I’ve talked about athletic identity in a number of my previous posts (also here and here), so I thought, now might be a good time to explore it in more detail. Athletic identity is something that is critical to discuss with all athletes early on in their careers and through retirement. Athletic identity is “the degree to which an individual identifies with the athlete role” (Brewer, Van Raalte, & Linder, 1993). This is something that starts to develop from the first moment an athlete begins to play a sport. And how that develops ultimately shapes how an athlete, thinks, feels and acts – on and off the field. Experiences that shape this? Initial successes and wins, accolades, encouragement, attention from peers and media, and rewards for effort or competition.