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Identify Development of a College Athlete Essay

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Little literature, until recently, has focused on identity formation through the research of the role of student-athlete; however, over the last ten years, researchers from different disciplines have investigated identity formation among college students involved in competitive sports (Miller & Kerr, 2003). According to the NCAA (2012), over 460,000 college student participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and these student-athletes face many challenges throughout their collegiate careers. As noted by Heird and Steinfeldt (2011), student-athletes are confronted with demands such as balancing athletics and academics, their physical well-being and injuries, athletic achievement or lack of achievement, and relationships with friends, family, and coaches. The times demands that these students deal with are a challenge in themselves which often cause these students to focus more on their athletic sport than their student obligations. Athletic identity is an important part of the student-athletes multidimensional self and can have positive and negative affects on the students. These student-athletes posses multiple identities and sometimes have trouble identifying with both student and athlete. Athletic identity consists of the behavioral, affective, cognitive, and social aspects of identifying with the athletic role and many collegiate student-athletes are susceptible to having a strong, exclusive athletic identity (Murphy, Petitpas, & Brewer, 1996; Tyrance, Harris, & Post, 2013). Research has identified that student-athletes may suffer negative consequences in nonathletic areas of their life if they over identify with their athletic role (Herid & Steinfeldt, 2011).
The importance of identity development in c...


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...ethora of demands and challenges throughout their college careers, it is essential for professionals to be aware of the issues that this unique student group faces and to be prepared with a theoretical framework that can be effective in assisting student-athletes through these challenges (Herid & Steinfeldt, 2011). According to Beamon (2012), students who are not athletes are less vulnerable to foreclosed career identity because in most cases they have the ability to freely explore courses, majors, internships, etc. in that fits their interests and abilities before committing to a single option. Nevertheless, professionals must be aware of the impacts that a strong athletic identity can have on student-athletes identity and career maturity and be able to advise and assist them through their challenges and difficulties that they will face during their college career.



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