Motives for Dropout Among Former Junior Elite Caribbean Track and Field Athletes: A Qualitative Investigation
journal contributionposted on 2021-07-01, 00:00 authored by Candy ThomasCandy Thomas, Tim ChambersTim Chambers, Luana MainLuana Main, Paul B Gastin
Anecdotal reports within the Caribbean track and field fraternity have revealed that there is a high level of athlete dropout from competitive sport at the junior-elite level, and a poor transition to senior-elite status. Consequently, this qualitative investigation explored the key motives that may have contributed toward the unsuccessful transitions and ensuing dropout of Caribbean track and field athletes during the junior to senior transition period. Eleven former junior-elite track and field athletes (four males, seven females; Mage = 29, SD ± 4.2 years) from four English-speaking Caribbean islands participated in semi-structured interviews. Following an inductive and deductive thematic analysis, four higher order themes were identified: (1) “there's not enough support”; (2) “felt pressure to make sure I committed”; (3) “it's always competitive here”; and (4) “battle with the injuries.” For these former junior-elite Caribbean athletes, the decision on whether to continue within the sport was influenced by a combination of factors, although inadequate financial and organizational support had the most bearing on athletes' decision to drop out during the crucial transition years. Implications for consideration by key stakeholders and policymakers within the region are discussed.