This master's thesis examines how alpine skiing coaches view sports career development in the transition period from boys and girls (U14) to the category of older boys and girls (U16).
We conducted a qualitative survey on the sample of 11 coaches to find out how they perceive problems, pressures, and sentiments in the transition from initialization to the developmental stage of a sports career. We based our research on the theoretical framework of the Holistic Athletic Career Model by Wylleman et al. (2013). Based on the model, we analyzed five sports career levels of younger and older boys in alpine skiing, namely: changes at the athletic, psychological, psychosocial, academic, and the financial levels.
According to the coaches' assessment, the development that takes place at the younger age of male and female alpine skiers’ career is crucial for the successful continuation of their sports career. Most coaches note that the transition from U16 to the FIS category represents the most difficult transition period in alpine skiing, which is why research work performed in this period (U14 and U16) is so important.
The results show that adolescence affects the athlete's motivation and his/her psychological readiness. We found out that parental involvement in alpine skiing is particularly important from the financial aspect, as parents provide the primary source of funding at this point of the athlete’s sports career. At the academic level, the results show that despite a lengthy absence from school, athletes do not experience any major academic issues. The findings of our research provide a better understanding of the coach's view on the transition to the developmental stage of the sports career. We believe that these findings will contribute to a better understanding of the complexity of the transition period that the U14 and U16 skiers face. The results will help the coaches provide training plans for young alpine skiers in this period crucial for a successful continuation of their sports career.