An investigation of the transition of athletes from performance to elite level in athletics: A case study of Cardiff Met athletes
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of this study was to identify the factors that impact upon the ability of Cardiff Met athletes to transition from performance to elite level in athletics. In-depth semistructured interviews were on conducted on two group of four participants. The first group of four were athletes who had made this transition to elite level successfully. The second group contained four athletes who had, so far, been unsuccessful in transitioning to elite level in athletics. The interviews were then transcribed and the data thematically analysed in the form of a table. The findings of this study revealed that Cardiff Met University can be seen to provide the platform for athletes in athletics to make the transition to elite level successfully. These opportunities included: Access to high quality facilities, access to high quality coaches, an elite/professional training environment and the chance to dedicate more time to training. The findings also demonstrated that student-athletes are susceptible to a wide variety of pressure upon entering higher education. These pressures included: Social pressures, pressure from coach to focus on training, pressure from family to focus on work and pressure associated with managing both work and training load. However a key finding that emerged from this study was that all of the elite athletes received some sort of financial backing, whereas none of the athletes in the performance group received this form of support. This indicated that funding may be one of the main factors that enables an athlete to transition from performance to elite level in athletics.
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