1st Edition

Athlete Transitions into Retirement Experiences in Elite Sport and Options for Effective Support

Edited By Deborah Agnew Copyright 2021
    232 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    232 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Transitions in sport can be either normative (relatively predictable) or non-normative (less predictable) and are critical times in the development of athlete’s careers. Whilst retirement from sport is inevitable, the timing of retirement can be less predictable. If an athlete copes well with the transition they may be better able to adjust to life after sport. However, not coping with the transition can lead to a crisis and negative consequences for the athlete.

    Transition periods from sport and in particular retirement from sport have been identified as high-risk periods for athletes in terms of psychological distress. However, circumstances surrounding the athlete’s retirement are a critical factor in the transition into life after sport. Voluntarily retiring from sport for example, leads to a smoother transition than being forced into retirement through injury or deselection. Research indicates that retirement from sport should be seen as a process rather than a single moment, with many athletes taking up to 2 years to successfully transition out of sport.

    Currently, there are few bodies of work that are solely devoted to retirement transition. Athlete Transitions into Retirement: Experiences in Elite Sport and Options for Effective Support provides contemporary viewpoints on athlete transitions from elite sport in a global context. This volume is a collaboration of research from leading authors around the world, offering global perspectives to athlete transitions into retirement and is key reading for both researchers and practitioners in the fields of Sport Psychology and Coaching as well as the Athletes themselves.

    Introduction: Athlete Transitions in Sport

    Part 1: Sociocultural and psychological aspects of athlete retirement transition

    1. The Influence of the Cultural Context on the Transition Out of Elite Sport in


    Andreas Küttel

    2. Psychosocial Aspects of Sport Retirement among Collegiate Student-Athletes in

    The United States

    Ashley Brauer

    3. The Professionalisation of Paralympic Sport and Implications for the Retirement

    Experiences of Paralympians

    Andrea Bundon

    4. Considering the Connections Between Doping and Transitions Out of Sport:

    DesperateTimes and Desperate Measures?

    Laurie Patterson

    5. Exploring Transitions in UK Professional Football

    Alan Tonge

    6. Athlete Identity and Career Transition: Implications for Retirement Outcomes

    Suzanne M. Cosh

    7. Retirement through Injury: A Case Study Approach Exploring Mental Health

    Issues and the Retirement Experiences of Two Ex-English Premier League Footballers

    Thomas A. Buck

    Part 2: Supporting athletes transitioning into retirement

    8. Delisted Footballers: Supporting Well-being through Continued Participation in

    State Based Levels

    Deborah Agnew and Elizabeth Abery

    9. Understanding Parents’ Experiences with Athlete Retirement

    Patricia Lally and Richard Lally

    Part 3: Contextual insights from global sports

    10. The Next Logical Step? An Examination of Elite Athletes’ Transitions into Post-

    athletic High Performance Coaching Roles

    Alexander D. Blackett, Adam B. Evans, and David Piggott

    11. Time’s up! Indigenous Australian Sportsmen and Athlete Transitions

    Megan Stronach

    12. Transitions in Disability Sports

    Jeffrey Martin and Eva Prokesova

    13. A Holistic Perspective to Elite Athletes’ Career Development and Post-Sport

    Career Transition in an African Context

    Tshepang Tshube, Leapetswe Malete, and Deborah L. Feltz

    14. Autobiographical Insights into Athlete Transitions from Sport

    Kitrina Douglas


    Deborah Agnew


    Deborah Agnew, PhD is a senior lecturer in the Bachelor of Sport, Health and Physical Activity in the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work at Flinders University, Australia.

    "The book offers a significant contribution of knowledge to this field and especially for those who in one way or another have an interest in advanced knowledge and in-depth understanding of issues related to athlete transitions in sport." - Christian Augustsson, idrottsforum.org