Multifactorial introspective analysis of the individual impact at the end of an athlete’s performance sports career

Authors: Alexandra-Camelia Gliga, Nicolae Neagu, Tiberiu Bățagă


Department of Functional and Complementary Sciences, University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Science and Technology of Târgu Mureș, Romania


Background. Retirement from sport is a difficult stage in the life of each athlete, representing the renunciation of a major self-defining activity. The need to adapt to a new lifestyle and the implementation of a gradual disengagement program is well known, having a major influence on both the psyche and the body. However, in many cases, sports clubs do not provide moral support to athletes at the end of their career.

Aims. The aim of this study is a multifactorial analysis of the individual impact at the end of a sports performance career. The main hypothesis from which we started in this research is to verify and validate statistically whether career termination adversely affects the former high performance athlete from a triple perspective: morphological, physiological, and psychobehavioral.

Methods. The research was conducted over a five-week period (9 July – 13 August 2018) on a total of 30 former high performance athletes. In the research we used a questionnaire that looked not only at aspects regarding current health status and morphofunctional changes, but also opinions about the impact of high performance sports activity on several aspects of one’s personal life (lifestyle, diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, psychobehavioral balance, etc.).

Results. From the comparative analysis of the statistical significance of the differences between the means of positive and negative effects on the subjects and the calculation of the “t” test, it results that at a probability threshold of P <0.05, the difference of the means of the two data strings is insignificant statistically, the calculated value of “t” being t = 1.227 and R2 = 0.05471.

Conclusions. The overall conclusion, after analyzing and interpreting the data, invalidates our hypothesis that the end of a high performance sports career has a multifactorial negative impact on former athletes. Although we have seen a number of adverse effects following withdrawal from competitive sport, they are not influences with individual disturbing effects. On a number of issues, we found that sports performance has positive effects even after retirement.

Key words: sudden disengagement, progressive disengagement, sports performance, retirement from sport

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