Athlete transitions into retirement: Experiences in elite sport and options for effective support

Deb Agnew (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportAnthologypeer-review


Transitions in sport can be either normative (relatively predictable) or non-normative (less predictable) and are critical times in the development of athlete’s careers. While retirement from sport is inevitable, the timing of retirement can be less predictable. If an athlete copes well with the transition they may be better able to adjust to life after sport. However, not coping with the transition can lead to a crisis and negative consequences for the athlete.

Transition periods from sport and in particular retirement from sport have been identified as high-risk periods for athletes in terms of psychological distress. However, circumstances surrounding the athlete’s retirement are a critical factor in the transition into life after sport. Voluntarily retiring from sport for example, leads to a smoother transition than being forced into retirement through injury or deselection. Research indicates that retirement from sport should be seen as a process rather than a single moment, with many athletes taking up to two years to successfully transition out of sport.

Currently, there are few bodies of work that are solely devoted to retirement transition. Athlete Transitions into Retirement: Experiences in Elite Sport and Options for Effective Support provides contemporary viewpoints on athlete transitions from elite sport in a global context. This volume is a collaboration of research from leading authors around the world, offering global perspectives to athlete transitions into retirement and is key reading for both researchers and practitioners in the fields of Sport Psychology and Coaching as well as the Athletes themselves
Original languageEnglish
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis
Number of pages232
ISBN (Print)9780367432867
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge Psychology of Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity


  • sport
  • transitions
  • athletes
  • Elite Sport
  • athlete retirement


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