Nav: Home

Sportspeople can face retirement identity crisis

September 14, 2017

New research shows how top-level sportspeople can struggle to adjust to life after retirement, with their identities continuing to be defined by their former careers.

The research, published in the journal Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, illustrates how some athletes struggle to adjust socially and psychologically following retirement. Previous studies have shown that in the most extreme cases it can lead to depression, eating disorders and substance abuse.

The study was led by Dr Francesca Cavallerio of Anglia Ruskin University, who worked alongside Dr Chris Wagstaff of the University of Portsmouth and Dr Ross Wadey of St Mary's University.

Dr Wagstaff said: "Adapting to retirement is difficult for many people in society and this is particularly the case in elite sport. Such environments are characterised by very clear social and cultural expectations. In order to be successful, athletes typically conform to and associate success with these cultural norms.

"This study showed that, unfortunately, when athletes retire many struggle to identify with anything other than their sport, which for many, has been the principal focus of their life for many years. Therefore, sport organisations must do more to support the non-sport lives of their athletes."

Dr Cavallerio, a Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Sciences at Anglia Ruskin University, interviewed female gymnasts who had retired from elite-level competition and found that their stories followed one of three narratives or storylines: Entangled, Going forward and Making sense.

For instance, some former gymnasts who were identified as entangled had their identities completely defined by their former athletic self and the values instilled in them when they competed. They struggled to adapt to life after gymnastics and suffered from low confidence, low self-esteem, and a lack of drive towards new goals and experiences.

The going forward former athletes were able to develop different identities to that of a gymnast at the same time as they were competing at a high level. Once their gymnastics careers were over, they were able to make the most of what they had learnt in sport to help their future development.

Those in the making sense group fell somewhere in between, not confident enough to be going forward but struggling not to remain entangled in their former life. Future experiences were likely to decide whether they would more closely follow the going forward or entangled narratives.

Dr Cavallerio said: "Sport continues to embrace the early identification and development of talented athletes. In many sports, the age at which people begin training at a professional level is getting younger.

"Our study shows that how athletes are treated and influenced at a young age can have an effect on how they deal with retirement.

"The issues we observed should be of interest to clubs and governing bodies across a range of sports. On a practical level they should be encouraging young athletes to develop a non-sporting identity at the same time as a sporting identity, and have a range of interests and friendships outside of their sport."
-end-


University of Portsmouth

Related Retirement Articles:

Gays and lesbians who feel supported are more certain about retirement prospects
Gay men and Lesbians who don't feel socially supported feel less secure about their retirement than heterosexual adults, a study from the University of Waterloo has found.
New survey delves into impact of intergenerational wealth on retirement
People with an inheritance are more than twice as likely as those without one to feel prepared for retirement (38 percent vs.
Retirement associated with lower stress, but only if you were in a top job
A new paper published in the Journal of Gerontology suggests that the period around retirement may widen socio-economic inequalities in stress and health.
New survey reveals effects of incarceration for older Americans' work and retirement plans
Americans age 50 and older who report that they have been incarcerated at some point in their lives are more likely to express anxiety about several aspects of retirement, to have experienced unemployment in the recent past, and to have fewer sources of income for retirement than those who have not, according to a new national survey of Americans age 50 and older from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Regardless of income and age, best investment strategy is to diversify
Michael O'Doherty, associate professor of finance in the Trulaske College of Business, developed a model to determine the optimal retirement savings decisions of households with access to both pre-tax and post-tax accounts.
Risky alcohol consumption can increase at time of retirement
Every tenth employee increases their alcohol consumption to risky levels at the time of retirement from full-time employment.
Study finds changes to retirement savings system may exacerbate economic inequality
A shift to defined-contribution retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans, has led to an income and education gap in pension savings that could exacerbate future economic inequality, according to a study.
Loss of employer-based health insurance in early retirement affects mental, physical health
The loss of private health insurance from an employer can lead to poorer mental and physical health as older adults transition to early retirement, according to a study by Georgia State University.
Revealing the 'taboo' of retirement for Catholic priests; declining population, burnout
You've heard of physician shortages. But, Catholic priests? They are in a similar dilemma with fewer options to retire from their diocese.
Some women's retirement plan: Rely on Prince Charming
Women believe that somehow, Prince Charming will arrange for their financial security in their Golden Years.

Related Retirement Reading:

How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor
by Ernie J. Zelinski (Author)

How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free offers inspirational advice on how to enjoy life to its fullest. The key to achieving an active and satisfying retirement involves a great deal more than having adequate financial resources; it also encompasses all other aspects of life -- interesting leisure activities, creative pursuits, physical well-being, mental well-being, and solid social support.

World-class author and innovator Ernie J. Zelinski guides you to:

Gain courage to take early retirement; in fact, the earlier the better. Put money in proper perspective so that you don't need... View Details


Purposeful Retirement: How to Bring Happiness and Meaning to Your Retirement
by Hyrum W. Smith (Author), Ken Blanchard (Afterword), Ken Blanchard (Afterword), Stephen M.R. Covey (Afterword)

#1 Amazon Best Seller! ─ Retirement and good living


Are you getting ready to simplify life and move from the world of work to a life of retirement and good living ─ to enter a happy retirement?


