At the end of the match: comparing career termination process between football players and other-sport’s athletes

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno


A peculiar moment in the athletic career is retirement, that usually occurs at a very early age, unlike a “normal” worker, implying deep and fast modification in the athletic identity and a process of adjustment to another life (Alfermann & Stambulova, 2012). In Italy, this theme is little explored: there are few studies on football players’ career termination (Croce, Piani, Russo, 2011), but in mostly unexplored. We involve 42 former high-level athletes (18 football players and 23 other sports athletes, from both individual and team sports), in a retrospective research to explore their lived experience of leaving sport context and identifying differences. We investigate the subjective meaning they gave to the transition outside sport, the adaptation process to retirement and the way they manage the educational path to prepare to post sport career (dual career), comparing football players with other sports athletes. We use semi-structured interviews and Professional Life-Space (PLS), an adaptation of the Family Life Space by Motswin (Italian version by Gozzoli & Tamanza, 1998, 2008), a graphic-symbolic tool by which the person draws his professional and personal network during different phases of his life. It emerges that: dual career isn’t considered a support for retirement, nor by athletes nor by sport culture, because football players are more often favored in retirement by strong ties with their Clubs and they can easily remain in sport context, while other sport’s athletes have more difficulties to remain there, given the lack of resources. Families are considered a strong support factor and sport is often considered “the best place to remain” for a former athlete. Implications comprehend the necessity to sensitize athletes to post sport career just during their career, with the possibility to deal with a dual career path, to avoid identity closeness and post retirement crisis.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteSport Psychology: Linking theory to practice
Numero di pagine2
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017
Evento14th World ISSP Congress – (International Society of Sport Psychology) - Seville (Spain)
Durata: 10 lug 201714 lug 2017


Convegno14th World ISSP Congress – (International Society of Sport Psychology)
CittàSeville (Spain)


  • athletic career
  • career transitions
  • football players
  • protective factors
  • risk factors


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