Policy Push

This tool assists to frame a supporting argument, when attempting to influence dual career policy in a regional or national system. By using the tool, a clear communicative structure and politically relevant evidence can be set up.

Replay Guideline Video
Introducing the tool

Athletes are more than just participants in their sport. Sporting careers are fleeting, with athletes competing at the highest level for an average of only 5-10 years. 90% of athletes will need to find full-time work following retirement from their athletic career, with the percentage of non-professional athletes naturally to be expected even higher. This emphasises the importance of systems where athletes can be supported to continue their education, personal development and/or employment alongside their elite sport participation.

Supporting athletes to combine their education and sporting aspirations not only has long term benefits for the individual but also has the potential to lead to major economic, social, and labour benefits. Due to the recognised benefits, Europe has embraced several policy actions to promote the dialogue between sport and education bodies in order to establish combined sport and education pathways for athletes.

This is where the tool Policy Push comes into play. It assists the attempt to influence dual career policy officers with arguments on economic, social and labour market level. The tool can be used stand-alone or in combination with Comms Plan and Quality Control.

How to use

Follow the instructions to apply this tool and browse our manifold resources to find out more about the addressed topic.


Influencing Strategy (pdf) supports to guide the process you can take to develop your strategy when attempting to influence dual career policy in your regional or national system.

Benefits of Dual Career (pdf) and the corresponding Benefits of Dual Career – Presentation (pptx) provides an overview of key areas in which investments in sport systems that allow dual careers can benefit society. Within each area, there is consideration of either the economic, social, or labour perspective, with most areas covering a combination of these. The initial overview of benefits outlines the numerous arguments that can be used when promoting the need for increased consideration or investment in the area of dual careers. These key facts could also be utilized to promote support within other groups who may face specific challenges, such as musicians, dancers, refugees, those with a disability, carers, etc.

  1. Read the document Benefits of Dual Career (pdf) as a basis for your upcoming strategy.
  2. Use Influencing Strategy (pdf) to collect and systematize your influencing arguments. If required, use the corresponding Benefits of Dual Career – Presentation (pptx) according to your specific situation. (Install the free Google Font Poppins to display the presentation correctly and adapt the slides.) Phrase each statement to effectively target your audience, with the possibility to use positive or negative language dependent upon the circumstance and the desired outcomes.
  3. Put your developed strategy into action.

European documents

Research papers

  • Babey, S., Wolstein, J., & Diamant, A. (2015): Adolescent Physical Activity. Environment And Behavior, 48(1), 172-191. doi: 10.1177/0013916515609086
  • Brosnan, S. (2019): The impact of sports participation on crime in England between 2012 and 2015. Sport In Society, 1-12. doi: 10.1080/17430437.2019.1631805
  • McKnight, K., Bernes, K., Gunn, T., Chorney, D., Orr, D., & Bardick, A. (2009): Life after sport: Athletic career termination and transferable skills. Journal of Excellence, 13, 63–77
  • Ponizovskiy, P. A. (2013): Addiction in Retired Athletes. In D. A. Baron, C. L. Reardon & S. H. Baron (Eds.), Clinical Sports Psychiatry: An International Perspective. 282 Oxford: John Wiley & Sons. Potrac, P. Jones, R. L., Gilbourn
  • Ronkainen, N., Ryba, T., & Selänne, H. (2019): “She is where I’d want to be in my career”: Youth athletes’ role models and their implications for career and identity construction. Psychology of Sport And Exercise, 45, 101562. doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2019.101562
  • Schinke, R., Stambulova, N., Si, G., & Moore, Z. (2017): International society of sport psychology position stand: Athletes’ mental health, performance, and development. International Journal Of Sport And Exercise Psychology, 16(6), 622-639. doi: 10.1080/1612197x.2017.1295557
  • Stambulova, N., Alfermann, D., Statler, T., & CĂ´tĂ©, J. (2009): ISSP Position stand: Career development and transitions of athletes. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 7(4), 395-412. doi: 10.1080/1612197x.2009.9671916
  • Torregrosa, M., Ramis, Y., PallarĂ©s, S., AzĂłcar, F., & Selva, C. (2015): Olympic athletes back to 19 retirement: A qualitative longitudinal study. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 21, 50-56
  • Wylleman, P., Alfermann, D., & Lavallee, D. (2004): Career transitions in sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 5(1), 3-5. doi: 10.1016/s1469-0292(02)00048-1
  • Wylleman, P., De Brandt, K., & Defruyt, S. (2017): Gold in education and elite sport: Handbook for dual career support providers
  • Wylleman, P., & Reints, A. (2010): A lifespan perspective on the career of talented and elite athletes: Perspectives on high-intensity sports. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science In Sports, 20, 88-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01194.

Sporting body documents

  • Professional Players Federation (2018): Past Player Research – Summary of initial findings.
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In practice

The tool "Policy Push" in action: See real-life examples of its application in EU dual career practice.