Athlete Transitions into Retirement : Experiences in Elite Sport and Options for Effective Support book cover
1st Edition

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

Edited By

Deborah Agnew

ISBN 9780367432867
Published August 13, 2021 by Routledge
232 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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 KĂĽttel

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

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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.