As modification of higher education becomes more and more of a focal point for our country, sport psychologists have begun to focus their attention on athletes and their pursuit of exceptional athletic performance in elite sports and the extent to which this pursuit affects personal development. According to Lavallee (2005), previous research has found that collegiate athletes are more likely to have lower levels of career maturity and delayed career development than their non-athletic counterparts. In addition, researchers also found that collegiate athletes were less able to develop mature career and educational plans than other fellow college students. Therefore, this suggests that the education made available to collegiate athletes to develop career knowledge is lacking or incomplete; indicating that future research should be more focused on the personal development of athletes.
In a study by Beamon (2012), the phenomenon of athletic identity and identity foreclosure following the retirement from sports was examined. Athletic identity can be defined as a social role or an occupational self-image incorporated of the social, behavioral, cognitive, and affective, obligations associated with athletic identification. Due to the entertainment nature of our culture, elite athletes are socially reinforced for their physical abilities and success. Unfortunately due to this, a majority of athletes conceptualize their identity and “self...
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...ntial stressors when competing. According to Nicholls & Polman (2007), the capability to cope with stress plays a significant part in how well an athlete performs during and out of competition. In line with this research, the self-efficacy construct has been found to impact how an individual appraises a situation and the corresponding way in which they cope. Self-efficacy can be defined as an individual’s beliefs about their ability to attain a certain outcome which is further expressed in their views about their capacity to execute a specific behavior or task. Since stress is a consistent and defining variable in sports and life outside of sports, it is crucial that athletes develop ways to successfully cope with stress and effectively implement these methods in order to avoid negative effects in competition and in life (Nicholls, Polman, Levy, & Borkoles, 2010).
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