It has been suggested that, in addition to individual attributes and knowledge, the environment athletes are in can also have an effect on their development (Henriksen & Stambulova, 2017; Henriksen, Stambulova, & Roessler, 2010a, 2010b, 2011). This research indicates that, independent of athletes having the pre-requisite key competencies to be successful, they may encounter challenges with the environment which they cannot control.
As a result, to advance current knowledge and supplement the work which has already been carried out, the mission of the current work is to 1. develop a comprehensive understanding of the dual career development environments (DCDEs) across Europe, and 2. provide guidelines for the development and optimization of DCDEs supporting talented and elite athletes’ in their pursuit of sporting and academic excellence.
To achieve the project mission, there are four aims: 1. to identify and classify different types of DCDEs across Europe and define criteria of their effectiveness and efficiency, 2. to identify factors contributing to the effectiveness and efficiency of DCDEs through exploration of selected DCDEs in participating countries by exploration of their structure, dual career arrangements, organizational culture, and the role of dual career service providers, 3. to develop and test a DCDE monitoring tool (DCDEM) aimed at assisting stakeholders when checking the current status of their DCDE in relation to their structure, dual career arrangements, organizational culture, and the role of dual career service providers and helping them develop strategies to optimize their environments, and 4. to disseminate the project findings and provide implementation guidelines to national governing bodies, DCDE stakeholders, dual career service providers, and dual career researchers on the development and optimization of the DCDEs.
For a more comprehensive outline, please refer to this presentation of the project which outlines the key work packages and the methods which will be used to achieve the overall aims of the work.