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Drop-out Rate and Drop-out Reasons Among Promising Norwegian Track and Field Athletes A 25 Year Study

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Abstract

The aim of the present study was to identify the total drop-out rate and drop-out reasons for a group of promising track and field athletes. 202 males and 98 females, aged 16 ±2 years, took part in this study. Questionnaires were administrated in 1975, 1983, and 1989. In-depth interviews were conducted in 1989 and in 2000. A chi-square test was adminis-trated to test the difference between males and females dropping out and to test the most significant reasons influencing the athletes' decision to drop out of their competitive track and field activities. The drop-out rate was highest when the athletes were 17 years old. The results showed that females were clearly dropping out at a higher rate than males (p < 0.05). In contrast to the most common drop-out reasons mentioned in the research literature, this study showed that the frequency of injuries, stagnation in performance, educational demands, and a lack of motivation were highly notable reasons for why rela-tively many talented track and field athletes dropped out at an early age. The influence of social factors, participation in other sports, demanding work situations, military services, and marriage and family were also reasons for some athletes dropping out. Various drop-out reasons were important over the life of the study, and differed at the different stages.
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scandinavian sport studies forum issn 2000-088x
volume two, 2011, 19–43
© eystein enoksen 2011
www.sportstudies.org
Drop-out Rate and Drop-out
Reasons Among Promising
Norwegian Track and Field
Athletes
A 25 Year Study
Dr. Eystein Enoksen
Norwegian School of Sport Sciences
<eystein.enoksen@nih.no>
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to identify the total drop-out rate and drop-out reasons
for a group of promising track and field athletes. 202 males and 98 females, aged 16 ±2
years, took part in this study. Questionnaires were administrated in 1975, 1983, and 1989.
In-depth interviews were conducted in 1989 and in 2000. A chi-square test was adminis-
trated to test the difference between males and females dropping out and to test the most
significant reasons influencing the athletes’ decision to drop out of their competitive
track and field activities. The drop-out rate was highest when the athletes were 17 years
old. The results showed that females were clearly dropping out at a higher rate than males
(p < 0.05). In contrast to the most common drop-out reasons mentioned in the research
literature, this study showed that the frequency of injuries, stagnation in performance,
educational demands, and a lack of motivation were highly notable reasons for why rela-
tively many talented track and field athletes dropped out at an early age. The influence of
social factors, participation in other sports, demanding work situations, military services,
and marriage and family were also reasons for some athletes dropping out. Various drop-
out reasons were important over the life of the study, and differed at the different stages.
Key words: talents, competitive sports, withdrawal, sports career
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20 scandinavian sport studies forum | volume two | 2011
Introduction
Over the years, the development of performance in elite youth sport
has required increasingly more strenuous workouts, early specialization,
careful planning, and the ability to handle tough competitions (Gambet-
ta, 1989; American Academy, 2000; Wiersma, 2000; Baker, 2003). The
path to success in sport is often referred to as the “10-year rule of attain-
ment” (Ericsson et al., 1993). Combined with handling the necessities of
education, work, and other interests, this demanding situation applies
more pressure on the young athlete—physical, psychological, and social
(Augustini and Trabal, 1995; Mchale et al., 2005; Cervello et al., 2007).
In many sports those requirements have led to the early dropout of many
young talented boys and girls (Petlichkoff, 1992; Sarrazin et al., 2002;
Molinero et al., 2006). The aim of this study is to establish a deeper and
more comprehensive understanding of the drop-out problem among
promising track and field athletes. This information is of vital impor-
tance in the planning of an optimal learning and training process for
young athletes aspiring to elite status in the future.
Drop-out reasons in sport
According to Swain (1991), withdrawal from competitive sports can only
be understood as a complex and multifactor process—a process that be-
gins soon after the athletes become engaged in their athletic careers. Sis-
jord (1993) also claims that the early drop-out rate in competitive youth
sports has to be considered as a natural trial-and-error process. Gould
(1987) mentioned two categories of dropouts, self controlled (internal)
and externally controlled. He emphasized that some athletes decide to
withdraw from competitive sports participation willingly, while others
do not have any choice. Klint and Weiss (1986) have classified three dif-
ferent groups of competitive sports dropouts: (1) the reluctant dropouts,
who are forced to quit competitive sports because of serious illness/in-
jury or an overwhelming athletic program; (2) the voluntary dropouts,
who want to engage in other interests and activities; and (3) the resistant
dropouts, who consider the costs of participation in competitive sport to
be greater than the benefits of being involved. A review of the research
literature focusing on the early drop-out rate of young talents in sports
explains the dropping out as a result of many singular causes. The most
DROP-OUT REASONS IN COMPETITIVE YOUTH SPORTS
21scandinavian sport studies forum | volume two | 2011
important reasons mentioned in the different studies are summarized in
the following categories:
(1) Training and performance factors: The early drop-out among
young promising athletes in sport is often related to a stagnation in ath-
letic performance and the occurrence of serious injuries (Stork, 1984;
Kröger, 1986; Bussmann, 1995). A typical reason for dropping out among
talented athletes is that the training programs are too focused on early
specialization (Baker, 2003; Baker, Cote, & Abernethy, 2007). Further-
more, many coaches’ emphasis on overly rigerous training and tough
competitions, almost entirely neglecting social aspects (Abraham, 1986;
Augustini & Traubal, 1995; Molinero et al., 2006).
(2) Education and work obligations: Educational requirements and
work obligations on one hand, and the pursuit of an athletic career on
the other hand, can cause conflicts between priorities of time regarding
sport activities and school work for many athletes. Several studies have
focused on the lack of time and coordination of time as a typical rea-
son for dropout within competitive sport (Lippe, 1976; Kreim & Mayer,
1985; Enoksen, 2002).
(3) Motivational aspects: The research literature on motivational as-
pects indicate that young promising athletes will continue in a sport as
long as they achieve new goals, show signs of improvement, and regularly
win in competition (Ames, 1992). Athletes with a negative performance
development in sport will experience lower self-esteem, poorer estima-
tion of potential success and lack of motivation (Gabler, 1981; Butcher,
2002). Research also shows that athletes who dropped out of sports at an
early age expose more stress and anxiety in training and competition situ-
ations, compared to those who continue (Sarrazin et al., 2002). Some
studies also show that poor training facilities may influence the athletes’
decision to drop-out from sport (Gabler, 1981; Bussmann, 1995).
(4) The social environment: According to Carlson (1991), a social and
stimulating training climate with good relationships to friends, parents
and competent coaches may have a positive impact on the choices that
athletes might make. Research shows however that a negative social en-
vironment (Robinson et al., 1982; Brown, 1985; Sisjord, 1993) and un-
satisfactory support from important individuals (Patriksson, 1981, 1987;
Ommundsen, 1997; Ferreira, 2002) often lead to an early quitting from
sport. A demanding work or family situation, combined with social im-
mobility, can also have a decisive effect on the athlete’s choice to con-
tinue an athletic career or not (Jonsson, 1983; Stork, 1984).
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(5) Choice of other sport activities and interests: Many young talent-
ed athletes can experience a strong conflict of interest in today’s elite
sport when it comes to prioritizing a special sport (Næsje, 1985). The
wish to give priority to other activities and interests (Brown, 1985; Klint
& Weiss, 1986; Sisjord, 1993) and the desire to spend more time with
friends (Patriksson, 1987, 1994) are marked reasons why many younger
athletes choose to drop-out of a special sport.
Drop-out reasons in track and field
The research literature shows that the drop-out rate among young prom-
ising athletes in track and field is quite high (Ek, 1977; Jarver, 1979; Enok-
sen, 2002). Ek found that 90% of the girls and 75% of the boys among
young elite Swedish track and field athletes dropped out within five years
of beginning the program (1972-1977). In a select group of young Finnish
track and field athletes (n=90), who began specialized training at the age
of 11 to 13 years, only one athlete reached the top national level 10 years
later (Jarver, 1979). Enoksen (2002) found that talented female track and
field athletes were clearly dropping out at a higher rate than males and
that the drop-out rate was highest when the athletes were 17 years old.
