Categories: What We Know557 words2.1 min readPublished On: January 8, 2021

Theoretical Model of Retirement From Elite Sport


Dan Zimet


January 8, 2021


Attention to elite level athletes’ retirement experience started in the 1980s, and led to a series of developmental models and observations. It has increasingly become commonplace to find chapters on the subject in Sport Psychology textbooks, and applied clinicians working with athletes recognize the challenges that often accompany a transition out of sport.

To understand issues like the transition from sport, Psychologists develop models that summarize and visually represent those factors involved in the process. Taylor and Ogilvie’s (1994) Model of Transition is one of the most frequently cited and was utilized in the Athlete Transition Study to guide our questions. The 5-Step model addresses how specific factors contribute to better or worse transitions, including:


Athletes have increasingly come forward to share their experiences with difficult health and life problems, including depression and anxiety, substance abuse, debilitating pain, headaches, chronic mobility issues from past injuries, changes in their ability to think and cope with stress, and more. The Athlete Transition Study’s research team asks you to share your personal experiences by confidentially taking our questionnaire or sharing your story. We want to know more about you; whether you had an easy or difficult transition, are thriving or struggling, were famous or unheralded, an archer or a wrestler, an Olympic medalist or a club-team role player, or someone who never played elite sport.

Whatever the sport and whatever the level, we look forward to knowing more about you!

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