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College Athletes and Their Transitions Out of Sports

Donna J. Menke

For most college athletes, the end of their athletic career comes when their college eligibility runs out. While some college athletes will move seamlessly from being a college athlete to a career professional, many others struggle to adjust to life without sports. This book fills a gap in the sport retirement literature and adds to our understanding of what it means to leave sport. Steeped in scholarly literature and narrative inquiry research, the book reveals the complexity of a strong athletic identity developed over years of sport participation. Through narratives of former college athletes readers gain a deeper understanding of the emotions and challenges caused by leaving sports participation behind. The final chapters of the book provide strategies to improve the transition out of sport for college athletes. This book is useful for graduate programs that prepare academic advisors to work with college athletes or sports management programs with a course on intercollegiate athletic environments. The book is also useful reading for counselors, academic advisors, coaches, and parents of athletes at all levels of sport participation.

Donna J. Menke (PhD, Kansas State University) is an N4A Research Award recipient and teaches at the University of Memphis. Her research appears in the NACADA Journal, Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Education, and Journal of Loss and Trauma.