Elite athletes' image of retirement: The way to relocation in sport

Miguel Torregrosa, M. Boixadós, L. Valiente, J. Cruz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To add a prospective view of retirement to the existing research in career transition based on retrospective data. Methods : Using a grounded theory approach, 18 active athletes were interviewed and the data were content analysed. Results: Three different stages related to athletes' view of retirement were conceptualised: (a) initiation/training stage; (b) maturity performance stage; and (c) anticipation of retirement stage. Our data suggest that active elite athletes gradually build an image of retirement from competitive sports during his/her sporting carrer. Conclusions: Systematic prospective studies on retirement contribute to a better picture of career transitions in sports and can assist in counselling top-level athletes. In our work, we have outlined that retirement is seen as much less problematic when it is planned as a process rather than an event. In the case of Spanish elite athletes, we would recommend that retirement from sport be viewed as a relocation in sport. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-43
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • Content analyisis
  • Grounded theory
  • Olympic athletes
  • Qualitative approach
  • Relocation
  • Transitions


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