Events of athletic career: a comparison between career paths

Javier Ramos Gómez, Cristina López de Subijana, Maria Isabel Barriopedro Moro, Carlos Muniesa


The aim of this paper was to compare the sport stages of elite athletes depending on the career path they took. 476 retired elite Spanish athletes (62.5% male and 37.5% females) from 32 different sports answered a 55 items questionnaire. The starting ages of the students-athletes and the exclusively devoted to sport groups are similar. These similarities could be due to early decisions are taken by parents. Student-athletes reach also mastery stage two years earlier whereby we supposed some of the athletes do not start higher education studies as combining both activities seem to be too difficult. The best sport result was attained at different ages but it seems that the all trajectories spend seven years to achieve it. The non-student-athletes lengthened athletic career could be explained by a consequent delay in assuming new identity shifts. Finally, the student-athletes retire from four to five years before and could be explained because they usually plan more and better the retirement. In summary, the combination of a dual career with studies is the best option.


Dual Career; Sport career development; Sport stages; Elite athletes; Athletic career models

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