Exploring the Role of Sport Type and Popularity in Male Sport Retirement Experiences (pp. 1-18)
Authors: Chris Lagimodiere and Leisha Strachan
Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to investigate the retirement experiences of professional versus high performance male amateur athletes from two different sport contexts. Results were obtained through qualitative interviews with five professional hockey players and four high performance amateur rugby players who retired from sport within the last 15 years. Interview questions were based on Wylleman and Lavallee’s theoretical model of transitions faced by athletes at athletic, individual, psychosocial, and academic/vocational levels. The research concluded that, although similarities do exist in retirement experiences, there are considerable differences experienced by these athletes particularly in personal (i.e., identity formation and preparation for retirement) and social (i.e., roles of friends, teammates, and coaches) influences related to retirement. Additional research may lead to an awareness of coping resources and supports available to athletes experiencing retirement from various sports to help improve preparation and the quality of retirement experiences.