Why should I take the time to participate in the ATS?
Giving back to your sport is all a part of the process!
Participation is a way to give back to your sport and help future athletes have a more positive experience with their transition and retirement. ATS data will help identify what factors make athletes more vulnerable to a challenging transition, learn who athletes turn to for informal or professional support, and understand which kinds of support systems are most helpful. With this information, we can: 1) better educate stakeholders on allocating resources; 2) inform coaches, supporters, and fans; 3) gain a better understanding of the challenges facing athletes after sport.
Why does the ATS specifically focus on Football players?
While we want to understand every athlete, football is undeniably the most popular and highest revenue sport in the United States. Also, compared to other mainstream sports, it has the shortest career length and highest frequency of severe injuries. We already know that football players are more likely to experience concussions, chronic pain, and CTE than other sports. For these reasons, football may be the sport that has the most challenging transition process and long-term impact. We designed The Football Transition Questionnaire (FTQ) to understand the unique experiences of football players, and we look forward to learning more about all levels of competition, from High School to the NFL!
Why does the ATS study the retirement experience of so many different sports?
Despite people’s love of sport, we know very little about athletes’ retirement experience, which is particularly true for sports that are out of mainstream media. These exceptional individuals deserve our attention! Knowing as much as possible is just good common sense.
The ATQ is uniquely capable of addressing a wide range of athlete factors associated with the retirement process and wellness across all sports. Using these data, we can see how athletes vary regarding sport and position played, career and retirement experiences, support systems and services utilized, and well-being regarding their cognition, mental, social, behavioral, physical, and financial health.
We want to educate sport programs, support systems, and fans about the actual experiences of athletes transitioning from their sport. Doing so will improve the allocation and implementation of resources and direct health care providers to better focus on at-risk individuals.
Why study people who did not play a sport in an elite program?
The most rigorous and useful studies compare numerous and diverse groups to each other. In addition to understanding how athletes differ from each other, we want to see how elite athletes differ from people who never experienced that level of competition. The Non-Athlete Transition Questionnaire (NTQ) provides data from anyone who never played elite-level sport beyond high-school. By asking the same questions to people with different backgrounds, the ATS can make the kinds of essential comparisons needed to help athletes from all performance levels and backgrounds.
What do we already know about Athlete Transition from sport?
We know a lot, but far less than we need to know. Most importantly, we know there are strong opinions based on hearsay, and there is a lot of misinformation. Why? Sport is a mainstay of our society; it is vital to people, including athletes, coaches, fans, and other stakeholders. That means money, notoriety, and power – and lots of it. The ability of athletes to perform at the highest level and the wallets of stakeholders are intimately connected. Beyond the important humanitarian pursuit of improving athletes’ well being and transitions, understanding athletes’ health is critically important to the global sports enterprise and toward knowing the full costs of that business.