The most typical reason for dropping out among young promising
track and field athletes is that the training programs are too focused on
early specialization (Feige, 1979; Vorobjev, 1994; Baker, 2003). A longi-
tudinal study (n=80) performed by Vorobjev (1994) indicated that the
drop-out rate and injuries was greater among the track and field athletes
who followed a specialized training program than among the athletes
following a more general training regime before specialization. Lippe
(1976) found that the drop-out rate among girls (n=381) who competed
in the Norwegian track and field games for youths (Tyrving Games) was
highest when the girls were 16 years old. The two main reasons for drop-
ping out were injuries (25%) and demanding school or work obligations
(14.6%). Næsje (1985) found that 82.2% of former Norwegian track and
field champions for the 12–13-year age group (Donald Duck Games) had
dropped out of track and field competition after 10 years. The most of-
ten stated reasons for their withdrawal were; (1) starting to compete in
another sport; (2) a lack of athletic progress; (3) aspects relating to mo-
tivation; and (4) priorities concerning time and regarding other inter-
ests and school work. Bussmann (1995) identified some stress factors in
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a group of talented young female track and field athletes, which caused
them to decide to stop competing. The athletes mentioned professional
strains, negative personal experiences, a change in interests, a lack of sup-
port from important individuals, and a negative social environment as
the most important factors influencing their dropping out.
In many of the refereed studies listed above, emphasizing one single
dropout reason as the most important was a problematic task. In addi-
tion, it may be difficult to draw comparisons between the results, because
variables like age, sex, skill level, and sport context are not equivalent.
Annual age-grouping is an organizational strategy in competitive sports.
According to Cobley et al. (2009), this strategy promotes relative age ef-
fects (RAEs), referring to the chronological age, compared to differences
in physical, psychological and sociological developmental parameters in
annual competitive age groups. In a review article, Cobley et al (2009)
represents a meta-analytical study of RAEs based on data from previ-
ous research, which attempts to determine the overall prevalence and
strength of RAEs in sports. The findings indicate that sports are less like-
ly to be a career pathway for younger athletes whose birthdates coincide
with the last three months of an annual age group (Helsen et al., 1998).
Thus, the relative age effects may influence the athletes’ maturation, par-
ticipation and attainment in competitive sports (Barnsley & Thompson,
1988; Sherar et al., 2007). In addition, analyses of age category, skill lev-
el and sport context involving adolescent (aged 15 to 18 years) males at
the national level in highly popular sports appear most at risk to RAE
inequalities (Cobley et al., 2009). Helsen et al., (1998) and Barnsley &
Thompson (1988) reported higher drop-out rates in relatively young ice
hockey players of junior high and adolescent ages.
The documentation of drop-out reasons from sports participation has
mainly been based on quantitative surveys. Few studies, however, have
been performed with a longitudinal and qualitative perspective trying to
identify factors dissuading the pursuit of an athletic career. The present
study is intended to examine the drop-out rate and to identify the most
important reasons for dropping out among young talented track and
field athletes (n=300) over a period of 25 years (1975-2000), combining
a quantitative and qualitative approach. Longitudinal designs have been
requested in relation to the dropout dilemma in youth sports (Roberts &
Treasure, 1996). Studies that gather information over a longer period are
supposed to give a more realistic picture in identifying factors contribut-
ing to the athletes’ dropping out from sport. Weiss & Petlichkoff (1989)
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also underline the importance of generating more qualitative research to
get a better understanding of the contextual factors (internal and external
factors) influencing the drop-out phenomenon in different sports.
Materials and methods
Participants
320 young talented Norwegian track and field athletes, aged 16 ±2 years,
were invited to participate in this study. Of the 320 participants, 300
(202 males and 98 females) accepted and took part. Almost all of the
participants were students (95.7%), with 46.3% in secondary school, and
39.7% in high school. The participants were defined as potential elite ath-
letes who were involved in a training program that was oriented towards
the development of national-calibre performers. The participants were
ranked statistically among the top 10 in 10 different track and field events
(Norwegian Amateur Athletic Association, 1975). One of the reasons
why females are underrepresented in this population is due to the fact
that females were not allowed to compete in hammer throw, triple jump,
pole vault, steeplechase and long-distance running at that time. The par-
ticipants competed in the following disciplines: sprinting and hurdling
(n = 62), middle- and long-distance running (n = 75), jumping events (n
= 84), and throwing events (n = 79). Furthermore, the participants were
classified into five performance levels, based on their best athletic results
according to the Norwegian Amateur Athletic Association scoring Table
(1974): Level I > 1100 points (n = 59), Level II > 1050 points (n = 54),
Level III > 1000 points (n = 67), Level IV > 950 points (n = 63), and
Level V > 900 points (n = 57).
Instruments
questionnaire
In the 1975 study, the participants had to answer a questionnaire assessed
by 40 questions focusing on 1) personal characteristics, 2) history of ath-
letic involvement, and 3) whether or not the chosen participants would
like to take a part in the study. The ratings were made on a modified
five-point Likert-type scale ranging from very much (extremely impor-
tant influence) to very little (minimal or no influence) (Kvale, 1996). The
questions were designed with a mixture of open and closed answer alter-
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25scandinavian sport studies forum | volume two | 2011
natives. The information collected through the 1975 questionnaire was of
great importance for starting the present study. The follow-up question-
naire, which was used in the 1983 and the 1989 studies, was designed with
open answer alternatives focusing on the talented athletes’ first competi-
tion years in track and field, in order to identify factors dissuading the
pursuit of an elite athletic career. The main purpose of the questionnaires
developed for the 1983 and the 1989 studies was to get more information
on the following main topics: 1) drop-out rate, 2) reasons for dropping
out from sports, 3) how many had continued their athletic career, and 4)
the motivation for their continuing. The participants were asked to rank
the most important reasons why they chose to drop out from track and
field competition.
interview
In the 1989 study, an orientational qualitative-inquiry approach was used
(Kvale, 1996), and an interview guide was developed within this theo-
retical perspective. The empirical data were collected through interviews
with audio recordings dealing with areas that had influenced the devel-
opment of an athletic career and factors that had influenced the drop-out
rate and dropping-out reasons in elite track and field. In the year 2000,
open-ended, in-depth interviews were carried out with participants who
had continued their competitive careers in track and field. The interviews
were aimed at evoking the participants’ reflections on their experiences
to gain a deeper understanding of the reasons for exiting competitive
track and field athletics. The athletes were asked to reflect upon identical
questions to avoid interviewer biases (Kvale, 1996). The following main
questions were used in the interviews with the athletes and additional
follow-up questions were used if necessary:
1. How would you describe your athletic development?
2. Did you manage to combine your educational and athletic career?
3. When did you stop competing in track and field?
4. Why did you choose to drop out of track and field competition?
5. How would you characterize your relationship with your coach?
6. How would you characterize your training environment?
7. What was your motivation for continuing your athletic career?
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Procedure
The questionnaires designed in 1975 were sent, together with informed
consent and local ethics committee approval, in September 1975 to 320
participants. The questionnaires designed for the 1983 study and the 1989
study were administered in November 1983 and October 1989, respec-
tively. All questionnaires were administered in written form. The par-
ticipants who did not respond to the first request were sent a new ques-
tionnaire two months later, and those who did not answer the second
questionnaire were again sent a new and final questionnaire two months
after the second had been sent. Those who did not answer after the third
trial were considered to have dropped out. In 1989, 10 athletes were cho-
sen for interviews. In 2000, 24 athletes who had continued their athletic
career after 1989 were interviewed. The interviews were conducted be-
tween September 1989 and October 1989 for the 1989 study, and from
February 2000 to November 2000 for the 2000 study. All interviews
were conducted at the Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Edu-
cation on an individual basis. The interviews varied in time from 60 to
120 minutes. Combining the analysis of the quantitative data and qualita-
tive data was to bring forward more refined and valid information about
the variables involved in the processes of dropping out from competitive
sports at an early age.
Data analyses
All interviews were transcribed, and the unstructured qualitative data
were coded and categorized according to the main items of the different
studies and based on the procedures and techniques of Grounded The-
ory (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). The inductive analyzing process should
result in a meaningful grouping of the interview data. First, data were
delimited and grouped into different categories; second, the qualitative
similarities and differences were analyzed, and, third, the major catego-
ries of descriptions and a number of subcategories were formed to elu-
cidate collected data about the main reasons for dropping out of com-
petitive sports. The validity of the data is shown through the systematic
and detailed descriptions, the process of analysis, and the results (ibid).
