joy about starting a new phase of their lives, and their anxiety about being on their own and trying to make their college team.
There are so many transitions going on with these kids. Their lives as sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, and athletes are changing profoundly.
This is such an important time, not only for athletes leaving home but for any athlete, their family members, and friends. I feel that this is a very valuable and necessary topic.
Making Transitions Can Be Stressful
Fall is a particularly busy time for me in my work with athletes. Football, volleyball, soccer, gymnastics, and many other sports start up, and with this start-up comes the stress and pressure of performing at higher levels. Athletes move up to higher levels of competition with each new season. Expectations of coaches, parents, and athletes are higher. The game moves faster, the ball is hit harder, tackles are more intense, and athletes are bigger, quicker, and stronger. Required skills are more difficult to obtain. [Read more…]