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Title: The Nature and Conceptualisation of Career Transitions in Sport
Authors: Alfermann, Dorothee
Bardaxoglou, Nicole
Chamalidis, Prodomos
Lavallee, David
Stambulova, Natalia
Menkehorst, Hardy
Petitpas, Albert J
Salmela, John H
Schilling, Guido
van, den Berg Frank J
Wylleman, Paul
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Editors: Wylleman, P
Lavallee, D
Alfermann, D
Citation: Alfermann D, Bardaxoglou N, Chamalidis P, Lavallee D, Stambulova N, Menkehorst H, Petitpas AJ, Salmela JH, Schilling G, van den Berg FJ & Wylleman P (1999) The Nature and Conceptualisation of Career Transitions in Sport. In: Wylleman P, Lavallee D, Alfermann D (ed.). Career transitions in competitive sports. FEPSAC Monograph Series, 1, Biel, Switzerland: European Federation of Sports Psychology., pp. 6-29.
Issue Date: 1999
Publisher: European Federation of Sports Psychology.
Series/Report no.: FEPSAC Monograph Series, 1
Abstract: First paragraph: While an athlete’s sports career may seem to develop in a smooth and continuous way from beginning to end, it is in fact characterized by specific phases and transitions. Asked to describe its development, athletes highlight their athletic career, for example, in terms of specific moments or situations which occurred throughout their career (Wylleman & De Knop, 1997a,b). These moments or situations do not only require athletes to cope with specific changes, but are also perceived by the athletes to influence the quality of their participation at their current competitive level. The occurrence of phases and transitions in the athletic career can also be illustrated by chronologically pin-pointing athletes’ sport achievements (e.g., a first national championship title) and selections (e.g., selection for the national team). Comparison of such developmental data has revealed many similarities in (elite) athletes’ athletic careers (Stambulova, 1998; Wylleman & De Knop, 1998): athletes start out in their sport at the ages of approximately 8 to 12 years-of-age; one or two years later athletes start competing at club level, and go, some three to four years later on to national level; a first selection for a national team occurs somewhere between 17-19 years-of-age, while a first Olympic selection is achieved during their early twenties; and finally, athletes do end their involvement in highlevel competitive sport at approximately 30 years-of-age (3). In fact, researchers have been able to identify a sequence of career developmental phases, not only with elite level athletes, but with talented performers in general, namely an initiation, a development, a mastery, and a post-career phase (e.g., Bloom, 1985; Salmela; 1994).
Rights: The publisher has granted permission for use of this work in this Repository. Published in Career transitions in competitive sports by by European Federation of Sports Psychology:
Type: Part of book or chapter of book
Affiliation: University Leipzig
Universite Libre de Bruxelles
School of Sport
St Petersburg State University
University of Groningen
Springfield College
University of Ottawa
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL)
Dutch Association for Sport Psychology (VSPN)
Vrije Universiteit

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