A1 Journal article (refereed)
From athletic talent development to dual career development? : A case study in a Finnish high performance sports environment (2022)

Nikander, Aku., Ronkainen, N., Korhonen, N., Saarinen, M., & Ryba, T. (2022). From athletic talent development to dual career development? : A case study in a Finnish high performance sports environment. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 20(1), 245-262. https://doi.org/10.1080/1612197X.2020.1854822

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsNikander, Aku.; Ronkainen, Noora; Korhonen, Natalia; Saarinen, Milla; Ryba, Tatiana

Journal or seriesInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology



Publication year2022

Publication date08/12/2020


Issue number1

Pages range245-262

PublisherTaylor & Francis

Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/73215


The focus of dual career (DC) research has shifted from exploring individual experiences within Athletic Talent Development Environments (ATDEs) toward understanding the impact of the environment and the broader cultural context on individuals’ developmental trajectories in Dual Career Development Environments (DCDEs). To comply with national and EU recommendations for socially responsible elite sport, many successful ATDEs list DC as one of their primary values and advertise themselves as DCDEs in order to attract more athletes. The present study aimed to evaluate whether and how a talent development environment for youth athletes in Finland has transformed from an ATDE to DCDE by exploring the environment’s success factors and organisational culture. This study is grounded in the theoretical framework of Holistic Ecological Approach and follows the Real-Time Case Method. Principal methods of data collection included interviews, observations, and documents. The results indicated that the environment was characterised by an incoherent organisational culture, and the environment was identified as an ATDE rather than a DCDE. We suggest that for the Finnish sports environment to successfully transform into a functioning DCDE, changes in the organisational culture are necessary and DC recommendations should be integrated into the environment to provide resources for student-athletes to develop a balanced life and the prerequisites to succeed in future endeavours.

Keywordsyoung peopleathletesprofessional sports careerstudysport academiesorganisational culturecritical realism

Free keywordsdevelopment environment; organisational culture; youth athletes; dual career; critical realism

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2023

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-15-05 at 12:05