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Exploring South Korean Sports Organizations' Future Initiatives for Early Retirement of Basketball Student Athletes Open Access


Other title
Athlete Development
Student athletes
Early Retirement
Developmental Model of Sport Participation
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Lim, Heejun
Supervisor and department
Washington, Marvin (Strategic Management and Organization)
Examining committee member and department
Mason, Daniel (Recreation, Sport & Tourism)
Foster, William (Management)
Physical Education and Recreation

Date accepted
Graduation date
2017-06:Spring 2017
Master of Arts
Degree level
Abstract Introduction: Over 90 percent of basketball student athletes in South Korea retire early before they reach the elite level. After their early retirement, they struggle to adapt to their school lives, and to live the rest of their lives as non-student athletes. The pupose of this study was to explore their early retirement and Korean sport organizations’ future initiatives for the early retirement through introducing the Developmental Model of Sport Participation ([DMSP] Côté, Baker, & Abernethy, 2007). Methods: Four early-retired student athlete and two emploees at sport organizations related to basketball student athletes were recruited to participate in semi-structured interviews. Collected data were analyzed by using Giorgi (1985)’s process. To increase credibility, this study utilized several techniques which were member checking, investigator triangulation, and data source triangulation. Results: Paticipants of early-retired basketball student athletes stated that they felt negative emotions such as sorrow, anger, and regret about their early retirement at the time they left basketball. Korean sport system tended to hinder student athletes from academics. Therefore, they commonly neglected academics and focused only on the sport during student athlete years. As a result, they struggled to catch up in classes at their universities, and to look for jobs after their retirement. To improve the phenomenon, the DMSP could positively influence their retirement, but it would not be compatible with current sport system. Conclusion: All participants struggled to adapt to non-student athlete’s life in university. They also regreted neglecting academics during their student athlete years. The DMSP could be one example for Korean new sport system, and influence to creat new pathway to become elite basketball athletes. It could positively impact to early retirement among Korean student athletes.
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