The Adaptation to the Mainstream in Elite Sport: A Canadian Aboriginal Perspective

in The Sport Psychologist
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Cultural sport psychology (CSP) is a recent attempt by researchers to better understand respondents from marginalized cultures. CSP research provides useful suggestions of how to work effectively with unique populations for coaches and sport science practitioners. This paper addresses the struggles and adaptation strategies of 23 (16 male, 7 female) elite Aboriginal Canadian athletes. National and international level athletes elicited from seven sport disciplines and three Canadian provinces were interviewed with a semistructured protocol. Indications are that Aboriginal Canadian athletes engage in two higher order types of adaptation: (a) self-adaptation and (b) adapted environment. The study was developed, analyzed, and coauthored with an Aboriginal community appointed research team. Implications, such as the use of ongoing reflective practice, are proposed for aspiring CSP sport researchers and practitioners.

Robert J. Schinke, Ginette Michel, Alain Gauthier, Patricia Pickard, and Richard Danielson are with the School of Human Kinetics at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. E-mail: rschinke@laurentian.ca. Duke Peltier, Chris Pheasant, Lawrence Enosse, and Mark Peltier are with Wilkwemikong Recreation Program at Wilkwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve in Ontario, Canada