The quantitative data from the questionnaires collected in 1975, 1983, and
1989 were coded according to the chosen categories. The punching and
statistical analysis of the data were carried out using the Statistical Pack-
age for Social Science (SPSS) at the faculty for social sciences at Blindern
University in Oslo. The quantitative data were prepared for presentation.
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27scandinavian sport studies forum | volume two | 2011
A chi-square test was administrated to test if there was a difference be-
tween the rate of males and females dropping out in the different phases
of the study, and to test the most significant reasons influencing the ath-
letes’ decision to drop out of competitive track and field sports.
Results
The results show that the response rate on the questionnaires was quite
high, both in the 1975 and the 1983 studies, for both male and female
athletes (Table 1).
Table 1 The response rate on the questionnaires in the different stages of the study for male
and female.
Year Male Female Total
1975 67.3% (n=202) 32.7% (n=98) 83.3% (n=300)
1983 56.7% (n=170) 28.7% (n=86) 85.3% (n=256)
1989 48.0% (n=123) 21.9% (n=56) 69.9% (n=179)
2000 100.0% (n=20) 100.0% (n=4) 100.0% (n=24)
The results indicate specifically that the drop-out rate was high amongst
males in all the study phases. Males had an overall drop-out rate of 61.2%,
compared to 38.8% for females in 1983; 73.6% in 1989 compared to 26.4%
for women, and 85% compared to 15% for women in 2000 (Table 2). The
results also show that 51.5% of the male participants dropped out in 1983,
79.6% in 1989, and 85% in 2000 (Table 2). Furthermore, 67.3%, 87.5%,
and 75% of the female participants dropped out in years 1983, 1989, and
2000, respectively (Table 2). The results show that the highest drop-out
rate corresponded to athletes who were 17 years old.
Table 2 The dropout rate in the different stages of the study between and within male and
female.
Between group Within group
Year Male Female Total Male Female Total
1983 104 66 170 51.5% 67.3% 56.6%
(61.2%) (38.8%) (100%) (n=104) (n=66)* of n=300
1989 78 28 106 79.6% 87.5% 81.5%
(73.6%) (26.4%) (100%) (n=78) (n=28)* of n=130
2000 17 3 20 85.0% 75.0% 83.3%
(85.0%) (15.0%) (100%) (n=17) (n=3) of n=24
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In this investigation, however, 12.1% of the young athletes dropped out
in 1977 and 11.3% in 1978. In 1977, 16.3% of the girls stopped competing
in track and field. The dropout rate increased over time, and from phase
to phase, and it was higher among females than among males.
The three most commonly mentioned reasons for dropping out of
track and field throughout the longitudinal study were injuries (24.3%),
school priority (21.4%), and lack of motivation (20.7%). The drop-out
rate was highest among male participants for all drop-out reasons men-
tioned (Table 3).
Table 3 The dropout reasons as reported by the track and field athletes who dropped out
from competition.
1983 1989 TOTAL
Dropout Reasons N % N % N %
Injuries 40 14.5* 27 9.8* 67 24.3
School priority 38 13.8* 21 7.6* 59 21.4
Lack of motivation 32 11.6* 25 9.1* 57 20.7
Social factors 16 5.8 8 2.9 24 8.7
Other sports 9 3.3 5 1.8 14 5.1
Work 6 2.2 5 1.8 11 4.0
Other reasons 29 10.5 15 5.4 44 15.9
Total 170 61.6% 106 38.4 276 100.0
*P<0.05
The drop-out reasons were further explicitly stated by several of the in-
terviewees. One athlete (Informant A) in the 1989 study described the
following:
It was an acute injury that forced me to quit. I got a prolapse in my
back during take-off practice in high jump. In addition, I had some
problems in the neck, so I thought the risks were higher than the ben-
efits and I did not dare to continue. If it was not for this serious injury,
I would for sure have continued my athletic career. The injury was a
plain accident. I managed to rehabilitate quite quickly, but in the long
run it was too risky...
The athlete also claimed that “The medical staff did not help me to treat
the injury and I had to administer all by myself....
There was some variability in how the athletes responded. One athlete
in the 2000 study (Informant B) claimed that:
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29scandinavian sport studies forum | volume two | 2011
I can remember two injuries that gave me problems. The first was
plantar fascia tendonitis and the second was a knee injury. The injuries
were a result of too much and too hard training with high intensity and
spikes on the track. There was always a risk of getting injured...
The athlete also highlighted the importance of medical support and
treatment of injury:
I was lucky to get professional help to handle my injury problems. In
my club there were both a doctor and a physiotherapist at our disposal,
which helped me continuing my athletic career...
A female long-distance runner in the 2000 study (Informant C) ex-
pressed frustration because a serious injury had destroyed her possibili-
ties of succeeding in an international competition:
Injuries have been a problem lately. Perhaps I have to start analyzing
why my foot is giving me so much pain. Maybe there is a reason for
it. In 1987 it was quite brutal and in 1988 I had to quit the finals in the
Olympics games...
The time needed to complete the planned training and to achieve a good
performance in competitions often comes in a more-or-less incidental
and conflicting antagonism to the time school, work, and other hobbies
require. This was a reason why many athletes chose to stop competing
in track and field (Table 3). A typical response (Informant D) in the 1989
study was:
Because of stagnation in performance, I started to consider the costs
and benefits of my efforts trying to make progress in the track and field
events. After some considerations I decided to use more of my time on
my schoolwork, hobbies and friends...
One of the talented high jumpers in the 2000 study (Informant E) ex-
pressed difficulties with the mental-focus-on-results progression:
When I had managed to jump 2.13...I could jump 2.10 easily, having
done over 50 competitions jumping over 2.10. My best result was 2.13,
and I was very close to jump 2.16, 2.17 and 2.18, but it seems like a men-
tal block prevented me from breaking through…and de-motivated me
from continuing...
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Social factors in the training environment and the relationship with
coaches can be of importance, whether an athlete chooses to pursue a
sport career or not (Table 3). Informant F in the 1989 study said:
It was a problem having my coach living in another city. I had to travel
a lot and the contact over time was too seldom....If somebody had told
me that I had a great potential, I believe I could have performed on a
much higher level, but nobody told me so I became de-motivated and
quit competing...
When it comes to performing in sports it is always a question of choosing
the right sport. In this study, some of the athletes quit track and field and
gave priority to different sports, including ball games and cross-country
skiing. This was explicitly stated by several of the interview informants:
Informant G stated: “I discovered that I had a natural talent in cross-
country skiing.... Informant H said: “I was convinced by my friends to
take up basketball...” And Informant I stated: ”The training environment
at my home place was dominated by soccer – so I was challenged to play
together with my friends....
Discussion
The response rate
The response rate throughout the longitudinal study (1975-2000) was
relatively high (Table 1). In the 1975 study, 300 of the 320 young track
and field athletes answered the questionnaire and accepted the offer to
take part in this study. In the 1983 study, the 300 participants received a
new questionnaire. The response rate was 56.7% (n = 170) and 28.7% (n
= 86) for males and females, respectively. The participants in the 1983
study were between 22 and 26 years old. This is considered to be an op-
timal period for training and performance and a very critical period for
an athlete’s future involvement in track and field sports (Gambetta, 1990,
Bussmann, 1995; Enoksen, 2002). According to the findings in Cobley
et al.’s (2009) review article, the rate-of-age effects (RAEs) are most
likely to occur in highly popular sports like track and field. The RAEs
are primarily associated with physical maturation and the selection of
athletes within the talent developmental strategies of the sport (Barnsley
& Thompson, 1988; Sherar et al., 2007). The sociocultural influences at-
tempting to enhance performance by adopting earlier competition and
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31scandinavian sport studies forum | volume two | 2011
talent identification have also been associated with the first appearance
of RAEs in sport (Daniel & Janssen, 1987). However, RAEs risk did not
increase linearly with skill level and age group (Cobley et al., 2009).
