Graduation Term

3-19-2024

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

School of Kinesiology and Recreation

Committee Chair

Scott Pierce

Abstract

The Life After Sports program is an initiative designed to help graduating collegiate student-athletes transition out of college sports and into post-sports life. The program is designed with four main learning objectives: (1) support participants in planning and preparation through effective goal setting to facilitate growth and behavior change beyond sport (2) create a balanced self-identity as early as pre-retirement (3) enhance awareness and confidence in transferring life skills learned from college sport, and help participants identify opportunities and support for transferring these life skills and (4) serve as a reminder of an ongoing social support network to reinforce their journey beyond college athletics. This program has been delivered to 15 graduating student-athletes over 12 months at a Division III university in the United States. A group workshop pre-graduation and individual follow-up sessions post-graduation were conducted. Surveys and interviews have been used to evaluate the program at multiple time points. Results showed that participants experienced an increase in hope, an increase in life satisfaction, a decrease in athletic identity, and an increase in total life skills transfer pre- to post-workshop. Follow-up data showed variable changes. While one-time workshops may offer short-term benefits, ongoing support can lead to sustained improvements in athlete well-being by helping them navigate transitions over time. This study adds to the existing literature on athlete career transitions. Practitioners can use these findings to help graduating student-athletes successfully navigate the transition to life after sports.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.30707/ETD2024.20240618063950959284.999928

Page Count

91

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