An In-depth Study of Former Elite Figure Skaters: II. Sources of Enjoyment

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Tara K. Scanlan University of California, Los Angeles

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Gary L. Stein California State University, Fullerton

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Kenneth Ravizza California State University, Fullerton

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This study investigated the sources of sport enjoyment for elite figure skaters. These elite athletes were 26 former national championship competitors who currently coach figure skating. The skaters were interviewed and answered an open-ended question asking them for their sources of enjoyment during the most competitive phase of their skating careers. Each source of enjoyment mentioned was probed to obtain an in-depth understanding of the source. The data, 418 quotes, were drawn from verbatim transcriptions of the interviews and were inductively content analyzed. Content analysis organizes the quotes into increasingly more complex themes and categories representing sources of enjoyment. Four major sources of enjoyment emerged from the data—social and life opportunities, perceived competence, social recognition of competence, and the act of skating. The findings (a) demonstrated that elite figure skaters derive enjoyment from numerous and diverse sources reflecting the achievement, social, and movement aspects of sport, (b) provided greater depth of understanding for new and previously indicated sources of enjoyment, and (c) uncovered new psychological constructs.

This manuscript is the second in a series representing a larger project involving the elite athlete. The reader is referred to the first article (Scanlan, Ravizza, & Stein, 1989) for an overview and rationale to the entire project, and greater detail regarding the participants and methodology. Tara K. Scanlan and Gary L. Stein are with the Department of Kinesiology at UCLA, 405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024. Kenneth Ravizza is with the Department of Physical Education at California State University, Fullerton, CA 92634.

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