THE AFTERMATH OF VIOLENCE: DIFFICULTIES FACED IN THE ATHLETIC CAREER TRANSITION OF CONTACT SPORT ATHLETES

Gary Senecal (gsenecal@holycross.edu)
Visiting Professor at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, USA.

Abstract


This paper will examine the effects of enabling violence, the provocation of violent tendencies, and, ultimately, the emotional draw to violence in the lived experience of individuals who have competed in contact sports. Many athletes will leave the unique social arena perpetuated in contact sports for careers in a society governed by laws of civility and propriety that suppress and deter the level of aggression and violence condoned in their former career. Many of the participants in this study expressed how they find satisfaction in violence and were initially drawn to contact sports as a result of the longing to express violent mindsets and behaviors. However, in the advent of retirement, participants expressed how they often miss the process of releasing aggression and engaging in physical contact regularly. The vacuum for violence experienced in retirement often led to certain psychosocial frustrations for participants in their lives after sport.

 

KEY WORDS: Aggressive Outlets, Reversal Theory, Violence and Motivation, Violence and Arousal, Psychoanalysis, Athletic Career Transition, Contact Sports, Catharsis, Social Reintegration


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