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Recreational Athletes’ Experiences of Adversity Outside of Sport

  • Author / Creator
    Kelsey Wright
  • Sport involvement can be both a stressor and protective factor for athletes’ well-being (Arnold & Fletcher, 2012; Sarkar & Fletcher, 2014; Secades et al., 2016). With potentially fewer performance stressors, recreational athletes might be best positioned to experience the positive aspects of sport (e.g., Brown & Potrac, 2009; Eime, Young, Harvey, Charity, & Payne, 2013; Khan et al., 2012) including engaging with coping strategies within sport. As a means of understanding the potential coping strategies associated with recreational sporting participation, this study addressed the question: how do recreational athletes experience adversity? Ten recreational athletes participated in one-on-one semi-structured interviews. Data were analysed using an interpretive phenomenological analysis (Smith, 2004; Reid, Flowers, and Larkin, 2005). Analysis was reviewed through member reflections (Smith & McGannon, 2018). Findings indicated that recreational athletes utilized coping strategies through sport as well as coping outside of sport in response to life adversities. Through social support, distraction, identity reaffirmation and personal goal setting, recreational athletes of this study found coping strategies within sport. Notably, participants recounted experiences of goal setting by first relaying the importance of psychological safety in their sporting environments. For instance, recreational athletes spoke to experiences of unsafe sport environments being a barrier to successful coping processes. Taken together, these findings provide information on the potential role of sport involvement of recreational athletes in their experiences of adversity. Participants of this study also spoke to coping resources outside of sport including social support beyond their sport community and time to resolve the stressors.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2019
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-pyx5-3r86
  • License
    Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.