Date of Award

5-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)

Degree Program

Educational Leadership

Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Kathleen Weigel

Second Advisor

Korynne Dunlop

Third Advisor

Adam Kosnitzky

Abstract

This phenomenological research study explored the perceptions and lived experiences of professional baseball players related to their level of preparedness for retirement from the sport. The study was guided by three research questions. The data were collected from eight professional baseball players at different stages of their career. Data collection occurred through interviews with four actively playing professional baseball players and four former professional baseball players. The findings of the study reveal that during their careers, professional baseball players typically devote exclusive focus to training and skill development in an effort to remain in the game as long as possible. Professional baseball players often neglect preparation for transition from sport until retirement becomes imminent or has already occurred leaving little to no time to prepare for their next phase of life. The sport career transition often occurs at a time in which same age peers are fully engaged in their post college careers. At the onset of transition from sport the professional baseball player experiences complex feelings of denial, grief, and anger as they find themselves occupationally "starting over". It has been revealed that it is important for professional baseball players to participate in sport career transition programs to improve the quality of the transition experience and increase their preparation for life after sport.

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