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Career transitions in sport : a biographical study

Career transitions in sport : a biographical study
Career transitions in sport : a biographical study

This research focuses on the career transition experiences of eight elite athletes in the United Kingdom.  It seeks to better understand what is happening in the transition process and why some athletes experience difficulties with career transitions be these sport-related or non-sport transitions.  Research on career transitions in sport has tended to focus on the transition of retirement which accounts for a number of transitions such as de-selection, injury and burnout.  Such research is narrow in its focus.  This work seeks to move beyond these limited frameworks.  A biography methodology was utilised as an approach particularly well suited to gaining a closely textured account of the athletes’ transition experiences and for interpreting data generated by the life story interviews.

Findings reveal five major factors affecting career transitions in sport: 1) athlete-coach relationship, 2) family support, 3) transition duration, timing and multiplicity, 4) skill transfer and transition familiarity, and 5) athlete burnout.  It is argued these factors affect the athletes’ sense of athletic self through a process of identity engulfment and/or identity evolvement.  The types of transitions, factors affecting transitions and identity development are captured in a system-based approach adapted from Stambulova’s (1998) perspective of a sport career.  In doing so, an alternative perspective of career transitions in sport is presented, one that accepts the dynamic interplay of a number of factors affecting the athlete’s perception of transitions and subsequent identity development and adaptation.  The system-based approach provides the flexibility to analyse career transitions in sport from the athlete’s perspective rather than through a rigid model based on the generalisations of a number of athlete experiences.

University of Southampton
Van Neutegem, Andy
Van Neutegem, Andy

Van Neutegem, Andy (2006) Career transitions in sport : a biographical study. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This research focuses on the career transition experiences of eight elite athletes in the United Kingdom.  It seeks to better understand what is happening in the transition process and why some athletes experience difficulties with career transitions be these sport-related or non-sport transitions.  Research on career transitions in sport has tended to focus on the transition of retirement which accounts for a number of transitions such as de-selection, injury and burnout.  Such research is narrow in its focus.  This work seeks to move beyond these limited frameworks.  A biography methodology was utilised as an approach particularly well suited to gaining a closely textured account of the athletes’ transition experiences and for interpreting data generated by the life story interviews.

Findings reveal five major factors affecting career transitions in sport: 1) athlete-coach relationship, 2) family support, 3) transition duration, timing and multiplicity, 4) skill transfer and transition familiarity, and 5) athlete burnout.  It is argued these factors affect the athletes’ sense of athletic self through a process of identity engulfment and/or identity evolvement.  The types of transitions, factors affecting transitions and identity development are captured in a system-based approach adapted from Stambulova’s (1998) perspective of a sport career.  In doing so, an alternative perspective of career transitions in sport is presented, one that accepts the dynamic interplay of a number of factors affecting the athlete’s perception of transitions and subsequent identity development and adaptation.  The system-based approach provides the flexibility to analyse career transitions in sport from the athlete’s perspective rather than through a rigid model based on the generalisations of a number of athlete experiences.

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Published date: 2006

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Local EPrints ID: 466546
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/466546
PURE UUID: 1683f0b0-80e2-4c55-a93d-f55b939623e1

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Date deposited: 05 Jul 2022 05:44
Last modified: 05 Jul 2022 05:44

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Author: Andy Van Neutegem

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