A follow-up questionnaire was sent in 1989 to the 256 participants who
had answered the 1983 questionnaire. The response rate was 48% (n =
123) for males and 21.9% (n = 56) for females. The participants in the
1989 study were between 28 and 32 years old. Relatively older athletes are
expected to have a higher perception of competence (Harter, 1981) and
self-efficacy (Bandura, 1986) than younger athletes. The younger athletes
are more likely to develop low competence perceptions upon being faced
with consistent sport-selection disadvantages and negative sports experi-
ences, and may thus terminate their sports involvement (Weiss & Petli-
chkoff, 1989).
Drop-out rate
When looking at the dropout rate during the period of the study, we can
see that there was no notable statistically significant difference between
males and females when compared to each other (between groups). The
drop-out rate increased over time and from phase to phase, and it was
higher among females. In the 1983 study, a dropout rate of 61.2% (n =
104) was reported for males and 38.8% (n = 66) was reported for females.
In the 1989 study, 73.6% (n = 78) and 26.4% (n = 28) rates of dropping
out were reported for males and females, respectively. The results from
within the groups showed that females were clearly dropping out more
than males: 67.3% (n = 66) and 87.5% (n = 28) for both the 1983 study
and the 1989 study, respectively. This indicates that male track and field
athletes are more able to continue their athletic careers than female ath-
letes (Lippe, 1976). The results show that the highest dropout rate oc-
curred when the athletes were 17 years old. Being relatively older within
the competitive track and field age group advantages may be attainable
compared with relative younger athletes. A one-year age difference, par-
ticularly during puberty, can promote physical characteristics and per-
formance differences (Cobley et al., 2009). The development of great-
er height, body mass, aerobic power, maximal strength, and speed do
provide performance advantages in the different track and field events.
Engstrôm (1998) also indicates that boys are more active in competitive
sport than girls when they are 14-16 years old. This tendency increases
the chances of talent selection and the likelihood of expert coaching in
training and competitions.
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32 scandinavian sport studies forum | volume two | 2011
Because of sex differences according to physical maturity and devel-
opment of performance, many talented girls do not fulfil their poten-
tial in their adolescent years (15-18). Research shows that girls develop
their maximal aerobic capacity and maximal strength earlier than boys
reaching their potential performance level at the age of 16-18 years (Bak-
er, 2003). Too early specialization and intensive training loads howev-
er may lead to stagnation in performance and cause a drop out from
sport among female track and field athletes (Vorobjev, 1994; Enoksen,
1985, 2002). During the early stages of athletes development parents and
coaches need to pay more attention to the possibility that girls’ physical
attributes are being overlooked. Coaches should focus more on motiva-
tion, basic movements and skill-based activities reducing the dependence
upon physical dispositions during adolescent years (Gould, 1988; Baker,
2003; Cobley et al., 2009).
Another reason why girls choose to drop out of competitive track
and field sport is related to the traditional pattern of sex roles in society
(Lippe, 1976). The research literature claims that the perceptions of sex
roles will influence childrens’ choice of interests already at the age of
12 (Greendorfer & Ewing, 1981; Hasbrook, 1986). In puberty girls and
boys social standing/position is very dependent on behavioural expec-
tations from friends. Furthermore there is an expectancy in the society
and among friends that girls should show feminine attributes and values.
The sport role is characterized by high aggression, boldness, high self-
efficacy and high performance level (Harter, 1993). According to Fasting
(1996) girls experience a feminine sex role conflict participating in sport
especially in puberty. In track and field sport a sex role conflict might oc-
cur when it comes to recruiting girls to the masculine throwing events
(Enoksen, 1985, 2002).
An alternative explanation might be that talented girls’ dedication to
school and homework obligations become more redundant in females
than in males (Enoksen, 1985). The cultural expectations and influence
from important individuals (parents) in the first years of participation in
sport will also have an affect on what interests girls choose to give prior-
ity to (Higginson, 1985; Fasting, 1996).
DROP-OUT REASONS IN COMPETITIVE YOUTH SPORTS
33scandinavian sport studies forum | volume two | 2011
Dropout reasons
training and performance factors
In the present study, there was an obvious indication that injury was the
most common reason for why relatively many athletes dropped out of
competing in track and field at an early age (Table 2 & Table 3). The num-
ber of athletes that dropped out due to injury was high when compared
to the number dropping out due to other reasons (p < 0.05). In the 1983
study, 14.5% (n = 40) of 61.6% (n = 170) dropped out because of injury,
whereas in the 1989 study, 9.8% (n = 27) of 38.3% (n = 106) gave the same
reason. In both follow-up periods, a notable drop-out rate of 24.3% (n =
67) was because of injuries. The reported differences between boys and
girls indicate a small predominance of girls (Enoksen, 1985). It is quite
natural that the lack of athletic progress (Stork, 1984) and an increased
frequency of injury (Lippe, 1976; Enoksen, 1985, 2002) often lead ath-
letes to end their sports careers prematurely. According to Cobley et al.
(2009), an explanation is that relatively older athletes, originally selected
for training and performance on high level during their adolescent years
(15-18), withdraw from competition levels during their junior and early
senior years due to injury, overtraining, burnout, and boredom. In some
highly competitive sports (e.g. track and field, soccer and ice-hockey)
many young promising athletes do not fulfil their early potential to an
elite level. Some limited evidence suggests that too much focus on early
specialization, such as those conducive to RAE occurrence (i.e., through
selection and talent-identification processes) are related to increased rates
of dropout at late adolescent and junior level (Barynina, 1992; Vorobjev,
1994; Salguero et al., 2003).
The interview data also show a variety of responses underlining the
risks of injuries leading up to premature dropout in competitive track
and field. Some quotations from the selected athletes in the 1989 and
2000 studies indicated that acute and serious injuries, stagnation in per-
formance, and the lack of professional medical treatment had prevent-
ed many athletes from continuing. We should view the occurrence of
injuries as a crucial reason explaining and justifying why some athletes
quit competitive sports earlier than others. There are further reasons to
believe that the connection between the frequency of injuries, stagna-
tion, and motivation to perform is strong, but very complex. The most
common types of injuries are stress fractures and pulled muscles. Kröger
(1986) claims that despite the tendency of young athletes to quit com-
EYSTEIN ENOKSEN
34 scandinavian sport studies forum | volume two | 2011
petitive sports due to injuries, he could not find any meaningful evidence
that this indeed was caused by physical injuries, alone. His study implies
that psychological elements may be of importance. Research underlines
how preventative precautions can reduce injuries among elite track and
field athletes. Injuries are often connected with premature specialization,
unbalanced and too monotonous basic training, inadequate warm-up
routines and training contents, poor running surface and shoes, bad sen-
somotoric regulation, poor fat metabolism, and hormonal disturbances
(Vorobjev, 1994; Bussmann, 1995; Baker, 2003). Furthermore, it is im-
portant that an athlete, together with his or her coach, adapts and devel-
ops “optimal” training progression and technical solutions and routines
for restitution. Daily communication with a personal coach and frequent
contact with other coaches, doctors, physical therapists, and masseuses
will be an important measure in this process of awareness (Enoksen,
2002).
education and work obligations
The results of this study indicate that problems and symptoms of stress,
caused by the requirements of education on the one hand, and the pur-
suit of a track and field career, on the other hand, can cause large inner
conflicts and problems for the athletes. School demands were mentioned
as the second most important reason for dropping out of sports in the
1983 study, with a rate of 13.8% (n = 38) (p < 0.05), and the third most
important reason in the 1989 study with 7.6% (n = 21) (p < 0.05) (Table
3). The total drop-out rate due to school priority during the 25-year study
was 21.4% (n = 59). In the period from 1975 to 1983, most of the athletes
went to obligatory school and high school, and it is no wonder that the
conflict of time allocation between sport and schoolwork became a prob-
lem for many athletes. The reported differences between boys and girls
indicate a small predominance of girls (Enoksen, 1985).
