Title

Renegotiating Identity: A Phenomenological Investigation of the College Transition for Former High School Athletes No Longer Engaged in Varsity Competition

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

An International Journal of Theory and Research

Volume

18

Issue

1

Publisher

I G I Global

Publication Date

1-18-2018

First Page

18

Last Page

33

Abstract

A breadth of research has examined the influence of athletic identity on college student-athlete experiences (e.g., Harrison et al., 2011; Lally & Kerr, 2005). In addition, scholars have investigated role transition among college student-athletes at the end of their eligibility (e.g., Taylor & Ogilvie, 2001; Wylleman & Lavallee, 2004). However, despite that 97% of high school athletes will not participate collegiately (National Collegiate Athletic Association, 2016), little attention has been paid to identity renegotiation among college students who discontinued sport participation after high school. The present study was designed to fill this gap by addressing the impact of sport disengagement on former high school athletes no longer engaged in varsity competition during the first year of college. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 university freshmen at three time points: the end of the first month, the end of the first semester, and the end of the first year. Commonalities among participants’ transition experiences were identified. Findings yielded three major themes, role transition, identity renegotiation, and reflection and projection, each being facilitated by the building of camaraderie. Findings deepen current understanding of role transition and identity renegotiation and offer directions for future research related to sense of self during the college transition.

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