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The junior to senior transition: A narrative analysis of the pathways of two Swedish athletes
Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), Health and Sport. Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden.
Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), Health and Sport.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6198-0784
2019 (English)In: Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, ISSN 2159-676X, E-ISSN 2159-6778, Vol. 11, no 3, p. 284-298Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There are as many careers with various pathways as there are athletes, and the interest in the junior-to-senior transition (JST) stems from its particular importance for athletes’ lives when aiming for the senior elite levels of their sports (Stambulova 1994, 2009). This study is a follow-up of the quantitative longitudinal study that investigated the JST process in Swedish sport club athletes (Franck et al. 2016a, 2016b). The aim of this study was to explore two athletes’ (pseudonyms Erik, the swimmer, and Jessika, the tennis player) JST transition pathways, emphasising psychosocial factors that were perceived as facilitating and debilitating the transition process. Narrative type interviews were conducted, and the stories were analysed using the holistic-form structural analysis (Smith 2016). The analysis provided a central storyline (performance narrative) that is similar for both athletes, and two side storylines: Erik’s effort and relationship narrative and Jessika’s injury and reorientation narrative. They shared psychosocial factors that were perceived as facilitating the transition process, including family, coaches and sport club environment. For Erik, the debilitating factors were the negative changes in the group and a poor relationship with the new coach. The debilitating factors that influenced Jessika’s JST were the decrease/loss of financial support and the challenge of facing younger opponents against whom she felt she shouldn’t lose when making a comeback after an injury. After the JST, both Erik and Jessika changed their tracks in life, terminated their athletic careers and focused on pursuing higher education qualifications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2019. Vol. 11, no 3, p. 284-298
Keywords [en]
career transition, junior-to-senior, narrative, psychosocial factors, swimming, tennis
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-39056DOI: 10.1080/2159676X.2018.1479979Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85048360113OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-39056DiVA, id: diva2:1296472
Available from: 2019-03-15 Created: 2019-03-15 Last updated: 2019-05-09Bibliographically approved

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Franck, AlinaStambulova, Natalia

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