The interview data from the 1989 study also indicate that the time
needed to complete the planned training and to achieve high perfor-
mance often comes in a more-or-less incidental and conflicting antago-
nism to the time school duties require. The lack of time and the coordi-
nation of time are indicated in the literature as a typical reason for a large
number of dropouts within competitive sports (Bussmann, 1995). A bet-
ter usage of time for school work and training would probably change
this negative trend to a more positive direction. Furthermore, a better
structure of the conditions around the athletes’ school and sport efforts,
DROP-OUT REASONS IN COMPETITIVE YOUTH SPORTS
35scandinavian sport studies forum | volume two | 2011
with a starting point in their individual needs and experiences at school,
can have a positive effect on whether the athletes choose to continue
their sports careers. A fundamental effort regarding a future professional
working career happens mostly during the same phase of life when one
needs to spend a great deal of time on demanding training, extensive
travel activity, and competitions. This means that the individual planning
of an athletic career must have a long-term perspective. The influence
of important individuals—(parents, teachers, club coaches, and lead-
ers) is probably of great importance in creating better conditions and
inner motivation to be able to succeed as an elite track and field athlete
(Bussmann, 1995; Enoksen, 2002). Practical adjustments with regard to
optimal arrangements and the usage of training facilities, transportation,
and various tools at practice—for example, a heart-rate monitor and
computer equipment—will also play an important role in optimizing the
usage of time and sustaining the level of motivation.
motivational aspects
The data indicate that many track and field athletes lost their interest
in competition because they viewed the training and competition en-
vironment as boring. On the other hand, there are reasons to believe
that athletes who experienced regression in their performance lost their
motivation, and consequently ended their careers (Table 3). The lack of
motivation was the third most-meaningful reason for dropping out in
the 1983 study, with 11.6% (n = 32) (p < 0.05), and the second most men-
tioned reason in 1989 with 9.1% (n = 21) (p < 0.05), with a total of 20.7%
(n = 57) in the period of the study. The reported differences between
boys and girls indicate a great predominance of girls (Enoksen, 1985).
Research on motivational aspects underlines that elite athletes will
continue in a sport as long as they achieve new goals, have tasks to solve,
show signs of improvement, regularly win in competition, and get so-
cial attention from meaningful others (Ames, 1992). There is reason to
believe that a negative performance development will lead to lower self-
esteem and the estimation of potential possibilities for success. Research
shows that athletes who dropped out of sports displayed less patience and
stamina during competition compared to those who continue, and they
also reveal tendencies to more anxiety earlier in their career and have a
poorer ability to handle competitive pressure and problems which might
occur, in comparison to those who continue (Sarrazin et al., 2002). The
stagnation in performance among girls that happens after the matura-
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36 scandinavian sport studies forum | volume two | 2011
tion period often leads to lower self-esteem, and poorer estimation of
potential success and lack of motivation (Gabler, 1981; Butcher, 2002).
Research also shows that girls who dropped out of sports at an early age
expose more stress and anxiety in training and competition situations,
compared to those who continue (Sarrazin et al., 2002).
Data from the in-depth interviews indicated the importance of coach-
es having general knowledge of the elements influencing the athletes’
performance and the specific motivational routines (tasks to solve and
goal setting) for enhancing performance and avoiding the loss of motiva-
tion. In light of the great demands on time, and the effort required and
competitive pressure in today’s elite sports, it is not surprising that many
talented athletes experience strong conflicts of interest when it comes
to prioritizing time in sports versus other hobbies, which difficulty can
have an effect on the athletes’ motivation. The cost of participation in
sport often overcomes the benefits of continuing (Gould & Petlichkoff,
1988). The development of new interests and situations of conflict with
important individuals in the athletes’ lives are highlighted in literature
as perhaps one of the most important reasons for athletes prematurely
ending their sports careers (Augustini & Trabal, 1995; Molinero et al.,
2006). It will thus be of essential importance that these types of conflicts
are discussed with coaches, leaders, parents, and teachers, so that various
measures and attempts to find solutions will be tried out and processed
at an early age in developing young talent in sport.
the social environment
Many social factors in the athletic environment can be of importance as
to whether an athlete chooses to pursue a sport career or not. Being a
part of a stimulating training environment with good relationships to
friends and competent coaches may have a positive impact on the choices
that athletes might make (Brown, 1985). The influence of social factors
was reported to be the fourth most-mentioned dropout reason, both in
the 1983 study (5.8% [n = 16]) and in the 1989 study (2.9% [n = 8]), but
was not a marked factor when compared with the other factors in this
study. The reported differences between boys and girls were quite small
(Enoksen, 1985).
The qualitative data from the 1989 and 2000 studies underline the
strong influence of the personal coaches on enhancing performance (in-
formation on the perceptions, behaviours, and interaction in different
feed-back situations, and the contexts in which coaches work). A posi-
DROP-OUT REASONS IN COMPETITIVE YOUTH SPORTS
37scandinavian sport studies forum | volume two | 2011
tive relationship to the coach, and a socially supportive climate based on
mastery will influence the athletes’ career in a positive manner (Ames,
1992; Sarrazin et al., 2002). Furthermore, the qualitative study was use-
ful for investigating various dimensions of coaches’ organizational work,
such as relationships with parents, the planning of training and com-
petition, and dealing with the athletes’ personal concerns. Few of the
interviewed athletes indicated that pressure from the coach led to their
quitting the sport; while others indicated that they missed a closer follow
up by their coaches. Some studies state that a problematic relationship
within the training environment, and especially conflicts with authori-
tarian coaches, can be a very decisive reason for dropping out (Abraham,
1986; Augusstini & Trabal, 1995). Lack of humanity and openness, along
with introverted behaviour, are mentioned in the literature as the most
negative characteristics of a coach (Molinero et al., 2006). The qualita-
tive data indicate that athletes who had their needs of social attention
and positive feedback met by other significant individuals continued
their athletic careers. The coach’s role regarding social support and cre-
ating a challenging and attractive training environment is crucial to an
athlete’s future success. In this connection, the coach’s psychological and
pedagogical abilities, expert qualifications, and knowledge of sports-spe-
cific training will probably be very important elements and must thus
be strongly emphasized in all institutions where the science of coaching
is taught (Enoksen, 2002). In this study, some athletes who dropped
out because of social factors indicated that a lack of support from fam-
ily was the reason. The results from 1975, 1983 and 1989 studies showed
that more than half of the athletes said that family played a significant
role in their decision to participate in track and field sports (Enoksen,
2002). If we will succeed in reducing the rate of premature dropout of
young talented athletes, processes of the interaction between the differ-
ent personal categories must be involved. The family members’ attitude
towards competitive sports will probably have an impact on a promising
young athlete’s decision to pursue a sports career or not. Parents and
siblings with backgrounds in competitive sports are able to advise and
support a young athlete. Research also tells us that lack of support and
involvement in the home environment can easily lead to the premature
termination of a career in a particular competitive sport (Carlson, 1991).
EYSTEIN ENOKSEN
38 scandinavian sport studies forum | volume two | 2011
choice of other sport activities and interests
The participation in other sports activities is addressed in some studies
(Næsje, 1985; Sisjord, 1993) as one of the main reasons for children and
youngsters leaving sports. This was not the case in the present study.
In the 1983 study, only 3.3% (n = 9) of the elite track and field athletes
dropped out due to participation in other sports, whereas in the 1989
study, 1.8% (n = 5) had chosen to compete in other sports. The reported
differences between boys and girls were also quite marginal (Enoksen,
1985).
Competing in other sports was ranked as the fifth most-important
drop-out reason. During the period of this study, some of the athletes
who quit track and field gave priority to cross-country skiing and various
ball games. In the light of being successful in today’s elite sports, it is not
strange that many talented athletes can experience a strong conflict of
interest when it comes to prioritizing a special sport. The athletes’ per-
ception of their own talent, the influence of friends and family, a good
relationship with a competent coach, and being a part of a pleasant train-
ing environment will all have a positive impact on the athletes’ choice
(Patriksson, 1987, 1994).
The interview data also underlined the positive influence from sig-
nificant others and a stimulating training environment when the athletes
gave priority to competing in another sport. Some athletes indicated that
they were convinced by their friends to take up basketball, while oth-
ers indicate that their training environment was dominated by soccer
(Enoksen, 2002).
other reasons
In this study, 4% of the athletes (2.2% in 1983 [n=6] and 1.8% in 1989
[n=5]) chose to stop competing in track and field because of a demand-
ing work situation. Other reasons for dropping out, such as military ser-
vices, marriage, and family were reported by 10.5% (n=29) in the 1983
follow-up study, and 5.4% (n=15) in the 1989 follow-up study. The re-
ported differences between boys and girls indicate a small predominance
of girls (Enoksen, 1985).
