COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon today officially launched Transition 3 (T3), a new elite and para elite athlete service program developed by the National Governing Body to provide educational, career and wellness support for professional triathletes as they prepare for life after sport.
The program offers resources to guide elite paratriathletes and triathletes preparing to transition to the next phase of their professional lives — including a mentorship program, a variety of internship opportunities with USA Triathlon, an online professional development program, and education services such as scholarship opportunities and tuition discounts. T3 also includes mental health support through Talkspace, the nation’s leading online therapy provider, through the end of 2020. The T3 program is currently in the process of being introduced to U.S. National Team and Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon National Team elite athletes.
The phrase “Transition 3” is a play on the two transitions that take place within a triathlon competition. “Transition 1” is the transition from swim to bike, and “Transition 2” is the transition from bike to run. “Transition 3,” then, is what takes place after an athlete’s racing career comes to an end.
“Elite athletes contribute so much to the multisport community, showing us what is possible at the highest level and representing our country with integrity on the world stage,” said Melissa Otterbein, USA Triathlon Education Manager. “But professional athletes often face unique challenges as they transition to the next phase of their careers. By launching Transition 3, USA Triathlon aims to provide professional development resources and foster lifelong leadership skills — from the time an athlete first earns elite status to when they are ready to retire, and into their post-retirement journey from professional triathlon.”
“It's great to see USA Triathlon invest further in its elite athletes by launching T3,” said Lindsey Jerdonek, 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 Eagleman champion and former U.S. National Team member. “I recognize that I won't race triathlon for forever — and preparing for life beyond sport, while I'm still competing, is critical in making the transition smooth. I'm looking forward to the development calls and mentorship program, in particular. Learning how to leverage the discipline, ability to perform and other skills I've acquired as an athlete into my next career will be extremely beneficial.”
T3 is aligned with Stage 8 of the USA Triathlon American Development Model (ADM), “Triathlon for Life.” To learn more about the ADM, a concerted effort between the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and its sport National Governing Bodies to apply long-term athlete development principles in a way that resonated with the culture of sport in the United States, click here.
The following T3 resources are available to all current and retired USA Triathlon elite athletes:
USA Triathlon has created the USA Triathlon Certificate in Professional Development, a free online learning program for elite athletes through LearnUpon, the organization’s learning management system. The professional development certificate is comprised of seven modules, which cover topics such as career and academic preparation, financial wellness, public speaking and long-term vision crafting, as well as stories from current and retired elite athletes on the transition process. Each module contains applied learning activities to advance skillsets in each area. There is no timeframe required to complete the course, as athletes will be able to access all materials throughout their career.
Athletes may apply to the T3 Mentorship Program to be paired with a mentor who can advise on their professional and personal goals beyond elite triathlon. Athletes will meet in-person or virtually with their mentors on at least a monthly basis, receiving feedback and accountability while achieving personal growth through proactive goal-setting exercises.
Monthly Professional Development Calls
USA Triathlon is facilitating monthly Zoom calls focused on professional development and community building within the elite and para elite athlete community, with guest speakers including retired elite triathletes and professionals across the multisport industry. Each call will feature a dedicated theme such as financial management, athlete transition and business development.
Elite athletes will have preferred access to internship opportunities with USA Triathlon, including remote and in-person opportunities at the USA Triathlon National Office in Colorado Springs. Positions vary in total hours and time commitment, as well as in area of interest. Opportunities may include coaching education, marketing and communications, fundraising, legal and governance, NCAA, high performance and more.
Talkspace Online Therapy
Through its partnership with USA Triathlon, Talkspace, the nation’s leading online therapy provider, is offering counseling services to U.S. National Team and Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon National Team athletes. Talkspace is 100 percent online and mobile, making its services accessible from home during the COVID-19 pandemic and convenient for elite athletes who typically travel extensively during the triathlon season. All Talkspace therapists are licensed, verified and background checked. For more information about USA Triathlon’s partnership with Talkspace, click here.
Additional details about the T3 elite athlete service program are available at usatriathlon.org, and further information regarding career and education resources will be shared with elite athletes on a regular basis. Elite athletes may also inquire about specific opportunities by emailing Melissa Otterbein at Melissa.firstname.lastname@example.org.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).