A Study of Career Transitions on Professional Athletes: A Literature Overview

Keiko Jodai and Haruo Nogawa

[Received February 25, 2011 ; Accepted August 22, 2011] 

Since the 1990’s, there has been many research studies that focus on career transitions for professional athletes in Japan. The main reason for this is that during that period, amateur sports teams, such as soccer and basketball, were spun off from divisions of companies to become separate professional teams. Consequently, this changed forced how athletes view the transition to a second career because they can no longer count on being employed by the companies that had previously run teams as part of their corporate operations. Research studies primarily covered top athletes but did not distinguish between the amateur and professional athletes. In reviewing the assumptions and results of such previous research with respect to professional athletes, this study will present the basic themes of such research. For example, early research investigated the actual reasons why and how athletes decide to change career; whereas later research seek to study how athletes specifically deal with career changes. Finally, this study will propose that more research is needed to analyze how the transitions to second careers for athletes have changed over time by using a “crossover” analysis and to review the effectiveness of actual support programs for athletes.

Keywords: career transitions, professional athletes    

[Football Science Vol.9, 50-61, 2012]