THE IMPACT OF THE PCA PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME ON THE ATTITUDES AND PERCEPTIONS OF ACADEMY CRICKETERS TOWARDS PERSONAL AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Following a wealth of research reporting the negative and traumatic experiences of athletes retiring from sport, research has suggested the engagement with career and personal development early in an athletic career can help prepare athletes for a smoother transition out of sport. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of the Personal Development and Welfare program (PDWP) on the attitudes and perceptions of academy cricketers towards their career and personal development. Participants (n=7) were selected from different stages: pre-academy (n=2), middle stage (n=2), academy graduates (n=2) and the academy director (n=1). In an attempt to gain the knowledge, thoughts and feelings of the athletes and coach, in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted. The interviews were inductively and deductively analysed using the principles of thematic analysis. In addition, a model of 'Activation States' has been used for data analysis to map changes over time related to the knowledge, feelings and actions of academy players, following input from the PDWP. Results indicated a positive effect on the attitudes and perceptions of the players and an increase in awareness of the importance of career and personal development. A number of other influences were found to positively impact upon the young athletes such as the ethos of the club, academy director, senior professionals and parents.
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