On the transition into elite rugby league: Perceptions of players and coaching staff
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Transitions need to be effectively managed to allow for successful progression through developmental stages in many life domains. In this study, we aimed to generate new insights into within-career athletic progressions by exploring players’ and coaching staff’s perspectives on the transition from subelite to elite level rugby league within an Australian context. A personal construct psychology approach including experience cycle methodology was used to interview 17 purposefully recruited male rugby league players (Mage = 21.71, SD = 2.79) who had been or were part of an elite rugby league squad, and 9 staff (Mage = 47.14, SD = 11.13) who had experience working with transitioning rugby league athletes. Overall, 21 themes (11 combined, 5 unique for each group) were extracted from the participants’ discourse using a thematic analysis, all of which were separately conceptualized into 3 global themes: personal attributes, environmental factors, and critical incidents. Our findings provided support for the robustness of a holistic, life span developmental perspective of career transitions in sport contexts. The theoretical integration of this life span perspective with the Job Demands–Resources model is discussed as a fruitful avenue for future research and theory.
Copyright © 2014 The American Psychological Association
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