Compaginate or choosing? The transition from baccalaureate to university of high performance athletes

Salvador Miró, Andrea Perez-Rivases, Yago Ramis, Miquel Torregrossa


The aim of this study was to explore the facilitators that allow combine and barriers that forced to choose between sport and university studies during the transition from high school to university. A longitudinal qualitative study was designed were participated 10 athletes (7 boys and 3 girls) from an elite sport school who were interviewed twice in a period of 12 months. A thematic analysis was conducted of the prospective and retrospective view of the transition to university on four main themes: (a) career planning, (b) time management, (c) social support and (d) personal identity. The results are presented according to the trajectories followed by the athletes after the transition to the university (i.e., combine studies with sport, choose studies and choose sport). Athletes who continued to combine their studies with sport identified career planning as the most important facilitator. On the other hand, the athletes who chose to study or the sport, identified the ineffective management of time as a fundamental barrier to continue combining. Results suggest planning the athletic career regardless of the results obtained, developing and maintaining competences to improve time management, building social support network both inside and outside of athletic sphere and looking for interests beyond the athletic career as resources to continue combining during the transition from high school to university.


Elite athlete; Dual career; Athletic career; Qualitative longitudinal study

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