As the Lights Fade: A Grounded Theory of Male Professional Athletes’ Decision-Making and Transition to Retirement

Dane Eggleston, Lindsey G. Hawkins, Stephen T. Fife

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Retirement can be particularly challenging for professional athletes, given their commitment and identification with their sport. The purpose of this study was to examine how American male professional athletes make the decision to retire and how that decision process affects transition in retirement. The researchers used constructivist grounded theory to analyze personal accounts from professional athletes who wrote about retirement, and a model on the decision-making and transition process of retirement was developed. The findings show that athletes struggle in retirement, but by relying on their social support, they can accept the conclusion of their career as a professional athlete.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-512
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Sport Psychology
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2 2020

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