Examining body image in retired collegiate volleyball players
The purpose of this study was to examine the self-perceived body image of female volleyball players more than 10 years after their collegiate playing careers have ended. Utilizing a phenomenological approach, we surveyed and later interviewed ten former collegiate volleyball players ranging in age from 29 to 52. We identified and explored four emergent themes. These were (a) maintaining an athlete identity, (b) focusing on new priorities, (c) physical changes, and (d) body image. Most of the women have maintained their athletic identity to some degree, however new priorities, including work motherhood, have lessened its importance. As a result of the decreased emphasis on sport and the accompanying aging process, the women recognize physical changes, many of which have altered their perception of their overall body image but have not caused a significant amount of distress.