Former College Athlete’s Perceptions of Adapting to Transition

Sarah Stokowski – University of Arkansas
Amanda L. Paule-Koba – Bowling Green State University
Chelsea Kaunert – Coastal Carolina University


Scholars long have been perplexed with how groups of people navigate change. Due to time demands and high levels of athlete identity, college athletes often struggle adapting to a new environment beyond sport. Informed by Schlossberg’s (1981) Model of Analyzing Human Adaptation to Transition, this study explored former college athletes’ perceived experiences as they transitioned out of college sport. Former college athletes were asked about their transition out of sport via a Twitter thread. The question resulted in 178 responses to the initial question. In total, 57.3% of respondents reported a negative perception of transition while 42.7% reported a positive perception of transition. Results of this study can assist athletic departments in forming institutional support systems as well as effective programming to ensure all college athletes are prepared to adapt to a life beyond sport.