Black women student-athlete activists at a historically white institution of higher education represent a group with unique lived experiences framed by intersecting identities. As student-activists, they are at risk for adverse mental health concerns associated with the emotional toils of fighting for racial justice. As Black female student-athletes at a historically white institution, they are also at risk for isolation. Acknowledging that race, class, and gender consistently intersect in sport is a necessary prerequisite for better mental health treatment, and for understanding Black women in sport and society. The purpose of this report is to identify the target groups’ needs from their perspectives as Black women student-athlete activists, for the purposes of understanding and serving them better. We present interviews with six Black female student-athlete activists at a historically white institution of higher education and three recommendations for sport psychology consultants positioned to be their allies.
DeAnne Davis Brooks and Rob Knox
Erin J. Reifsteck, Jamian D. Newton, Melinda B. Smith, DeAnne Davis Brooks, and Shelby N. Anderson
There is growing interest in how athletes’ physical activity participation may be impacted when they transition out of competitive sport; however, few studies have examined the process of physical activity transitions in collegiate student-athletes using a qualitative approach. The purpose of our study was to explore student-athletes’ perceptions of, and experiences with, physical activity in the transition out of collegiate sport. Our analysis of transcripts from 13 focus groups conducted with current and former student-athletes (n = 59) suggests that student-athletes experienced a journey from control to liberation as they transitioned into their postcompetitive lives. In this exciting yet challenging transitional journey, participants were faced with navigating newfound autonomy over their physical activity outside of the controlled environment of collegiate sports and were considering the value and meaning of physical activity within a health promoting context. We offer practical recommendations from these findings to support student-athletes in this transition.