Retirement and good living: The author of Purposeful Retirement, Hyrum W. Smith, is one of the original creators of the popular Franklin Day Planner, the former Chairman and CEO of Franklin Covey Co., and the recognized “Father of Time Management”. In this book, Hyram shows you how you can move from your world of work, simplify life and enter... View Details


101 Fun Things to do in Retirement: An Irreverent, Outrageous & Funny Guide to Life After Work
by Stella Reingold (Author)

The Perfect Retirement Gift, or Simply a Great Read for Anyone That Loves Life and Laughter! REVISED, EXPANDED AND UPDATED

***Welcome to retirement!**** No more morning commute, no more idiotic bosses, no more stressful deadlines! You are now officially off the clock and the world is your oyster! There is no need to be bound by convention. Push the envelope. Do it weird, do it different, but most of all do it fun! Be that cigar chomping rock’n’roll granny if it takes your fancy. Seriously, if your kids aren’t worried about what you are up to, then you are probably not doing... View Details


How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide
by Jane Bryant Quinn (Author)

Turn your retirement savings into a steady paycheck that will last for life with Jane Bryant Quinn’s “‘how to’ book that covers every phase of retirement finance. Bottom line, anyone on the retirement track or in retirement should own this book” (Huffington Post).

Today, people worry that they’re going to run out of money in their older age. That won’t happen if you use a few tricks for squeezing higher payments from your assets—from your Social Security account (find the hidden values there), pension (monthly income or lump sum?), home equity (sell and invest... View Details


Retirement: Retirement Planning and Income Planning for Successful Retirement Living and Sustainable Retirement Income
by Ron Acker (Author)

Are you ready for retirement? Retirement is what you’ve worked your whole life for. You deserve to be able to enjoy your golden years doing everything you’ve always dreamed of. But how will you afford it, and how much do you really need anyway? What if you or your family member has a major health issue? When do you take your Social Security? How do you deal with your 401k when you retire? What do you do about health insurance if you are still too young for Medicare? There are so many issues to consider and it can be hard to know what to do. If you don’t plan correctly now, how will you... View Details


You're Only Old Once!: A Book for Obsolete Children
by Dr. Seuss (Author)

With his unmistakable rhymes and signature illustration style, Dr. Seuss creates a classic picture-book ode to aging in You're Only Old Once! On a visit to "the Golden Years Clinic on Century Square for Spleen Readjustment and Muffler Repair," readers will laugh with familiar horror at the poking and prodding and testing and ogling that go hand in hand with the dreaded appellation of "senior citizen." Though Dr. Seuss is known for his peerless work in books for children, this comical look at what it's like to get older is ideal for Seuss fans of advanced years. In his own words, this... View Details


The Smartest Retirement Book You'll Ever Read: Achieve Your Retirement Dreams--in Any Economy
by Daniel R. Solin (Author)

Follow the advice in The Smartest Retirement Book You'll Ever Read and you will:Find simple strategies to maximize your retirement nest eggSteer clear of scams that rob you of your hard-earned savingsEnsure that your money lasts longer than you doAvoid the common mistakes that can leave your spouse impoverishedDiscover financial lifelines no matter how desperate the economy

"If you want a handy guide that provides information in small chunks, Solin's book is it." -Newark Star-Ledger

View Details


Living Together After Retirement: or, There's a Spouse in the House
by Graham Harrop (Author)

A lighter look at life after retirement: more together-time than you ever dreamt of! Join "Ten Cats" cartoonist Graham Harrop in a behind-the-scenes peek at the trials and tribulations of the newly retired. Find cards and gifts based on the popular book at https://www.zazzle.com/ltargifts View Details


Rock Retirement: A Simple Guide to Help You Take Control and be More Optimistic About the Future
by Roger Whitney (Author), Joe Saul-Sehy (Foreword)

Rock Retirement offers inspirational advice on how to enjoy the journey to retirement to its fullest. Traditional retirement advice usually boils down to saving more, sacrificing more, and settling for less. This approach makes people dependent on systems outside their control, such as the market, economy, and investment returns. The result: people lose power over determining their life. What sets Rock Retirement apart is its holistic approach to helping people take back control and act intentionally towards the life they want. It addresses the fears, hopes, and dreams that... View Details


How to Use Retirement Funds to Purchase Cryptocurrencies in a Nutshell (Taxation of Self-Directed Retirement Plans in a Nutshell) (Volume 3)
by Esq., Adam Bergman (Author)

Cryptocurrency, once thought of as a highly technical and somewhat shadowy monetary investment, has matured into a thriving, diverse, and mainstream market. As of early 2018, the cryptocurrency market was valued at almost $450 billion—a remarkable achievement for a form of virtual currency traditional economists were convinced would quickly fail.

The size, versatility, and rapid growth of cryptocurrency make the market attractive for investment by retirement-account holders. In his latest book, self-directed retirement-plan guru Adam Bergman, Esq., explains how easily... View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Peering Deeper Into Space
The past few years have ushered in an explosion of new discoveries about our universe. This hour, TED speakers explore the implications of these advances — and the lingering mysteries of the cosmos. Guests include theoretical physicist Allan Adams, planetary scientist Sara Seager, and astrophysicists Natasha Hurley-Walker and Jedidah Isler.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#461 Adhesives
This week we're discussing glue from two very different times. We speak with Dr. Jianyu Li about his research into a new type of medical adhesive. And Dr. Geeske Langejans explains her work making and investigating Stone Age and Paleolithic glues.