Young and burned out–the dilemma of women’s elite football. Early termination of the football career for elite women footballers in Norway caused by a high degree of emotional and interpersonal stressors
Early termination of football careers is a challenge for elite women footballers. They quit their careers before experience, competence, and performance are fully developed, and women’s football is deprived of the opportunity to develop to the highest optimal quality. Women’s elite football is mostly semi-professional, with athletes juggling between football, work, and education. This qualitative study was conducted through semi-structured interviews with Norwegian elite women footballers (N = 7). Findings suggest the main reason for early termination is the heavy workload due to the combination of studies, work, and elite-level football, which led to exhaustion and burnout. It indicates that providing enough time to recover, fewer “to-dos” pushed into the day, and sufficient resources, hinder the harmful effects of a heavy total workload. The aim of the article is to highlight the reasons for the early termination of football careers for elite women footballers in Norway and the challenges of reaching international standards.
PublisherTaylor & Francis
CitationWilhelmsen L. Young and burned out–the dilemma of women’s elite football. Early termination of the football career for elite women footballers in Norway caused by a high degree of emotional and interpersonal stressors. Soccer and Society. 2023
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