Restoring harmony in the life-world? Identity, learning, and leaving pre-elite sport

Ronkainen, Noora, Ryba, Tariana and Allen-Collinson, Jacquelyn (2020) Restoring harmony in the life-world? Identity, learning, and leaving pre-elite sport. The Sport Psychologist . ISSN 0888-4781

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Restoring harmony in the life-world? Identity, learning, and leaving pre-elite sport
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Abstract

Sport provides many youth participants with a central life project, and yet very few eventually fulfil their athletic dreams, which may lead them to disengage from sport entirely. Many studies have explored the processes of athletic retirement, but little is known about how youth athletes actually reconstruct their relationship with sport and embodiment post-retirement. We explored these issues in the story of ‘Pilvi’, a Finnish alpine skier who disengaged from sport in her late adolescence. Employing an existential-phenomenological approach, we conducted six low-structured interviews with Pilvi, combined with visual methods, and identified key themes relating to the body, space, culture and time. Our findings highlight the difficulty of building a new relationship with sport and the often restrictive cultural horizons of sport and exercise culture that limit the ‘possible selves’. We discuss the significant implications for applied practitioners helping youth athletes and effectively supporting them in leaving their sport.

Keywords:Phenomenology, Sport, Youth sport, Athlete retirement, Athletic career, Existential learning
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C600 Sports Science
L Social studies > L300 Sociology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
ID Code:41448
Deposited On:28 Jul 2020 13:20

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