Date of Graduation

8-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Education

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor

Moiseichik, Merry

Reader

Kissinger, Daniel

Second Reader

Langsner, Steve

Abstract

This study was conducted to gather information about why collegiate women discontinue participation in sports. Women at a Midwestern Division III institution participated in this study. Three groups of women were interviewed through focus groups: women no longer playing a sport, women currently playing collegiate athletics, and a mix of women currently playing a college sport and women no longer involved. The women were asked questions about sport involvement and answered collectively. Women provided responses that fell into 5 main categories: psychological, physical, educational, social, and attachment. Physical responses were those that dealt with health issues; some felt that the sport kept them in shape and healthy while others felt the sport just exhausted them. Social responses dealt with friends, lack of time, wanting to be involved elsewhere, and missing out on activities. Educational issues dealt with sport providing discipline and organization, preparing for life after college, needing to study/grades, and a lack of scholarships. Psychological responses of discontinued players had to do with the sport being too competitive in college and not fun anymore, while continuing athletes liked the status and reputation that surrounds being a collegiate athlete. The final category is relational; this encompasses a lot of issues, but it mainly involves the individual feeling less attached to the sport than she was in high school. The new team did not compare to her high school team. The atmosphere of collegiate athletics is also different; they did not have familiar teammates or even rivals. Additionally, the discontinued players did not have the same role they had on their high school team. Division III institutions may use this information to better understand the female athlete and to tailor their programs to suit her wants and needs.

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