The Duration of the Sports Career as a Determinant of the Second Professional Career

Adam Metelski


Theoretical background: A sports career is a specific activity because it starts at an early age, lasts a relatively short time, and usually athletes are most successful when their peers are just starting to develop their typical professional careers. In previous research on the second careers of ex-athletes, mainly the top performers were described, forgetting that many athletes play in the lower leagues and sport is also their main profession. In this study, athletes who played at different levels of competition were analysed.

Purpose of the article: The article aims to determine how the length of a sports career affects the second professional career of former athletes.

Research methods: The studied population were Polish basketball players of working-age after finishing their sports careers. The survey was conducted online in 2021 and 301 people took part in it. The average duration of a sports career of participants was 10.13 years. Former basketball players were divided into 2 groups according to their career length. The first group consisted of those whose basketball careers lasted at least 10 years (160 people), and the second group consisted of those whose careers were shorter than 10 years (141 people).

Main findings: Former players whose sports careers lasted for at least 10 years are more satisfied with them than those whose sports careers were shorter, but they assess their current career prospects worse. It may result from the fact that among those whose sports careers were shorter, a greater percentage have higher education. The results also show that those whose basketball careers were longer, are now more likely to work in the field of sport. In conclusion, it can be said that earlier retirement from sports, favours to a greater extent university graduating and also allows a faster transition to a second professional career.


sports career; second career; basketball players; professional reorientation

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Date of publication: 2021-09-25 00:53:01
Date of submission: 2021-06-02 12:24:09


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