Retirement from elite sport has been explored in several pursuits; however, retirement for elite women, particularly those who play team sports, has received scant attention. The present study explores the unique context of retirement from elite netball in Australia through a qualitative descriptive design. Five former Australian netballers participated in one-on-one semi-structured interviews to explore their experiences of retirement from elite sport. Thematic analysis revealed four themes which highlighted the (a) process in navigating the shift from netballer to former netballer; (b) impact of leaving the team environment; (c) differing experiences based on the athlete’s degree of control over retirement; and (d) strategies that are or would be useful in moving forward and coping with the change. Findings reveal the importance of structured support and maintaining a sport-life balance in easing the transition to retirement. Suggestions are made to improve the experience of retirement from elite sport for current netballers.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics|
|Early online date||2019|
|Publication status||Published - 2 Jul 2020|
- retirement transitions
- social support
- women athletes