Constraints and facilitators in elite athletes’ dual careers: A mixed methods approach

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Many elite athletes invest time and resources into a professional career besides their sporting career to prepare for their time after sports. This is called a dual career. The present study aims to identify the constraints and facilitators that elite athletes encounter in the different stages of their dual career. Moreover, the effects of these constraints and facilitators on athletes’ dual careers are investigated. The study employs an exploratory mixed-methods approach. First, a qualitative study is performed by conducting semi-structured interviews with n= 11 athletes from Germany. Following this, a quantitative study using an online survey is conducted with a sample of n= 200 German elite athletes. Data are analysed using descriptive analysis, principal component analysis, one-way ANOVA and regression analysis. The combined results show that athletes in university feel most constrained by intra-personal constraints and have the lowest levels of intra-personal facilitators. Structural facilitators provided by educational and vocational institutions have a positive effect on athletes’ dual careers whereas constraints, especially feelings of pressure have a negative effect. These findings highlight the importance of providing structural support to athletes such as psychological support, financial support and contact persons in the athletes’ environments.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Policy and Politics
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)131-149
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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