Athletic Dropouts in Swedish Adolescence Female Handball Players
Abstract: According to Baron-Thiene and Alfermann (2015), there is a potentially high dropout number within female student-athletes, but they also implicate that only a few studies have focused on adolescent or young adults’ dropout from elite sports. The present study has chosen to explore factors influencing athletic dropout in former female handball players that has studied at an elite sporting school and to explore how the former student-athletes experience their chosen career paths post athletic dropout, using a qualitative post-positivistic and realistic approach. The participants (n = 7, M = 21.0; SD = 1.15) in the present survey has studied at an elite sporting school, where they played handball. Face-to-face interviews were conducted, using the push, pull, anti-push, anti-pull framework (Schultz et al., 1998; Mullet et al., 2000) as main template. The results showed that the main influencing factor for a dropout was push factors, such as negative relations with coaches and teammates. Moreover, it was also shown that the participants missed playing handball but had coped well with their dropout and had moved on with their other chosen career-pathway. When asked if they would consider resuming an active career within handball, the participants mostly showed positive responses to this.
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