Transitioning out of professional sport: The psychosocial impact of career-ending injuries among UK cricketers.

Stephen Pack, Monna Arvinen-Barrow, Kelsey DeGrave, Brian Hemmings

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The process of transitioning out of sport can be a significant time in an athlete’s life (Alfermann, 2001), particularly when it occurs due to non-normative reasons (Schlossberg, 1984) such as a sport injury. To date, research into exploring transition out of professional sport due to injury (Park, Lavallee, & Tod, 2013; Wylleman, Alfermann, & Lavallee, 2004), and the psychosocial impact of career-ending injuries (Stoltenburg, Kamphoff, & Lindstrom Bremer, 2011) is limited. This study documented the psychosocial impact of career ending sport injury among UK professional cricketers. Three professional cricketers each with over nine years of playing experience in professional cricket in the United Kingdom participated in semi-structured interviews with regards to the sport injury experience and the process of transitioning out of professional sport. The Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith, 1996) revealed that for all participants, the injuries were medical in nature, and were preceded by number of musculoskeletal injuries. The participants felt that at the time of the injury, they were already at the “final stretch” of their professional sporting careers. They described a range of thoughts, emotions and behaviors post injury as well as number of factors that had contributed to the ways in which they had coped with, and responded to, their injury and the resultant situation. Despite range of negative reactions to injury, all participants experienced a healthy career transition out of sport. To best prepare athletes for a life outside of sport, ensuring athletes have sufficient plans in motion early on in their careers can eliminate number of external and internal stressors. By eliminating and alleviating such stressors it is likely that risk of injury occurrence will also be reduced, and in case of career-ending injuries, athletes’ reactions are less likely to lead to a retirement crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2015
Event14th European Congress of Sport Psychology - Bern, Switzerland
Duration: 14 Jul 201519 Jul 2015


Conference14th European Congress of Sport Psychology
Abbreviated titleFEPSAC 2015
Internet address


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