Many athletes find it natural to drop out of sports when they start work-
ing and building a family. The military service situation often leads to
stagnation in performance in sports and a lack of motivation for young-
sters. Athletes who experience regression in their performance often de-
velop negative achievement goals (Ames, 1992; Roberts and Treasure,
DROP-OUT REASONS IN COMPETITIVE YOUTH SPORTS
39scandinavian sport studies forum | volume two | 2011
1996), and thus end their career too early. Marriage and family, together
with a demanding work or educational situation, combined with social
immobility (Jonsson, 1983), can have a decisive effect on the athlete’s
choice to continue an athletic career or not.
future perspectives
In future perspectives several factors may influence the significance of
RAEs in the development of expertise performances in young talented
athletes. The path to success in sport requires intensive long-term and
deliberate practice, often referred to as the “10-year rule of attainment”
(Ericsson et al., 1993; American Academy, 2000; Wiersma, 2000; Baker,
2003). It is important to target maturational differences and the process
by which athletes are selected (Cobley et al., 2009). According to the
research literature, coaches and responsible leaders should reconsider the
necessity for early selection, identification, intensive training and rep-
resentation at junior and adolescent ages beyond stages of puberty and
maturation (i.e., 15 to 16 years of age) (Vorobjev, 1994; Baker, 2003; Cote
et al., 2007). Delaying selection might reduce RAEs and indirectly help
to reduce the risk of compromising the athlete’s health during his devel-
opment. Furthermore, it is important to inform and raise awareness of
RAEs in national sports organizations responsible for the infrastructure
and coordination of youth sport. Cobley et al., (2009) propose a total
(re)consideration of a change in age-group cut-off dates to reduce poten-
tial age inequalities in a given sports group. The authors recommend a
variation of cut-off dates to be used across sport contexts, although this
will not prevent RAEs within a given sport. In addition, high-quality
educational procedures and selection criteria of responsible coaches for
the talent development of future sport elites is of vital importance.
Conclusion
Over the years, the development of performance in track and field sport
has required increasingly more strenuous workouts, early specialization,
careful planning, and the ability to handle tough competitions. Young
promising track and field athletes who fail to meet these requirements
may chose to drop out of competitive sports at an early age. The present
study shows the total drop-out rate among males and females, the drop-
out rate in the different age groups, and the most significant reasons in-
EYSTEIN ENOKSEN
40 scandinavian sport studies forum | volume two | 2011
fluencing the athletes’ decision to drop out of track and field sports. The
results indicate that females clearly drop out at a higher rate than males
(p < 0.05). The drop-out rate was at the highest when the athletes were
17 years old. Various reasons were important over the life of the study,
and differed at the various stages. Injuries, school demands, and lack of
motivation were highly notable reasons to why relatively many athletes
dropped out of the sport. Social factors, participation in other sports,
demanding work situations, military services, and marriage and family
were also reasons for some athletes dropping out. The interview data
also reveals a relatively high frequency of injuries, as well as the need for
adequate medical care and better support from personal coaches and sig-
nificant others to enhance the ultimate potential in young talented track
and field athletes. This study underlines the need for developing better
organizational structures in different age groupings (RAEs), a mastery-
oriented, motivational learning climate, advanced technical and physi-
cal training facilities, and inductive pedagogical interventions at critical
periods.
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... Many authors have researched the reasons for young athletes dropping out of endurance sports. For example, Enoksen (2011) shows the social and structural reasons why promising Norwegian long-distance athletes dropout of competitive practice. On the other hand, Larson et al. (2019) and Gustafsson et al. (2015) indicate how early specialisation in swimming may be another factor that triggers some of the syndromes mentioned above. ...
... In this way, the coach will be the manager of that athlete´s talent, being a fundamental part of this development (Moen et al., 2015). Regarding the figure of the coach, a series of measures are presented to prevent abandonment, such as inductive pedagogical interventions in critical periods, the motivational climate of the athletes and organisational structures developed according to age (Enoksen, 2011). ...
... Focusing attention on the age at which dropout occurs, it can be observed in all the studies in the systematic review that show data in this regard, that the highest dropout rates in these endurance sports occur between the ages of 15 and 17 years. Sors et al. (2020) talk about dropouts in cycling at 16 and 35 years of age on average, while Gustafsson et al. (2015), Granz et al. (2019) and Enoksen (2011) indicate the dropout rate for athletes between 15 and 19 years of age. Some authors such as Larson et al. (2019) indicate that the age of dropout is even much earlier between 12 and 13 years old. ...
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Problem Statement: The development of talent in endurance sports has been widely studied. However, parallel to this sport development, problems such as "burnout" or "dropout" appear as one of the main problems that arise in sports of lower categories. Purpose: The main purpose of this study was to analyse the triggering factors of dropout in endurance sports practised by school-age athletes and, due to its importance, to study the relationship between burnout syndrome and dropout. Methods: The present systematic review on dropout in endurance sports at school age is carried out with a search date of 31 st January 2021, selecting and evaluating the most relevant research to reach valid and objective conclusions on what the scientific evidence indicates about this dropout and analyse a sample of both males and females in the nine articles included. Results: Nine articles related to sports dropout in young athletes who practice competitive sport were selected. The results are presented in three tables taking into account the main factors that can trigger this early dropout, intrinsic factors of the athlete, social factors and their relationship with the environment, and burnout. Conclusions: There is an evident dropout in young people in the 14-17 age group, which may be higher in the female category. Early specialisation and outstanding results at younger ages do not ensure future success. Favouring a close environment for the athlete and an empathic relationship with the coach are key factors to avoid dropout, as well as paying attention to factors such as physical and psychological exhaustion and a feeling of dissatisfaction towards sport are important to prevent burnout. Questionnaires such as ABQ, PSWQ or the PANAS scale could be a test to assess personal factors leading to dropout.
... Mental block has been attributed to many causes, including competition pressure, parent influence, cognitive anxiety and even residual fear of injury (Collins et al., 1999;Day et al., 2006). Some research has suggested that mental block and the associated effects on motivation could be one reason that athletes drop out of sport (Enoksen, 2011;Heydari et al., 2014). The current body of literature suggests that a better knowledge of the barriers and facilitators affecting mental block in diving could help inform coaching practise. ...
... The identification of existing barriers and facilitators to overcoming mental block in diving supports the assertion that mental block is present in diving, which further ratifies the existing literature in the field (Brunner, 2016;Huber 2016;Pattinson, Cotterill and Leyland, in press). The current study also reinforced the assertion that mental block could be a cause of sports drop out (Enoksen, 2011;Heydari et al., 2014). Participants in the current study mentioned emotions such as frustration and fear at great length, which have been linked to mental block (Bennett et al., 2016). ...
... Reasons for dropping-out of sports have been classified into performance and training factors, education and work obligations [20,21], motivational factors, social environment and other interests [22,23]. Most recently, Crane & Temple [24] and Witt & Dangi [25] discussed the leisure constraints theory [26] and categorized the variables associated with dropout from sports as intrapersonal, interpersonal and structural constraints. ...
... Regarding gender, a larger drop-out emerged in females than in males. This is in line with evidence reported by some authors [20,50,51], showing that males are more active than females who have higher sport drop-out rates. Additionally, a female's tendency to be less active than a male is confirmed as a global gender difference [52]. ...
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The search for overarching factors involved in both sport and broader lifestyle and achievement domains may help to understand the early drop-out phenomenon. This study aimed to analyze the association between early sport drop-out and strategic learning skills, checking for the individual and joint role of nationality, school type, gender, age and sport habits. Six hundred and fourteen Italian and Spanish students aged 14–18 years completed two self-assessment questionnaires concerning physical activity, sports habits and learning strategies. Outcomes were analyzed with frequency analysis. Higher affective–motivational strategic learning skills were associated with lower drop-out rates in Italian but not Spanish students. In high schools with an enhanced sports curriculum, drop-out rates were negligible compared to other Italian and Spanish curricula. A lack of persistence in the same sport type was significantly associated with a higher drop-out rate in males but not in female students, who had overall higher drop-out rates. This study suggests that overarching personal skills, cultural characteristics and sports habits may independently and jointly contribute to sport drop-out. Specifically, affective–motivational learning skills may play a key role in sport persistence and in strategies tailored to drop-out prevention.
