Acceleration or Deceleration?: Personalizing Sustainability Models Based on Elite Sport Careers View Digital Media
General sustainability-related issues can be analyzed well using smaller societal and economic sets. Here we choose to study elite sports through the voices of athletes, which reflect the characteristics of society and the economy regarding power, peak performance, and competitiveness. The purpose is (1) to identify existential elements in elite sport through thematic analysis, and (2) to invite readers to generalize qualitative results to personalize competing models of sustainability. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was adopted as a research method. Semi-structured interviews were implemented with five successful, retired elite athletes. Data analysis of the participant narratives involved conceptualizing the content into five higher order themes: identity, relation, transition, function, and health. Issues arising within these themes were categorized according to Coakley’s labels ‘Power and Performance’ and ‘Pleasure and Participation’. Through a two-step generalization process (transferability and analytical generalization), we personalize two competing visions of sustainability: one in which society is embedded in the economy (weak sustainability; the acceleration/growth model), and another in which the economy is embedded in society (strong sustainability; the slow/degrowth model). In the second vision of sustainability, Slow can be interpreted as the basic human condition, not a special case associated with inefficiency, laziness, and waste.
The Amateur to Professional Pipeline: How Failure Perception, Feedback, and Relationships Impact Motivation and Confidence to Persist in Sport View Digital Media
Though the sample in this study is comprised of Division 1 (D1) college athletes, implications for professional sports abound as impacts on motivation and confidence permeate all levels of sport. In prior research, motivation and confidence have often been considered as independent constructs with the potential for interaction. This framework has been productive, however, there are common influences on both constructs such as perceptions of failure, feedback, and perceived relationships with coaches and peers. Thus, a framework that integrates motivation, confidence, and these common features would be beneficial theoretically and practically. The present research was conducted at a small, D1 college in the southeast (U.S.A.). Participants first recalled a recent failure and wrote about this failure in an open-ended, descriptive format. We quantified failure valence by processing participant descriptions with machine learning via a behaviorally validated natural language processing algorithm (The Evaluative Lexicon; Rocklage, Rucker, & Nordgren, 2017). Subsequently, athletes were asked to self-report how this failure related to feedback, coach relationship, peer relationships, as well as confidence and motivation for their sport. We will present bivariate correlations between these variables, as well as a path model that integrates variables to predict confidence/motivation. As non-professional athletes must have sustained motivation and confidence to persist to professional levels, we will also discuss how these models may impact the amateur-to-professional athlete pipeline. Finally, we contextualize the results and discuss future directions.