Football on and off the field: Challenges in transition from junior to elite

Jose López Chamorro, Miquel Torregrosa, David Sánchez Oliva, Diana Amado


One of the transitions that has received little attention in scientific literature is the transition from junior to professional sport, specifically in football. Based on the development model of Wylleman and Lavallee (2004), the aim of this study is to explore, retrospectively, the challenges that junior football players experienced in making the transition into elite football. In addition, this study analyses specific challenges of this transition according to gender. 8 males and 8 females were interviewed about their experience in the transition to elite football. The results are divided into two main sections: challenges associated with football on the field and challenges associated with football off the field (e.g., structure, social concept). The analysis shows the effect the challenges that football players must cope with on the field produces on the athletes and their psychological levels. Off the field challenges are also produced at those levels and, in addition, at psychosocial and academic/work related levels. The relevance of facing these challenges successfully and their importance for proper adaptation to elite football is discussed.


Transitions from junior-to-senior; Qualitative study; Career development; Gender difference; Football

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Copyright (c) 2016 Jose López Chamorro, Miquel Torregrosa, David Sánchez Oliva, Diana Amado