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
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
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