Academic journal article Journal of Sport Behavior

Transition Experiences of Division-1 College Student-Athletes: Coach Perspectives

Academic journal article Journal of Sport Behavior

Transition Experiences of Division-1 College Student-Athletes: Coach Perspectives

Article excerpt

Part of being a college student involves learning how to balance school and nonschool responsibilities while developing into an independent adult (Evans, Forney, Guido, Patton, & Renn, 2010). College student-athletes in particular face the unique challenge of balancing the competing demands of school and sport (Bernhard & Bell, 2015; Comeaux, 2015; Comeaux & Harrison, 2011; Navarro, 2015). Student-athletes learning how to meet the demands of academic and athletic responsibilities may experience increased susceptibility to a variety of personal, academic, and sport-related stressors (Adler & Adler, 1991). "Balancing the demands of sports, academic, and social life is probably one of the most stressful experiences student-athletes face other than game day and exam day" (Gaston-Gayles, Crandall, & Howard-Hamilton, 2015, p. 23). The combination of these stressors can result in detrimental consequences related to mental health, such as anxiety, depression, and substance use (Myers & Sweeney, 2005; Parham, 1993; Stambulova, Alfermann, Statler, & Cote, 2009; Wilson, Pritchard, & Schaffer, 2004).

Due to these stressors, college student-athletes may have reduced time for academic and career planning (Adler & Adler, 1987; Bell, 2009; Broughton & Neyer, 2001; Parham, 1993). The limited time available to student-athletes to engage in career exploration during college can result in limited identity development outside of the prominent roles of student and athlete (Brewer, 1993; Comeaux & Harrison, 2011; McQuown-Linnemeyer & Brown, 2010). It is imperative for student-athletes to pursue intentional involvement in activities that provide them with educational and/or professional information or experience. Such purposeful engagement strategies (Kuh, 2001) have been rampant in current literature (Astin, 1999; Gaston-Gayles & Hu, 2009; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005). While previous research suggests strategies such as active participation in student organizations and regular interaction with faculty and peers in class, there is a need for additional supportive programming for collegiate student-athletes as they maneuver their years in higher education and prepare for a successful transition out of college and sport (Gaston-Gayles & Hu, 2009).

Schlossberg's Transition Theory

One theory that has been used to better understand how individuals transition through different experiences is Schlossberg's Transition Theory (STT; Schlossberg, 1981; Goodman, Schlossberg, & Anderson, 2006; Schlossberg, 2011). According to this theory, transitions are defined as events or nonevents that result in changes in relationships, routines, assumptions, and/or roles. An event could be anticipated (e.g., graduating from college) or unanticipated (e.g., an unexpected surgery). A nonevent refers to a transition that was expected to happen, but did not actually occur (e.g., playing sports professionally). Transition as a process is conceptualized as the reactions individuals experience over time as they enter into, navigate, and eventually exit the transition process (Schlossberg, 2011).

The ability of an individual to cope with transition is influenced by their ratio of assets to liabilities in four areas: the four S's (Schlossberg, 2011). Social supports refer to the transitioning individual's interpersonal network (or lack thereof) in various life contexts, as well as the quality (supportive or unsupportive) and quantity (sufficient or insufficient) of this support. Support could also expand beyond immediate interpersonal networks to include support from more peripheral sources such as larger organizations and institutions. Situation refers to an individual's life context at the time of transition, including the type and timing of the transition, their control over transition, and the role changes that may accompany the transition. SW/"refers to an individual's strengths and opportunities for growth, as well as previous success in effectively managing transition. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.