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Post retirement experiences of former Swedish elite athletes
Karlstad university.
University of Gothenburg.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sport Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1976-409X
2015 (English)In: Sport, Unity & Conflict : 12th European Association for Sociology of Sport Conference: Book of Abstracts, 2015Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Introduction Previous studies have shown that successful sport careers are often based upon the notion that athletes are living a life in harmony and that positive adjustment to retirement is dependent on the athletes coping strategies and adjustment skills. The aims of this study are to describe; (1) the perceptions and experiences of the road through the elite sports career, (2) experiences of the transition from elite sport to a post retirement life.

Method 36 athletes were interviewed (26 men -10 women) all with experience of top-level sport on international basis. One third of the group had finished their career before or during the 1990s and the others in the 2000s. The questions to the respondents where formulated to grasp the essence of the their experiences.

Results The career ended for many of the respondents as a conscious planned decision. The decision to end the sport career was often a combination of reasons. The transition from elite sport went for the majority smoothly and the respondents enjoyed their retirement lives, although a small portion of them experienced problems as a result of their career ending. Sport still played a central role and sport related properties were important for the respondents. No one regretted their elite sports career but they underlined the importance to prepare for the post retirement life. The majority of the respondents found new jobs, and they were satisfied with their lives.

Discussion It is important to focus on career support, especially for those with problematic adjustment. Unproblematic voluntary adjustment is often linked to the possibility to prepare in advance for retirement. Since no one reported having severe injuries that predominantly affected their post retirement life, they could put their new ambitions in other areas. Sport organisations, public authorities and individuals are all responsible for the athlete’s retirement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Sport Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-48290OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-48290DiVA: diva2:881551
Conference
12th European Association for the Sociology of Sport Conference, Dublin, 2015.
Available from: 2015-12-10 Created: 2015-12-10 Last updated: 2016-04-27Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf