The present paper aims to specifically outline the critical moments that permeate professional football players’ development and existence in elite level English Premiership football. It also recognises the role of the applied sport psychologist in working with top players to address issues that challenge, impact (and change) player identity and personal meaning as they travel through their career from youth to professional to retirement. We conclude the paper by introducing some alternative perspectives on theory and practice. The paper is a result of the combined interests and applied activity of the authors and draws from theoretical frameworks and concepts in social psychology, existential phenomenological psychology and sociology. In this regard the paper attempts to synthesise (and celebrate) complimentary disciplines in order to allow us to consider the individual player within their social context.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.