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The Lived Experience of Former National Football League Players’ Sport Career Transition: A Retrospective Grounded Theory Approach
AuthorNelson, Jessica A.
AdvisorHarrison, Thomas C.
Counseling and Educational Psychology
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The purpose of this qualitative research is to understand the lived experience of former National League Football player’s sport career transition. This study addresses the disparity highlighted by the literature for a sport specific understanding of the lived experience of sport career transition of former NFL players. A further purpose is to aid current, former, and future NFL players, as well as sport psychology practitioners, understand and prepare for the experience of sport career transition. As is consistent with a grounded theory approach, data collection relied on semi-structured interviews (N=14). As a qualitative study, this research allowed former NFL players the opportunity to freely share their experience of sport career transition across the lifespan, enhancing the knowledge of how transition is experienced at any given point in time. Data analysis identified three major constructs of sport career transition as social influence, social-emotional impact, and transition strategies. Implications for the field of sports psychology and directions for future research are discussed.