Retirement from competitive sports significantly influences former athletes’ well-being. We propose that disengaging from the former athletic career is a crucial factor in retired athletes’ adaptation. Using the theoretical framework of Self-Determination Theory (SDT) we propose that sport motivation at the career peak and motivation for retirement are important determinants of athletes’ disengagement progress from a terminated athletic career. We also seek to examine how motivation for retirement and disengagement progress predict retired athletes’ well-being. Using a mixed-retrospective/prospective longitudinal design we followed 158 government-supported elite athletes who had recently retired from an athletic career. In two online surveys administered 1.5 years apart, retired athletes reported on motivation, disengagement, and well-being. Results suggested that SDT motivation factors are important predictors for elite athletes career disengagement and well-being in retirement. The clinical implications of these findings for athletic career transition and support programs are discussed.
Letting Go of Gold: Examining the Role of Autonomy in Elite Athletes’ Disengagement from Their Athletic Careers and Well-Being in Retirement
Anne Holding, Jo-Annie Fortin, Joëlle Carpentier, Nora Hope, and Richard Koestner
Effects of Cognitive-Behavioral Psychological Skills Training on the Motivation, Preparation, and Putting Performance of Novice Golfers
Pierre H. Beauchamp, Wayne R. Halliwell, Jean F. Fournier, and Richard Koestner
This study examined the effects of a 14-week cognitive-behavioral teaching program on the motivation, preparation, and putting performance of novice golfers. A cognitive-behavioral program was adapted from Boutcher and Rotella (1987) and was compared with a physical skills training group and a control group. The Sport Motivation Scale (Pelletier, Fortier, Vallerand, Tusón, Briére, & Blais, 1995) was used to measure intrinsic versus introjected forms of selfregulation. Preputt routines and actual putting performance were measured by observer ratings. Participants completed all dependent measures prior to training and at 3 additional times spaced over 4-week intervals. The results showed that participants in the cognitive-behavioral program displayed enhanced intrinsic motivation, more consistent use of preputt routines, and improved putting performance relative to participants in the other 2 groups. Cognitive-behavioral participants also showed a significantly reduced use of introjection, which reflects a harsh, self-evaluative form of self-regulation similar to ego involvement. The results support the conclusion drawn by Whelan, Myers, Berman, Bryant, and Mellon (1988) that cognitive-behavioral approaches are effective for performance enhancement; they also suggest that such approaches can produce positive motivational effects.