... Academic workload requires student-athletes to maintain a specific grade average while athletic demands require maintenance of a high level of performance and fitness. Therefore, a supportive environment to fulfill both commitments is a necessity (Enoksen, 2002;Hollings, 2013). Coaches who provide positive and supportive feedback to students regarding their academic achievements, assist athletes to maintain training and academic achievement (Brown et al., 2015). ...
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The past two decades witnessed increased participation in professional as well as amateur sport, giving impetus to concomitant amplified interest in long-term athlete development (LTAD). LTAD has been described as the structured and progressive growth of an athlete through different stages of development resulting in some athletes achieving elite sport status. Furthermore, the interest in athletic career development from a holistic perspective has contributed to management approaches underscoring sustainable talent development and participation in sport. The current study investigated youth sports development pathways through both models of development within a South African context. A descriptive quantitative cross-sectional design was used to generate a convenient sample of athletes (N = 267). The Talent Development Environment Questionnaire (TDEQ) was administered, which in previous studies produced acceptable psychometric properties. Principal factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, Monte Carlo parallel simulation, MANOVA, and hierarchical regression were performed to analyze the data. The TDEQ was validated for the South African context and was found to measure four components, namely supportive and challenging environment, development fundamentals, support networks, and long-term development. Respondents in the various developmental categories of novice, advanced and elite student-athletes were not statistically significantly influenced by any of the four factors. Controlling for the talent developmental phase, the model proposed did not statistically significantly predict the development pathway of youth athletes. The results provide evidence with some practical significance as supportive and challenging environment and long-term development focus reported a small effect. Further research is warranted to develop a more suitable measuring instrument to measure the talent development pathway within the investigated athlete environment.
... A study which was focused on the phenomenon from the long-term perspective (Enoksen, 2011) showed that reasons for dropout from sports develop naturally in line with the historical, social and cultural development of the society. Thus, topical themes of early dropout from sports in the 1970s and 1980s included also military service and marriage, i.e. reasons hardly imaginable to contemporaries. ...
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Sport and physical activities of children are essential in forming their health, personality, society and other factors which affect their future life either directly or indirectly. Their life attitudes are shaped by experience, and one of domains that can be affected in them for ever based on positive or negative experience is physical activity and relation thereto. Significance and awareness of this societal problem currently lead to activities which are to support sports and physical movement of children and youth. Efforts focused on the prevention of early dropout of children from sports are in the interest of kinanthropological research studies, national children’s sports support programmes where the issue often becomes part of political and programme statements of governments, civic and non-profit organizations and sports associations. In spite of all these efforts, however, we still face a massive dropout of children from sports, which is not replaced with an adequate alternative physical activity. Consequences of the negative, and sometimes even toxic experience with physical activity at early age lasts until adulthood, which brings a range of personal, health and social problems. Possibilities for reducing the phenomenon consist in systematic work dealing with the support and improvement of coaching procedures which will be focused more on the needs of children and diverted from the traditional perception of coaching education focused primarily on the needs of coaches, on the building of positive relationship with parents as partners in the process of physical education of children, and on extending the range of physical activities for children also in the environment of non-competitive sports.
... Mc Gregor (1960) tarafından lider, "örgüt amaçlarının gerçekleştirilmesi için hitap ettiği grubu etkileyen yol gösteren eşgüdüm sağlayan kişidir" şeklinde tanımlanmıştır. Enoksen (2011) antrenörlerin liderlik tarzının, sporcu performansı üzerinde önemli etkiye sahip olduğunu ifade etmiştir. Liderlik için zekâ, eğitim ve tecrübe önemlidir. ...
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Antrenörlerin mesleki başarıları açısından liderlik davranışlarını geliştirmeleri önemli bir faktör olarak görülmektedir. Bu çalışmada antrenörlerin liderlik davranış algılarının çeşitli sosyo-demografik değişkenlere göre incelenmesi amaçlanmıştır. Çalışmada nicel araştırma türlerinden “betimsel tarama” modeli kullanılmıştır. Çalışma bireysel ve takım sporlarında görevli antrenörler ile yürütülmüştür (n=135). Antrenörlerin %81,5 takım sporları antrenörüdür. Veri toplamak için Sporda Liderlik Ölçeği ve demografik bilgi formu kullanılmıştır. İstatistiksel analizler için; verilerin normal dağılım varsayımını karşılayıp ve karşılamadığı KolmogorovSmirnov ve Shapiro Wilk testleri sonucunda belirlenmiştir. Liderlik davranış puanlarının ilgili değişkenlere göre durumunu incelemek amacı ile normallik test sonuçları dikkate alınarak parametrik (Bağımsız gruplar ttesti, Tek yönlü Varyans Analizi ANOVA) ve non-parametrik (Mann-Whitney U ve Kruskal Wallis H) hipotez testleri uygulanmıştır. Çalışma sonucunda antrenörlerin liderlik davranış puanlarının, medeni durum, eğitim durumu, antrenör davranışı ve yaş değişkenlerine göre istatistiksel olarak anlamlı farklılıklar gösterdiği belirlenmiştir (p<.05). Araştırma sonucunda, 29 yaş ve altı, 30-39 yaş grubundaki antrenörlerin “Demokratik davranışı” tercih ettikleri, Bekar antrenörlerin evli antrenörlere oranla “Sosyal destek” davranışını tercih ettikleri belirlenmiştir. Ayrıca; Antrenörlerin liderlik davranışlarını spor dalı, kadro durumu, cinsiyet değişkeninin etkilemediği sonucuna varılmıştır.
... Factors influencing young athletes' motives to drop out of competitive sport have been widely discussed within the research literature (Bennie and O'Connor, 2006;Enoksen, 2011;Balish et al., 2014;Hollings et al., 2014;Crane and Temple, 2015). The most recent systematic review of factors associated with dropout of organized sport among children and adolescents revealed that intrapersonal (e.g., lack of enjoyment, perceptions of competence) and interpersonal (e.g., social pressures, competing priorities) constraints were most frequently associated with discontinuation (Crane and Temple, 2015). ...
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Anecdotal reports within the Caribbean track and field fraternity have revealed that there is a high level of athlete dropout from competitive sport at the junior-elite level, and a poor transition to senior-elite status. Consequently, this qualitative investigation explored the key motives that may have contributed towards the unsuccessful transitions and ensuing dropout of Caribbean track and field athletes during the junior to senior transition period. Eleven former junior-elite track and field athletes (4 males, 7 females; Mage = 29, SD ± 4.2 years) from 4 English-speaking Caribbean islands participated in semi-structured interviews. Following an inductive and deductive thematic analysis, four higher order themes were identified: 1) “there’s not enough support”; 2) “felt pressure to make sure I committed”; 3) “it’s always competitive here”; and 4) “battle with the injuries”. For these former junior-elite Caribbean athletes, the decision on whether to continue within the sport was influenced by a combination of factors, although inadequate financial and organizational support had the most bearing on athletes’ decision to drop out during the crucial transition years. Implications for consideration by key stakeholders and policymakers within the region are discussed.
Thesis
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Research relating to the subject of 'talent' has been conducted in the discipline of sports science since the 1970s. Ever since, the classic approaches to talent identification have had provoked controversies. Recent studies question their efficacy and detect new phenomenons, of which Talent Transfer (TT) is one. Generally speaking, this term describes the changeover of an active or former athlete into a new sport to become successful there (again). Out of the total number of 36 sports at the Olympic Games 2012 in London, UK, 18 sports were drawn by means of a stratified random sampling. Subsequently, the professional careers of all 2,424 athletes who participated in those resultant sports, including each discipline, were systematically analysed for potential TTs in their past. Thus, 44 TT-athletes could be identified, based on inclusion criteria defined. Several components and parameters of these TTs were further determined and presented through a descriptive statistical analysis. Relating thereto, the following could be shown: Firstly, the result most frequently achieved by the TT-athletes was the gold medal. Secondly, they were characterized by a higher average age than the other athletes of the sample. Thirdly, more female than male TTs were identified. Lastly, rowing appears to be a promising recipient-sport. Overall, it can be concluded that the theoretical concept of TT could be proven in the practical context of the Olympic Games 2012, even though additional research building upon the present study and more detailed definition of the TT parameters and components are needed in the future.
