Navigating the shift from netballer to former netballer: the experience of retirement from elite netball in Australia

Lisa Fairlie, Mandy Stanley, Emma George, Benjamin Sereda, Amber Mosewich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1100-1118
Number of pages19
JournalSport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics
Volume23
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019

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