Life after hockey : an examination of athletic career transition and the National Hockey League's career transition program
Andrijiw, Andre Michael
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The existent body of athletic career retirement literature is scant in studies of career transition programs. In an effort to attend to this analytical gap, the present study set out to examine the transitions of National Hockey League (NHL; ice hockey) alumni, as well as the effect ~and effectiveness of their respective career transition program, the Life After Hockey program. Interviews with 17 NHL/program alumni revealed that quality of transition (to post-playing life) was affected by: the continuity between pre- and postretirement environments; athletic identity; physical/psychological health (particularly with respect to post-concussion syndrome); selective coping strategies (e.g., preretirement planning (e.g., financial planning, continued education), positive reinterpretation, alcohol/substance abuse); and social support. Also affecting quality of transition, and found to be highly effective (particularly in generating new occupational opportunities, assisting in the acquisition of new skills, and providing a system of continuous support), was the Life After Hockey program.