Thesis
Research relating to the subject of ‚talent‘ has been conducted in the discipline of sports science since the 1970s. Ever since, the classic approaches to talent identification have had provoked controversies. Recent studies question their efficacy and detect new phenomenons, of which Talent Transfer (TT) is one. Generally speaking, this term describes the changeover of an active or former athlete into a new sport to become successful there (again). Out of the total number of 36 sports at the Olympic Games 2012 in London, UK, 18 sports were drawn by means of a stratified random sampling. Subsequently, the professional careers of all 2,424 athletes who participated in those resultant sports, including each discipline, were systematically analysed for potential TTs in their past. Thus, 44 TT-athletes could be identified, based on inclusion criteria defined. Several components and parameters of these TTs were further determined and presented through a descriptive statistical analysis. Relating thereto, the following could be shown: Firstly, the result most frequently achieved by the TT-athletes was the gold medal. Secondly, they were characterized by a higher average age than the other athletes of the sample. Thirdly, more female than male TTs were identified. Lastly, rowing appears to be a promising recipient-sport. Overall, it can be concluded that the theoretical concept of TT could be proven in the practical context of the Olympic Games 2012, even though additional research building upon the present study and more detailed definition of the TT parameters and components are needed in the future.
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https://eshop.jcu.cz/simplifyworks/eoc/product/208791607 Běh je v posledních několika dekádách velkým celosvětovým fenoménem. V dnešní době není potřeba vynakládat fyzickou aktivitu na zajištění základních životních potřeb. I přesto nebo právě proto je v poslední době běh ve velké oblibě velké části populace nejen u nás, ale i ve světě. K běžeckému „boomu“ přispívá i velký počet městských závodů od 5 kilometrů po maratón, organizovaných po celém světě. Mnoho lidí si uvědomuje potřebu pohybu, kterou již nenaplňujeme přirozenou formou života, a běhá. Běh, společně s chůzí, jsou nejpřirozenější pohybovou aktivitou. Amatérské závody jsou dlouho před startem vyprodány, neustále roste jejich počet a obliba. Co se týká vrcholové atletiky, běhy na střední a dlouhé tratě patří mezi původní skupiny disciplín již od antického Řecka i od počátku moderního sportu. Disciplíny 800 m, 1 500 m a maratón (vše v mužské kategorii) byly součástí prvních novodobých olympijských her 1896 v Aténách. Přestože jsme malou zemí, tak jsme měli v naší historii mnoho vynikajících sportovců, včetně atletů, mezi nimi jsou i běžci. Běžecké disciplíny u nás v současné době nejsou na té úrovni, na které v minulosti byly. Nejsou aktuálně výstavní skříní české atletiky, ale i čeští, resp. českoslovenští závodníci dosahovali a dosahují světové či evropské úrovně. V historii se střídají období větších úspěchů s obdobími slabšími, což je ovlivněno nejen talentem našich běžců, ale spoustou dalších podmínek. Tato práce se snaží zmapovat vývoj výkonnostní úrovně v jednotlivých disciplínách a pojmenovat některé vlivy, které k tomuto vývoji přispěly. Zjištěné informace mohou pomoci aktivním i bývalým běžcům se zorientovat v úrovni jednotlivých disciplín v různých obdobích a zainteresovaným trenérům a atletickým činovníkům mohou pomoci při hledání východiska z aktuální situace. Také představuje nejúspěšnější běžce a běžkyně historie, ukazuje úspěšná období i období výkonnostní stagnace. Running has been a major global phenomenon in the last few decades. Nowadays, there is no need to expend physical activity to provide basic living needs. Even though, or because of it, running has recently become very popular with a large part of the population, not only in the Czech Republic, but also in the world. A large number of city races from 5 km to marathon, organized all over the world, contribute to the running “boom”. Many people are aware of the need for movement, which we no longer fulfill with a natural life form, and they run. Running, together with walking, are the most natural physical activity. Amateur races are sold out long before the start, their number and popularity are constantly increasing. As for top athletics, middle and long-distance runs have been among the original groups of disciplines since ancient Greece and since the beginning of modern sport. The 800 m, 1 500 m and marathon (all in the men's category) were part of the first modern Olympic Games of 1896 in Athens. Although we are a small country, we have had many outstanding athletes in our history, including athletes, among them are runners. Cross-country disciplines in our country are currently not at the level they were at in the past. They are not currently the showcase of Czech athletics, but also Czech or Czechoslovak competitors have reached and are reaching the world or European level. In history, periods of greater success alternate with periods of weakness, which is influenced not only by the talent of our runners, but by many other conditions. This work aims to map the development of performance levels in individual disciplines and to name some influences that contributed to this development. The information found can help active and former runners to navigate the level of individual disciplines at different times and can help interested coaches and athletic officials to find a way out of the current situation. It also presents the most successful runners and runners in history, showing successful periods as well as periods of performance stagnation.
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The consistent asymmetry in the birth-date distribution of senior professional soccer players has led us to investigate whether similar asymmetries emerge throughout youth categories in soccer. Birth dates were considered for professional players, national youth teams, youth players transferred to top teams, and regular youth league players. Kolmogorov Smirnov tests assessed differences between observed and expected birth-date distributions. Regression analyses examined the relationship between month of birth and number of participants at various levels of play in soccer. Results indicated that youth players born from August to October (the early part of the selection year), beginning in the 6–8 year age group, are more likely to be identified as talented and to be exposed to higher levels of coaching. Eventually, these players are more likely to be transferred to top teams, to play for national teams, and to become involved professionally. In comparison, players born late in the selection year tended to dropout as early as 12 years of age. Recommendations suggest a review of the 24-month age band and current methods for talent detection and selection. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 10:791–798, 1998. © 1998 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Chapter
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The high attrition rates observed among young athletes, particularly adolescents, have been attributed to and studied primarily as outcomes of negative aspects of the organization and administration of competitive youth sport. The present study extends this research by examining withdrawal from competitive sport roles in the broader context of the role constellation and lifestyle of adolescent girls. A conceptual framework was developed to examine the process of withdrawal from the role of competitive age group swimmer. It was hypothesized that withdrawal is influenced by six categories of factors: (a) the salience of gender-role stereotypes; (b) the diversity and salience of the opportunity set; (c) the degree of social support from significant others for the sport role; (d) the extent to which the athlete role is perceived as central to personal identity; (e) the extent to which positive and negative outcomes are associated with sport involvement; and (f) the degree of commitment to the athlete role. Survey data were collected from 211 former swimmers and 193 currently involved age group swimmers in Ontario, Canada. It was concluded that a combination of factors from a variety of sources interact to influence the role transition.
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The present study involved three in-depth interviews with 10 informants who had voluntarily withdrawn from hockey, horse racing, football, and racquet-ball. The personal histories of the informants were examined for diversity and commonality of experience. A synthesized description of career change experience was written as a general story, identifying a sequence of experiential units that reflect the shifts in focus within the common experience. The general story indicated that withdrawal from sport was not simply an event but a process that began soon after the athletes became engaged in their career. This study supports and extends a model proposed by Schlossberg (1984) which attempts to account for diversity in the experience of transitions. The model is considered helpful in developing an understanding of the process of a transitional experience such as retirement from sport, considering the context in which the experience takes place, the meaning it has for the individual, and how it changes over time.
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Children’s reasons for participating in sport as well as their reasons for discontinuing involvement have been extensively studied over the last decade. However, a complete understanding of the underlying processes influencing these phenomena has been clouded by failing to consider a number of individual difference and contextual factors related to sport participation. These missing links include participant status group differences, program type, level of intensity, type of sport, particular reasons for attrition, multiple assessments across a season, developmental differences, and the social structure surrounding the sport experience. Future research possibilities and practical implications for pediatric educators are provided.