Transitions: Ending Active Involvement in Sports and other Competitive Endeavors

Albert J. Petitpas, Taunya Marie Tinsley and Amy S. Walker

in The Oxford Handbook of Sport and Performance Psychology

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199731763
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Transitions: Ending Active Involvement in Sports and other Competitive Endeavors

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All elite performers eventually face the end of their careers. Whether individuals are athletes, performance artists, politicians, or businesspersons, their performance demands are often intense and require a high level of awareness, knowledge, and skills to effectively manage the challenges that they face. Ironically, most elite performers have not prepared or planned for their transition from the competitive arena. This chapter focuses on the transitions that performers face as they end their careers. In particular, the authors discuss conceptual and theoretical frameworks for sport career transitions; developmental factors related to effective and healthy transitions during, and out of, performance; psychological reactions to performance transitions; suggestions for assisting individuals with preparing for and coping with transitions; and ethical considerations involved when providing services to individuals ending active involvement in competition.

Keywords: Athletes; performing artists; businesspeople; transition; retirement

Article.  7930 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Health Psychology ; Organizational Psychology

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