Volume 12, No. 1

Authors: McKay, Jane; Lavallee, David; Anderson, Alisa G.; White, Alison

The influence of athletic identity on cognitive appraisals and coping following underperforming among international track athletes

Vpliv športne identitete vrhunskih atletov na kognitivno ocenjevanje in soočanje z neuspešnostjo v športu

Abstract (English)

Previous studies have demonstrated that strong and exclusive athletic identity is a risk factor for

adjustment difficulties following major sport career transitions (e.g., Cecić Erpič, Wylleman, & Zupančič, 2004; Grove, Lavallee, & Gordon, 1997). However, research investigating the influence of athletic identity on adjustment to negative events that athletes encounter more routinely is scant. This study adopted a stress perspective (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984) and qualitative method to examine the influence of athletic identity on athletes’ appraisal and coping responses to underperforming. Three male and three female UK international track athletes provided accounts of their experiences of underperforming in semi-structured interviews. Athletic identity was established with the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS; Brewer, Van Raalte, & Linder, 1993), in addition to qualitative data. Case studies were constructed and cross-case comparisons revealed that athletes with strong and exclusive athletic identity appraised underperforming as a threat to their self-identities, experienced intense emotional disturbance and implemented emotionfocused and avoidance coping. These findings suggest that the risks of over-identification with the athlete role are more widespread than is currently recognized and highlight the need for intervention programs that encourage athletes to invest in non-sport sources of identification.

Keywords (English)

athletic identity, elite sport, underperforming, cognitive appraisals, coping, case study

Abstract (Slovenian)

Dosedanje raziskave kažejo, da močna in ekskluzivna športna identiteta predstavlja rizični faktor pri prilagajanju na težave, ki sledijo velikim spremembam v športni karieri (npr. Cecić Erpič, Wylleman, & Zupančič, 2004; Grove, Lavallee, & Gordon, 1997). Študije redko preučujejo, kako se športniki prilagajajo na vsakodnevne oz. pogoste negativne dogodke ter kakšen vpliv na to ima športna identiteta. Pričujoča študija je z vidika stresa (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984) in z uporabo kvalitativne metodologije preučevala vpliv športne identitete na športnikovo ocenjevanje in soočanje z neuspešnostjo. Trije atleti in tri atletinje iz Velike Britanije so v polstrukturiranem intervjuju podali razlage svojih izkušenj pri neuspešnosti. Izraženost športne identitete smo ugotavljali z lestvico Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS; Brewer, Van Raalte, & Linder, 1993) in kvalitativnimi podatki. Študije primerov so pokazale, da športniki z močno in ekskluzivno športno identiteto ocenjujejo neuspešnost kot grožnjo svoji lastni identiteti, ob tem pa doživljajo intenziven čustven nemir. Z neuspešnostjo se soočajo čustveno, pogosto pa uporabljajo strategije izogibanja. Te ugotovitve kažejo, da so nevarnosti prekomerne identifikacije z vlogo športnika precej bolj intenzivne kot navajajo dosedanja spoznanja. Potrebno je oblikovati interventne programe, ki bi vzpodbudili športnike k osredotočanju na vire identificiranja, ki niso vezani na šp

Keywords (Slovenian)

športna identiteta, soočanje, kognitivno ocenjevanje, neuspešnost v športu, študija primerov

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