The Impact of Post-Collegiate Playing Opportunities on DI Field Hockey Players and Their Athlete Identity


  • Gina Caravaglia Ball State University
  • Dr. Jerry F. Reynolds Ball State University
  • Dr. Matt Moore Ball State University



athlete identity, student-athlete, college sport, field hockey


Olympic sports tend to lack professional playing opportunities compared to league and revenue sports. This study evaluated how the lack of professional playing opportunity for Olympic sports might impact athlete identity. This study collected data from NCAA DI field hockey players utilizing the 10-item Athlete Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS) questionnaire. Researchers hypothesized the number of years playing field hockey, student-athlete grade level/graduation year, and the belief of playing at the next level would significantly impact athlete identity. Results refuted both hypotheses; however, results elicit further conversation about NCAA competition levels, the belief of playing at the next level, and the impact of youth sport development. The current study found athlete identity is complex and efforts at the micro-, mezzo-, and macro-levels to understand and assist student-athletes navigate their athlete identity is important for overall well-being. The study concludes with suggestions for future research and practical implications for exploring the complexities of athlete identity.


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