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SportPsych Works

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The transition out of sport prompts an identity change for the athlete. When putting an end to their sporting career, an athlete loses an important part of themselves, particularly if they have been training and competing in their sport for much of their life. This may apply to the youth athlete who will not compete in college, the collegiate athlete who will not compete professionally, and the professional athlete who is retiring. Because athletes spend a great deal of time training and devoting themselves to their sport, they may not have time for exploration of activities or careers outside of sport. This leads to identity foreclosure and a strong athletic identity, which has been associated with difficulty adjusting following sport career termination (Murphy, Petitpas, & Brewer, 1996).