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Developing a career training programme in Swedish elite handball

Ekengren, Johan, Stambulova, Natalia, Johnson, Urban

Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)


Psychological interventions with elite athletes should benefit from the developmental and preventive perspectives (Stambulova, 2016) keeping in mind the highly stressful nature of elite sports and potential threats for athletes’ mental health (Schinke, Stambulova, Si, & Moore, 2017). The authors of this presentation (2018) explored 18 Swedish professional handball players’ career experiences with foci on major stages and transitions in their athletic and non-athletic developments. The players’ information was consolidated into an empirical career model of Swedish handball players, covering several stages and layers in players’ development with relevant transitions, pathways, and themes describing content of each stage. This empirical model served a basis for planning the intervention study with professional handball players aimed at helping them to develop resources and strategies to meet elite career demands and maintain health and wellbeing. The presentation will focus on development of a career training program (CTP) for 16 professional players (age 18-35) representing an elite handball club in the South of Sweden. The CTP is structured into eight workshops with their content derived from major demands and stressors of handball players during the mastery stage of their careers. After the CTP kick off, major topics of the workshops include: professional players’ values and committed actions, training, performance, lifestyle, and recovery issues, injury prevention, the future and athletic retirement. The content of the workshops guided by a combination of concurrent and proactive approaches will include acceptance and commitment training, life skills development, pre-transition planning, monitoring assessment, and creating a personal development plan.

Nyckelord: Career assistance; career training program; handball; intervention

Citera: Ekengren, Johan, Stambulova, Natalia & Johnson, Urban, Developing a career training programme in Swedish elite handball, Abstract book : The 15th European Congress of Sport and Exercise Psychology – Building the Future of Sport and Exercise Psychology., s. 319-319, 2019