Decision Making by Elite Athletes When Joining National Elite Sports Training Centers

By Aurélie Ledon, Nadine Debois, Élisabeth Rosnet


In the majority of sports, elite athletes frequently need to make decisions that have an impact on their careers. One is whether to join an elite sports training center (at regional or national level); this represents an important transition for athletes, with various repercussions to which they will have to adapt. The question is knowing which factors are likely to influence an athlete’s decisions. This study takes into account four potential influencing factors, i.e., the Push-Pull-Antipush-Antipull model (Schultz, Morton, & Wercherle, 1998): elements of (1) attraction (i.e., advantages of the new situation); (2) inducement (i.e., aspects of the current context encouraging a shift to something else); (3) attachment (i.e., what will be lost in the change); and (4) deterrence (i.e., costs and risks perceived in the new situation). A total of 31 semi-structured interviews were conducted, focusing on entering the practice of sport and the processes influencing the decision to join an elite sports training center.


  • decision making
  • elite athletes
  • training center
  • career transition
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