Toward Two Grounded Theories of the Talent Development and Social Support Process of Highly Successful Collegiate Athletes

in The Sport Psychologist
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The purpose of this study was to utilize multiple perspectives to describe the major influences and experiences during the development of highly talented collegiate athletes. Eight NCAA Division I collegiate athletes, 12 parents, and 6 coaches participated in this study. In-depth semi-structured interviews analyzed through grounded theory analytic procedures (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) were used. Overall, it was ascertained that a favorable interaction between perceived genetic dispositions, practice, situational factors, and mental characteristics facilitated and nurtured the participants’ talent development. The importance of social support for overcoming adversity was a salient theme and should be addressed by sport psychology consultants and coaches.

Taryn K. Morgan is with IMG Academies, Mental Conditioning Division, Bradenton, FL. E-mail: Peter R. Giacobbi, Jr. is with the Applied Physiology and Kinesiology at the University of Florida, Gainesville.

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