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  • Author: Fleur E.C.A. van Rens x
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Fleur E.C.A. van Rens and Edson Filho

The purpose of this study was to explore the career transition experiences of elite gymnasts who became professional circus artists. Eight (inter)national level gymnasts who worked as circus artists were interviewed. Using a constructionist approach to thematic data analysis, we identified a three-phase career transition process. High levels of psychological resilience characteristics were required in the first, “realizing” phase (i.e., motivation, hard work, social support, and optimism). The second, “adapting” phase involved balancing context-specific demands which included general stress, a loss of competence, social adjustment, taking calculated risks, and physical recovery. The third, “thriving” phase involved experiences of freedom, personal development, and social connectedness. During the career transition, changes from an athletic to circus artist identity were experienced. Practitioners are encouraged to support the psychological resilience and experiences of autonomy among circus artists during their career transitions. This is expected to facilitate circus artists’ wellbeing, safety, and career longevity.

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Fleur E.C.A. van Rens, Erika Borkoles, Damian Farrow and Remco C.J. Polman

Using a holistic perspective on athlete talent development, this study examines the impact of role strain on the life satisfaction in various life domains of junior elite Australian Rules Football players. One hundred and twelve talent-identified male Australian Rules Football players (M age = 16.8; SD = .71) completed measures of role strain and multidimensional life satisfaction. The results indicated that role strain explained twelve to twenty-four percent of the variance in life satisfaction in the players’ life domains. Experiences of role strain related to the players’ dual careers were associated with decreased life satisfaction in sport, friendships, family, yourself, and global life satisfaction domains. Situations in which the players perceived that their abilities were underutilized were also negatively associated with life satisfaction across various life domains. This study thus evidences the importance of a domain specific, holistic approach to investigate the life satisfaction in junior athletes’ dual careers.

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Fleur E.C.A. van Rens, Rebecca A. Ashley and Andrea R. Steele

This paper presents a complementary multimethod approach to investigate the academic and athletic identities of Australian student-athletes. In Study 1, the authors explored the academic and athletic identities of 8 student-athletes using semistructured interviews. Results are congruent with the model of multiple dimensions of identity and indicate that student-athletes develop both academic and athletic identities. The corresponding fulfillment of self-determined needs in both academic and athletic identities was deemed beneficial to student-athletes’ well-being. The authors used a quantitative approach (N = 86) in Study 2 and found that academic identity was positively associated with student-athletes’ academic performance and life satisfaction. Differences in athletic identity were found based on the student-athletes’ sport-competition levels. No significant associations were found between the student-athletes’ academic and athletic identities.