Female Student-Athletes’ Transition out of Collegiate Competition

  • Allison B. Smith Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Robin Hardin University of Tennessee
Keywords: Women, College Sport, Transition, Athletic Identity

Abstract

Abstract

Research in the area of athletic identity has grown immensely since it was first brought forward in academic work nearly 20 years ago. The ideas of athletic identity have expanded into the areas of relating to injury and rehabilitation, transitioning into collegiate athletics, transitioning out of collegiate athletics, professional careers in sport, and even identity formation through sport. This research explored the experiences of 10 women who had completed their collegiate eligibility and had transitioned out of collegiate competition. Three themes emerged from the semi-structured interviews: (a) Sense of Loss, (b) Bewilderment, and (c) Enjoy the Experience. All the respondents agreed that transition was inevitable, but there were mixed results on whether the transition out of sport was positive or negative. The findings also revealed the struggle of creating an identity outside of sport. The participants indicated establishing new social circles, new routines with fitness, and separating from their sport were challenging. The respondents also believed it was their responsibility to offer advice to future transitioning student-athletes so they could be better prepared for their upcoming and inevitable transition out of sport. 

Author Biographies

Allison B. Smith, Virginia Commonwealth University
Dr. Allison B. Smith is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Sport Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Robin Hardin, University of Tennessee
Dr. Robin Hardin is a professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, & Sport Studies at the University of Tennessee.

References

Acosta, R. V., & Carpenter, L. J. (2014). Women in intercollegiate sport: A longitudinal, national study, thirty-five year update, 1977-2012. Unpublished manuscript. Retrieved from http://acostacarpenter.org/AcostaCarpenter2012.pdf

Anderson, A. (2012). Helping college student-student-athletes in and out of sport. In Brewer, B., & Van Raalte, J. (Eds.), Exploring sport and exercise psychology. (2nd ed). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Bardick, A., Bernes, K., Chorney, D., Gunn, T., McKnight, K., & Orr, D. (2009). Life after sport: athletic career transition and transferrable skills. Journal of Excellence, 13, 63-77.

Bass, J., Hardin, R., & Taylor, E. (2015). The Glass Closet: Perceptions of homosexuality in collegiate sport. Journal of Applied Sport Management, 7(4), 1-36.

Blinde, E. M., and Stratta, T. M. (1993). The “sport career death” of college student-athletes: involvuntary and unanticipated sport exits. The Journal of Sport Behavior, 15(3), 3-20.

Boeije, H. (2010). Analysis in qualitative research. London: Sage.

Boerner, W.A. (2011). Transitional leadership: Perceptions of interim mid-level student affairs professionals. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, VOl71(11-A), 3938.

Boixandos, R., Cruz, V., Judge, L., & Torregrosa, M. (2004). Elite student-athletes’ image of retirement: The way to relocation of sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 5, 35-43.

Brewer, B., Van Raatle, J., & Linder D. (1993). Athletic identity: Hercules muscle or Achilles’ heel? International Journal of Sport Psychology, 24, 237-254.

Brown, C. (1993). The relationship between role commitment and career development tasks among college student-athletes. (Doctoral Dissertation, University of Missouri, 1993). Dissertation Abstracts International, 54, 864.

Burns, R. D., Schiller, M. A., Merrick, K. N. (2004). Intercollegiate student student-athlete use of nutritional supplements and the role of athletic trainers and dietitians in nutritional counseling. Journal of American Dietetic Association, 104, 246-249.

Burton, L. J. (2015). Underrepresentation of women in sport leadership: A review of research. Sport Management Review, 18(2), 155-165.

Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Chow, B.C. (2001). Moving on? Elite Hong Kong female student-athletes and retirement from competitive sport. Women in Sport & Physical Activity Journal, 10(2), 47-81.

Cole, C. R., Salvaterra, G. F., & Davis, J. E. (2005). Evaluation of dietary practices of National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I football players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 19, 490-494.

Corbin, J., & Strauss, A. (2008). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Côté, J. (1999). The influence of the family in the development of talent in sport. The Sport Psychologist, 13(4), 395-417.

Côté, J., Baker, J., & Abernethy, B. (2003). From play to practice: A developmental framework for the acquisition of expertise in team sport. In J. Starkes and K.A. Ericsson (Eds.), Expert performance in sports: Advances in research on sport expertise, (pp. 89-113). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Côté, J., & Hay, J. (2002). Children’s involvement in sport: A developmental perspective. In M.J. Silva and D.E. Stevens (Eds.), Psychological foundations of sport, (pp. 384-502). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Daniel, J. (2012). Sampling essentials. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, Inc.

Dunn, D., Turner, L. W., & Denny, G. (2008). Nutritional knowledge and attitudes of college student-athletes. The Sport Journal. Retrieved from: http://thesportjournal.org/article/nutrition-knowledge-and-attitudes-of-college-student-athletes/

Erikson, E. H. (1950). Childhood and society. New York, NY: W. W. Norton.

Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity-Youth and the crisis. New York, NY: W. W. Norton.

Estimated Probability of Competing in College Athletics (2016). Retrieved from http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/research/estimated-probability-competing-college-athletics

Froiland, K., Koszewski, W., Hingst, J., & Kopecky, L. (2004). Nutritional supplement use among college student-athletes and their sources of information. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 14, 104-120.

Fuller, R. D. (2014). Transition Experiences out of Intercollegiate Athletics: A Meta-Synthesis. Qualitative Report, 19(46), 1-15.

Glaser, B. G. (1978). Theoretical sensitivity. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press.

Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. New York, NY: Aldine de Gruyter.

Good, A., Brewer, B., Petitpas, A., Van Raalte, J., & Mahar, M. (1993). Identity foreclosure, athletic identity, and college sport participation. The Academic Athletic Journal, 8, 112.

Grappendorf, H., Pent, A., Burton, L., & Henderson, A. (2008). Gender role stereotyping: A qualitative analysis of senior woman administrators’ perceptions regarding financial decision-making. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 1, 26-45.

Green, G. A., Uryasz, F. D., Petr, T. A., Bray, C. D. (2001). NCAA study of substance use and abuse habits of college student–student-athletes. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 11, 51–56.

Hardin, R., Cooper, C. & Huffman, L.T. (2013). Moving on up: NCAA Division I athletic directors’ career experiences. Journal of Applied Sport Management, 5(3), 55-78.

Hardin, R. & Pate, J. (2013). Playbook vs. textbook: Academic transitioning of NCAA FBS Division I football student-student-athletes. Journal for the Study of Sports and Student-athletes in Education, 7(3), 229-244.

Harris, H. L., Altekruse, M. K., & Engels, D.W. (2003). Helping freshmen student student-athletes adjust to college life using psychoeducational groups. Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 28, 64-81.

Harrison, C. K., & Lampman, B. (2001). The image of Paul Robeson: Role model for the student athlete. Rethinking History, 5, 117-130.

Harrison, C. K., & Lawrence, S. M. (2004). Female and male student-athletes’ perceptions of career transition in sport and higher education: A visual elicitation and qualitative assessment. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 56, 485-506.

Harrison, C. K., & Lawrence, S. M. (2003). African American student-athletes’ perceptions of career transition in sport: A qualitative and visual elicitation. Race Ethnicity and Education, 6, 373-394.

Harrison, C. K., & Lawrence, S. M. (2002). Policy, patriarchy, and progressive: Mindsets of women in intercollegiate sports. Texas Entertainment & Sports Law Journal, 11(3), 5-13.

Hildebrand, K. M., Johnson, D. J., & Bogle, K. (2001). Comparison of patterns of alcohol use between high school and college student-athletes and non-student-athletes. Journal of College Student Development, 35, 358–365.

Henderson, J. L., Meeker, D. J., & Stankovich, C. E. (2001). The positive transitions model for sport retirement. Journal of College Counseling, 4, 81-84.

Huffman, L. T., & Cooper, C. G. (2012). I’m taking my talents to …: An examination of hometown socio-economic status on the college-choice factors of football student-student-athletes at a Southeastern university. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 5, 225-246.

Hultin, M. (2003). Some take the glass escalator, some hit the glass ceiling? Work & Occupations, 30(1), 30-61.

Jacobson, B. H., Sobonya, C., & Ransome, J. (2001). Nutrition practices and knowledge of college varsity student-athletes: A follow up. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 15, 63-68.

Jonnalagadda, S. S., Rosenbloom, C. A., & Skinner, R. (2002). Dietary practices, attitudes, and physiological status of collegiate freshman football players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 15, 507-513.

Kalinowski, A. G. (1985). The development of Olympic swimmers. In B. S. Bloom (Ed.), Developing talent in young people (pp. 139-192). New York: Ballantine Books.

Kamphoff, C. S. (2010). Bargaining with patriarchy: women's coaches’ experience and their decision to leave collegiate coaching. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 81(3), 360-372.

Kleiber, D., & Kirshnit, C. (1991). Sport involvement and identity formation. In Diamont, L. (Ed.), Mind, body maturity: Psychological approaches to sports, exercise, and fitness (p. 193-212). Charlotte, NC: Hemisphere Publishing Corporation.

Kleiber, D., Mannell, R., & Walker, G. (2011). A social psychology of leisure. State College, PA: Venture Publishing, Inc.

Krane, V. (2001). We can be athletic and feminine, but do we want to? Challenging hegemonic femininity in women’s sports. Quest, 53, 115-133.

Kvale, S. (1996). Interviews: An introduction to qualitative research interviewing. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Kilty, K. (2006). Women in coaching. Sport Psychologist, 20(2), 222-234.

