To Fall From Athletics Gracefully  A Behavioral Approach In Dealing With The Realities of Becoming A Retired Athlete

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To Fall From Athletics GracefullyA Behavioral Approach In Dealing With The Realities of Becoming A Retired AthletePage #Possible Causes of Disengagement From AthleticsInjuryLoss of EligibilityInadequacyRealities of Athletics As A Profession1 out of every 235 male high school players will every start for a Division I college team.1 out of every 5,635 high school football players will play for a professional team.1 out of 46 high school basketball players make a college varsity team.Out of 100 high school football teams in the U.S., only 1 senior will make it to the NFLEach year in America, over a half of a million basketball and football athletes are retired from their sport.1 out of every 2,300 high school basketball players get drafted by the NBA. (Note: On each NBA team, only 2 jobs are available for 30 people attending rookie camps.Of those athletes that earn college scholarships, graduation rates for college males show:35% of the football players graduate.27% of the basketball players graduate.18% of the baseball players graduate.What Occurs In The Disengagement Process?Only half of the males and females studied at the collegiate level claim to be satisfied and fulfilled with their retirement from sport. (Note: No statistics are available on those athletes at the High School level).A host of psychological difficulties have been reported. They include:DepressionObsessive ThoughtsSelf DestructivenessPeriods of Adjustments In Retirement From Athletics1. Helplessness and Disorientation Phase.Lacks ability to deal with new freedoms from structure.Exhibits certain forms of denial.Develops unrealistic expectations of returning to athletics.2. Reality PhaseReality turns to anger against the self.3. Bargaining PhaseWith Coach, God or Self4. Self Development PhaseDepression subsidesRenewed energy emergesExplores new alternativesNote: The Self Development Phase may be accomplished on the surface.Athletes must choose to examine their frustrationsThey must seek new ways of modifying behaviorsNegative thoughts will continue to be rehearsed or imprinted in the mind.What Can Sports Administrators Do To Help Athletes Retire Gracefully?Early, honest, realistic education is needed to address the process of disengagement.Teach skills to cope with disengagement both psychological and physical.Concepts of letting things go and looking forward toward the future.Channeling of physical energies into some other forms of recreationCareer counseling centered around career orientation and employment opportunities after athletics.





Graduation Rates Of All Athletes In Texas NCAA Div IUniversities Compared To U.S. Graduation Rates Of Athletes

(Year = 1988 - 1989)

All Texas Universities

NCAA Total

All Students All Athletes White Men Black Men White Women Black Women

Note: The figures cover 302 colleges and universities * Graduating within six yearsSource: National Collegiate Athletic AssociationPrinted in The Chronicle of Higher Education * July 7, 1995 pp. A34-A36