Restoring Harmony in the Lifeworld? Identity, Learning, and Leaving Preelite Sport

  • Noora J. Ronkainen, Tatiana V. Ryba, Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson
  • The Sport Psychologist, January 2020, Human Kinetics
  • DOI: 10.1123/tsp.2020-0009

Identity, learning and leaving pre-elite sport - a youth athlete

Photo by Maarten Duineveld on Unsplash

Photo by Maarten Duineveld on Unsplash

What is it about?

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. Little is known about how youth athletes actually reconstruct their relationship with sport and their bodies after retirement. We explored these very issues in the story of “Pilvi,” a Finnish alpine skier who disengaged from sport in her late adolescence. We 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 horizons of sport and exercise that limit “possible selves.” We discuss the significant implications for applied practitioners helping youth athletes and effectively supporting them in leaving their sport.

Why is it important?

Given how few talented youth athletes actually fulfil their athletic dreams, which may lead them to disengage from sport entirely, it is important to understand how youth athletes go about reconstructing their relationship with sport and their bodies after retirement from pre-elite sport.

Read Publication

http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/tsp.2020-0009

The following have contributed to this page: Professor Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson