Injury, graduating from high school or college, having competed at the highest level and possibly won a championship, becoming psychologically burned out by the grind of training…what do these factors have in common? They represent some of the key reasons athletes retire from sport (see Andy Murray’s discussion regarding his decision-making about leaving tennis (http://theconversation.com/andy-murray-breaking-away-from-sports-no-pain...). Although everyone retires from their occupation at some point in life, athletes are unique in their retirement experiences because they are often ‘off-schedule;’ that is, many are retiring from their careers when others are just starting theirs. Further, through the thousands of hours of training/competing, the sweat, the pain, the glory, the camaraderie…many come to define themselves solely as an athlete. And when that occurs, leaving sport can become an extremely difficult decision to make and, even when made, can leave some athletes psychologically distressed and socially disconnected. If you, or an athlete you know, are approaching retirement from sport and want assistance with the process, please contact us at the UNT Center for Sport Psychology. Our sport psychology consultants can support you as you make this decision, and help you make a smooth transition into retirement.
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