Abstract

As only a small number of successful junior athletes continue to develop successfully into senior ranks, while others drop out or do not retain their pre-senior performance level, this study investigated the transition from junior to senior level in five different countries (e.g., Belgium, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Denmark, and Spain). The major aim was to investigate athletes’ perceptions regarding the junior-to-senior transition. This study aimed not only at doing retrospective research with senior athletes, but also prospectively investigated junior athletes on their perceptions of this transition they would be facing. Using a questionnaire, (pre-) Olympic athletes’ perceptions of the changes and difficulty in adapting to those changes when making the junior-senior transition was investigated and compared cross-culturally. Results indicated that athletes perceived changes at athletic, psychological, psychosocial, academic/vocational, and financial level. Junior athletes had quite accurate expectations of the changes that will occur when transitioning to senior level. Athletes did not experience much difficulty in adapting to the changes. Some differences between the countries were observed. The results can lead to interventions enabling athletes’ continued involvement in competitive sport in general and in the Olympic movement in particular.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLausanne, Switzerland
PublisherInternational Olympic Committee
Number of pages91
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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