Knights, S., Sherry, E., & Ruddock-Hudson, M. (2015). Investigating elite end-of-athletic-career transition: A systematic review. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 28(3), 291-308.

Lally, P. (2007). Identity and athletic retirement: a prospective study.

Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 8, 85-99.

Landino, R. (2013). Growth and change through the college years. Retrived from: http://psychcentral.com/lib/growth-and-change-through-the-college-years/.

Leichliter, J. S., Meilman, P. W., Presley, C. A., & Cashin, J. R. (1998). Alcohol use and related consequences among students with varying levels of involvement in college athletics. Journal of American College Health, 46, 257–262

Leonard, J. M., & Schimmel, C. J. (2016). Theory of work adjustment and student-student-athletes’ transition out of sport. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 9, 62-85.

Martin, S. (2007). The labyrinth to leadership. American Psychological Association, 38(7), 90-91.

Merriam, S. B. (2009). Qualitative research a guide to design and implementation. San Fransisco, CA: Jossey-Boss.

Myers, J. E., & Sweeney, T. J. (2005). The Indivisible Self: An Evidenced-Based Model of Wellness. Journal of Individual Psychology, 61, 269—279. [Reprinted from Myers, J. E., & Sweeney, T. J. (2004). The Indivisible Self: An Evidenced-Based Model of Wellness. Journal of Individual Psychology, 60, 234-244.]

Monsaas, J. A. (1985). Learning to be a world-class tennis player. In B. S. Bloom (Ed.), Developing talent in young people (pp. 211 -269). New York: Ballantine Books.

Nelson, T. F., & Wechsler, H. (2001). Alcohol and college student-athletes. Med Science Sports Exercise, 33, 43–47.

New, J. (2015). What off-season? Retrieved from: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/05/08/college-student-athletes-say-they-devote-too-much-time-sports-year-round

Park, S., Lavallee, D., & Tod, D. (2013). Student-athletes career transition out of sport: A systematic review. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 6(1), 22-53.

Pate, J. R., Stokowski, S. E., & Hardin, R. (2011). Third time’s a charm: The case of Tennessee’s four junior football players who endured three different head coaches in three seasons. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 4, 354-369.

Pearson, R. E., & Petitpas, A. J. (1990). Transitions of student-athletes: Developmental and preventive perspectives. Journal of Counseling and Development, 69, 7-11.

Rodriguez, N. M., DiMarco, N. M., & Langley, S. (2009). Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dieticians of Canada, and the American College of Sport Medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance. Journal of American Dietetic Association, 109, 509-527.

Rubin, H., & Rubin, I. (1995). Qualitative interviewing: The art of hearing data. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.

Saldaña, J. (2013). The coding manual for qualitative researchers (2nd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

Shifflett, B., Timm, C., & Kahanov, L. (2002). Understanding of student-athletes’ nutritional needs among student-athletes, coaches, and athletic trainers. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 73, 357-362.

Shurts, W. M. & Shoffner, M. F. (2004). Providing career counseling for collegiate student student-athletes: A learning theory approach. Journal of Career Development, 31(2), 95-109.

Smith-Rockwell, M., Nickols-Richardson, S. M., & Thye, F. W. (2001). Nutrition knowledge, opinions, and practices of coaches and athletic trainers at a division 1 university. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 11, 174-185.

Synder, E. E. (1985). A theoretical analysis of academic and athletic roles. Sociology of Sport Journal, 2, 210-217.

Stone, J. A., & Strange, C. C. (2000). Quality of student experiences of freshmen intercollegiate student-athletes. Journal of College Student Development, 30, 148-15.

Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics in qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Strauss, A. L. (1987). Qualitative analysis for social scientists. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Taylor, E. A. & Hardin, R. (2016). Female NCAA Division I athletic directors: Experiences and challenges. Women in Sport & Physical Activity Journal, 24(1), 14-25.

Taylor, E. A., Ward, R. M., & Hardin, R. (2017). Examination of drinking habits and motives among collegiate student-student-athletes. Journal of Applied Sport Management, 9(1), 56-82.

Taylor, K. M., & Pompas, J. (1990). An examination of the relationship among career decision-making, self-efficacy, career salience, locus of control, and vocational indecision. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 31, 17-31.

Watson, J. C. (2003). The effects of athletic participation and expectations about counseling on the attitudes toward help seeking behavior among college students. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

Watson, J. C., & Kissinger, D. B. (2007). Athletic participation and wellness: Implications for counseling college student-student-athletes. Journal of College Counseling, 10(2), 153-162.

Wechsler, H., Davenport, A. E., Dowdall, G. W., Grossman, S. J., & Zanakos, S. I. (1997). Binge drinking, tobacco, and illicit drug use and involvement in college athletics. A survey of students at 140 American colleges. Journal of American College Health, 45, 195–200.

Published
2019-01-22
Section
Articles