Following highly publicized stories of student-athletes' struggles with mental health, the spotlight on mental health and well-being in this special issue coincides with a broader growing concern for the long-term impact of competitive sport participation on student-athlete health and wellness. The end of a competitive sport career represents a potentially vulnerable life transition. As demonstrated in the literature, the unique aspects of elite sport culture shape student-athletes' perceptions of their identity, health, and health behaviors, which have implications for how student-athletes navigate their health and well-being as they transition away from the embedded healthcare structure inherent to elite sport. Given evidence indicating that student-athletes may face mental and physical health concerns after retirement from sports, targeted transitional strategies are needed to provide patient-centered care in this population. In this article, we briefly summarize current understandings of sport transition and highlight some key findings from studies conducted by the contributing authors' research groups exploring the impact of sport career transitions on student-athlete well-being. We also reflect on limitations of the existing research and transition models and, in turn, propose potential directions for adopting a nuanced and multidimensional framework to explore interconnected transition domains. We conclude by offering recommendations for sports medicine professionals to consider in future research, programming, and policies to promote student-athletes' holistic well-being through this critical transition.

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