A UCFB lecturer in Sport Research, Tom Buck, has recently had a chapter published, entitled ‘Retirement through Injury: A case study exploring mental health issues and the retirement experiences of two ex-English Premier League Footballers’. One of many highly respected sports academics contributing to ‘Athlete Transitions into Retirement; Experiences in Elite Sport and Options for Effective Support’, he investigates this largely untouched area in an attempt to improve transition into retirement for future generations of athletes.

Here, we’ve summarised the book and how it aims to help athletes going forward…

Transitions in sport can be either normative (relatively predictable) or non-normative (less predictable) and are critical times in the development of athlete careers. Whilst retirement from sport is inevitable, the timing of retirement can be less predictable. If an athlete copes well with the transition they may be better able to adjust to life after sport. However, not coping with the transition can lead to a crisis and negative consequences for the athlete.

Transition periods from sport and in particular retirement from sport have been identified as high-risk periods for athletes in terms of psychological distress. However, circumstances surrounding the athlete’s retirement are a critical factor in the transition into life after sport. Voluntarily retiring from sport for example, leads to a smoother transition than being forced into retirement through injury or deselection. Research indicates that retirement from sport should be seen as a process rather than a single moment, with many athletes taking up to two years to successfully transition out of sport.

Currently, there are few bodies of work that are solely devoted to retirement transition. Athlete Transitions into Retirement: Experiences in Elite Sport and Options for Effective Support provides contemporary viewpoints on athlete transitions from elite sport in a global context. This volume is a collaboration of research from leading authors around the world, offering global perspectives to athlete transitions into retirement and is key reading for both researchers and practitioners in the fields of Sport Psychology and Coaching as well as the Athletes themselves.

Click here to buy the book or an online version.