How should athletes be supported before, during and after athletics retirement? : moving from an athletic-centred needs analysis to practical guidelines for career support stakeholders / Paul Wylleman... [et al.]

Wylleman, Paul

Edited by Vrije Universiteit Brussel - 2020

The main objectives of the current study were to (a) gain insight in the perceived impact of athletic retirement on athletes’ psychological health and well-being, (b) provide insight in the facilitators and challenges athletes face before, during and after athletic retirement, and (c) develop phase-specific guidelines for career support stakeholders. In the first phase of this study, interviews with athletes showed that (a) athletic retirement affected athletes both in a positive and a negative matter, (b) a wide range of phase-specific facilitators and challenges influence how athletes cope with the retirement process, and (c) athletes had specific support needs depending of the phase they were in. Building on these findings, phase two of this study consisted of two rounds of focus groups with a total of 28 Subject matter experts (SME’s) to develop phase-specific practical guidelines for career support stakeholders. Twelve general guidelines on career support (e.g., a proactive approach, integration and coordination) were formulated, accompanied with phase-specific guidelines. Both action researchers and practitioners can use these findings and guidelines, however these should always be implemented and interpreted in a contextually and culturally sensitive manner.

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