A conceptual model of the athlete retirement decision-making process

Sunghee Park*, David Lavallee, David Tod

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this article is to provide new ways of understanding athletes' retirement decision-making process, and its influences on the quality of career transition.

Existing literature from both within sport career transition study area and outside the sport domain informing the development of a conceptual model which focuses on explaining the final stages of athletes' sporting careers and retirement decision-making process. The model helps predict changes in athletes' behaviours and psychological reactions through the process by providing explanation of (a) what steps athletes go through during the final stages of their sporting careers; (b) potential influential factors for athletes' retirement decision; (c) how athletes change their psychological reactions and behaviours towards their retirement; and (d) potential intervention strategies to assist athletes' career transition out of sport process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-428
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Athletes’ retirement
  • Decision-making
  • Stages of change
  • Transition


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