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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

Motivation psychologists have long asserted that “all goals are not created equal” ( Ryan, Sheldon, Kasser, & Deci, 1996 ), highlighting how the reason(s) for goal pursuit impact goal progress, attainment, and well-being. Building upon this framework, we propose that all athletic career

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Migration and Career Transitions in Professional Sports: Transnational Athletic Careers in a Psychological and Sociological Perspective

Sine Agergaard and Tatiana V. Ryba

With rising globalization and professionalization within sports, athletes are increasingly migrating across national borders to take up work, and their athletic and nonathletic development is thereby shaped and lived in different countries. Through the analysis of interviews with female professional transnational athletes, this article contextualizes and discusses arguments for developing an interdisciplinary framework to account for lived experiences of the close intertwining between transnational migration and career development in professional sports. By combining our psychological and sociological perspectives, we identify three normative career transitions for transnational athletes. First of all, transnational recruitment that draws on social networks as well as individual agency. Secondly, establishment as a transnational athlete that is connected to cultural and psychological adaptation as well as development of transnational belonging, and thirdly, professional athletic career termination that for transnational athletes is connected to a (re)constitution of one’s transnational network and sense of belonging.

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Refereeing as a Postathletic Career Option

Vanessa Bright, Stacy Warner, and Claire Zvosec

off this extant and important literature base and would dually help to understand barriers to referee recruitment. Athlete to Referee? Athlete recruitment and retention, like referee recruitment and retention, are important stages of one’s career. The athletic career is limited and unpredictable

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Restoring Harmony in the Lifeworld? Identity, Learning, and Leaving Preelite Sport

Noora J. Ronkainen, Tatiana V. Ryba, and Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson

( Jarvis, 2007 ). In our analysis, we focus on the embodied process of restoring harmony of the lifeworld after athletic retirement, through a case study with “Pilvi,” a Finnish preelite athlete whose promising athletic career terminated in late adolescence. Through an existential-phenomenological approach

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The Effects of Involuntary Athletic Career Termination on Psychological Distress

Pia-Maria Wippert and Jens Wippert

As career termination is an incisive event in life, it is therefore important to understand the effects of different types of retirement on an athlete’s biography. Thus, the present longitudinal study is concerned with the effects of career termination of professional national team-athletes on the development of psychopathological symptoms, locus of control, self-concept, and mood, with special consideration of the mediator variable “subjective control of event-onset.” Data were collected from 42 professional athletes (17 of whom experienced an unexpected dismissal and 4 voluntarily retired) using standardized questionnaires (SCL-90-R, ASTS, FKK) 10 days before event entrance (baseline-test), 10 days after, 3 weeks after, and 5.5 months after onset of career termination. Although the baseline data did not reveal personality differences between the groups, dismissed athletes showed significantly stronger psychological distress after event onset. They displayed a stronger initial reaction, a more severe crisis, and longer transition periods than the control group. Results are discussed in connection with the combination of social evaluative threat and forced failure during event onset and their strong effects on distress after career termination.

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Perceived Stress and Prevalence of Traumatic Stress Symptoms Following Athletic Career Termination

Pia-Maria Wippert and Jens Wippert

Undesired career termination represents a critical life event for professional athletes. This study examined traumatic stress resulting from (a) a career-ending event and (b) the athlete’s separation from his or her social support network. Data were collected from 40 professional athletes who were members of the German National Ski Team, using standardized (Impact of Event Scale; Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale) and partially standardized (psychosomatic stress reaction) questionnaires. Correlations between the impact of termination and traumatic stress symptoms were observed over a period of 8 months. Athletes who experienced supportive termination (involving discussion with coaches) endorsed fewer symptoms than those who experienced socially disintegrative termination (lacking support of coaches). Nearly 20% of participants endorsed clinically relevant levels of traumatic stress at 3 and 8 months posttermination.

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“Active” and “Passive” Coach Pathways: Elite Athletes’ Entry Routes Into High-Performance Coaching Roles

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

, 2016 ). Consequently, coaches themselves have reported that the development processes for learning coaching skills and knowledge is somehow embedded in their former experiences as athletes ( Cushion, Armour, & Jones, 2003 ; Mallett, Rynne, & Billett, 2016 ). Thus, former competitive-athletic careers

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Tick-Tock Goes the Biological Clock: Challenges Facing Elite Scandinavian Mother-Athletes

Max Bergström, Stig Arve Sæther, Guro Strøm Solli, and Kerry McGawley

Combining pregnancy and motherhood with an elite athletic career is a relatively unexplored yet important research area ( McGannon et al., 2015 ; Palmer & Leberman, 2009 ; Tekavc et al., 2020 ). Previous studies have shown that many elite female athletes are able to attain a similar or higher

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It’s a Long Way to the Top: Determinants of Developmental Pathways in Paralympic Sport

Jacqueline Martins Patatas, Jens De Rycke, Veerle De Bosscher, and Rafael Lima Kons

extensively examined how athletes’ careers can be developed and supported to gain a competitive advantage in able-bodied sports. As a result, there has been a steady growth in the athlete development literature addressing developmental trajectories of elite athletes, otherwise known as athletic career

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“It Was the Worst Time in My Life”: The Effects of Emotionally Abusive Coaching on Female Canadian National Team Athletes

Gretchen Kerr, Erin Willson, and Ashley Stirling

a result of emotionally abusive coaching practices. The athletes reported negative effects over an extended period of time, from their competitive careers throughout the retirement transition and into life post-transition. During their athletic careers, the athletes recalled that emotionally abusive