Athletes' Attitudes Toward Career Counselling: Examining the Role of Athletic Identity
Keywords:athletes, career counselling, identity
Little is known about what prevents elite athletes, or those participating in high-performance international, national, and/or professional sport competition,
from seeking career counselling services. Athletic identity, which refers to the strength and exclusivity of one’s sport identity, may be implicated in athletes’ reluctance to pursue career counselling. Due to a culture which perpetuates the perception of the “mentally tough athlete”, sport participants may be dissuaded from seeking assistance with career concerns as the very act of help-seeking may threaten their sense of strength and competence – aspects which are central to one’s athletic identity. Given the importance of career counselling for the coordination of life activities outside of sport participation and on athletes’ preparation for sport retirement, research uncovering athletes’ attitudes about career counselling is needed to better understand their disinclination, allowing career professionals to shape their services in ways which are more enticing to athletes. This study uses a cross-sectional survey design with a national sample of elite athletes to explore the impact of athletic identity on athletes’ attitudes toward career counselling.
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