Reaching for the top: a descriptive analysis of the transition of female athletes from high school to university sport
LE3 .A278 2020
Bachelor of Kinesiology
Individuals entering university to play intercollegiate sport face changes across numerous domains including athletic, academic, social, mental health and physical health. Identifying factors that negatively impact the transition of student-athletes can pave the way from high school to university. Schlossberg created the 4S System Transition model including the Self, Situation, Supports and Strategies as a framework for understanding how transitions impact individuals. The purpose of the present study was to gain insight into the transitional experience of first-year student-athletes to help coaches and athletics department’s staff facilitate a smooth, successful transition.Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five first year members of the Acadia women’s volleyball team in the 2019-2020 season. The present study used Schlossberg’s 4S System as the framework for semi-structured interviews with first-year student-athletes on the Acadia women’s volleyball team. Constant Comparative Analysis was used to determine high level themes followed by more specific, lower level themes common among participants. Results indicated the importance of socialization into team culture and having a supportive network of friends an d family. All participants also felt academics and athletics took priority over sleep and nutrition despite understanding the importance of both in maintaining good health. Participants also stated they had drastically more athlete friends than non-athlete friends in university and had no other hobbies other than school and volleyball. No matter the issue, all participants felt they had a solid support network at university which served as their most effective coping mechanism. University coaches and athletic departments may use data collected from the present study to improve initiatives created to help incoming athletes transition smoothly including pairing first-years and seniors or creating information packages.
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