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The transition from schoolboy to elite sportsman: education and training and early career players in the AFL

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journal contribution
posted on 2005-01-01, 00:00 authored by Chris HickeyChris Hickey, Peter Kelly
IIn this paper we discuss some of the findings of a research project funded by the Australian Football League (AFL) titled: Getting the Balance Right: Professionalism, Performance, Prudentialism and Playstations in the Life of AFL Footballers. The research explored the following issues: the emergence and evolution of a 'professional identity' for AFL footballers an identity that has many facets including the emerging ideas that a professional leads a balanced life, and has a prudent orientation to the future, to life after football. This 'professional identity' isn't natural, and must be developed through a range of 'professional development' activities (a common link to all other 'professions'). In the AFL at this time professional development has a focus on engaging players in a variety of education and training activities TAFE & University courses, and workshops and seminars that the industry has put in place to educate players about issues that the industry sees as important.

The paper focuses on our research with players we classified as Early Career. For many of these 17 to 21 year old young men the later years of secondary schooling were compromised in their pursuit of an AFL career. Their subsequent drafting is followed by intense efforts to physically prepare for football. In this context our research indicates that many Early Career players put football first, second and third. Education and training, and professional development come further down their list of priorities.

History

Journal

ACHPER Australia healthy lifestyles journal

Volume

52

Pagination

7 - 11

Location

Hindmarsh, S. Aust.

Open access

  • Yes

ISSN

1445-8918

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2005, ACHPER

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