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Kerry R. McGannon and Jenny McMahon

Despite the focus on motherhood and sport participation in recent years, the motherhood and recreational sport participation nexus is not well understood. Using an instrumental case study, we explored running facilitators for competitive recreational mother runners to advance research using a novel theory (i.e., narrative inquiry). We used a dialogical narrative analysis to identify a key theme of “good mother runners: negotiating freedom and constraint.” Findings are presented using a storyteller approach in the form of three portrait characters who each tell a story of facilitators grounded in a “relational narrative” that provided freedom to run in the context of good motherhood. The features of the relational narrative are shown in three nonfiction vignettes: Susan’s story, “Running is what we do”; Tracy’s story, “Running isn’t just for me, it’s for them”; and Kay’s story, “Just go with it.” Interpretive reflections of the stories using narrative theory are offered. We conclude with practical recommendations and future research directions for mothers’ competitive running participation.

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Kerry R. McGannon and Ted M. Butryn

In this study, scholarship was extended on the cultural meanings of race and athlete activism by interrogating one key media spectacle surrounding athlete protests: President Trump’s 2017 speech questioning the National Football League (NFL) players’ character, with a focus on NFL owners’ responses. The NFL owners’ statements (n = 32) were subjected to critical discourse analysis. Discourses of post-racial nationalism and functionalism and the subject positions of “good player citizen” and “benevolent facilitator” (re)created meanings of the protests devoid of racial politics, linked to ideologies of color blindness, meritocracy, and diversity. These discourses and subject positions allowed the NFL owners to control protest meanings to maintain White privilege and appeal to their White fan base. These findings expand research on color-blind racism in sport, which perpetuates neoliberal ideals and the myth of a post-racial America, via taken-for-granted language use within discourses.

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Kerry R. McGannon and Michael K. Mauws

Despite a great deal of research encompassing personal, interpersonal, and socio-environmental realms, the widespread prevalence of sedentary lifestyles would indicate that there is still much to be learned about individuals' inability to adhere to exercise programs. Building on Bourdieu’s assertion that three modes of knowledge are required for a satisfactory understanding of the social world, in this paper we argue that current understandings are limited by their reliance on subjectivist and/or objectivist modes of understanding. We suggest that what is necessary is a third, praxeological mode of understanding if we are to satisfactorily address the exercise adherence problem. Toward this end, we describe how ethnomethodological and poststructuralist perspectives can be usefully combined to explore the adherence problem from a praxeological perspective.

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Kerry R. McGannon, Lara Pomerleau-Fontaine, and Jenny McMahon

Although extreme-sport athletes’ experiences have been explored in sport psychology, more research is needed to understand the nuanced identity meanings for these athletes in the context of health and well-being. A case-study approach grounded in narrative inquiry was used to explore identity meanings of 1 elite extreme-sport athlete (i.e., skyrunner Kilian Jornet) in relation to well-being. Data gleaned from 4 documentary films and 10 autobiographical book chapters describing the Summits of My Life project were subjected to a thematic narrative analysis. Two intersecting narratives—discovery and relational—threaded the summits project and were used by Jornet to construct an “ecocentric” identity intertwined with nature in fluid ways, depending on 3 relationships related to well-being: the death of climbing partner Stéphane Brosse, team members’ shared values, and her relationship with partner Emelie Forsberg. An expansion of identity, health, and well-being research on extreme-sport athletes beyond simplistic portrayals of them as pathological risk takers and/or motivated by personality traits was gained from these findings.

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Jenny McMahon, Kerry R. McGannon, and Chris Zehntner

Ethnodrama combined with Goffman’s ‘presentation of self’ is used to explore three elite swimmers’ ‘presentation of self’ in relation to the dominant ideology of ‘slim to win’. The ‘presentation of self’ of three swimmers is presented and analyzed according to their front stage (e.g., posting of specific images; direct media quotes) and backstage (e.g., an autoethnographic representation) performances. Goffman’s concepts of expressions ‘given’ and ‘given off’ are used to highlight how the ideology comes to be presented to others and whether the swimmer negotiates and/or contests it. As an analysis and representation, ethnodrama affords the opportunity to reveal the extent an athlete may go to to avoid a failing ‘presentation of self’ in relation to ‘slim to win,’ highlighting potential health effects (e.g., physical, emotional).

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John C. Spence, Kerry R. McGannon, and Pauline Poon

The purpose of this study was to quantitatively review the body of research on exercise and global self-esteem (GSE). This review focuses specifically on studies using adults and also incorporates both published and unpublished works. Computer and manual searches identified 113 studies matching the selection criteria. Each study was coded according to 20 study features. A total of 128 effect sizes (d) were derived. As indicated by effect-size magnitude, participation in exercise brought about a small change in GSE (d = +0.23). Change in physical fitness and type of program were significant moderators of the effect of exercise on GSE. Larger effect sizes were observed for those who experienced significant changes in physical fitness and those participating in exercise or lifestyle programs as opposed to skills training.

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Jenny McMahon, Camilla J. Knight, and Kerry R. McGannon

Research on abuse in sport reveals that sporting environments are unique contexts where athlete abuse can occur. An international panel on “safe sport” identified the need to implement strategies to ensure sport is safe for all. One strategy identified as a way of preventing abuse from occurring in sport is to educate the parents of athletes. This study centres on an education intervention implemented with 14 parents from a gymnastics and swimming context where narrative pedagogy (e.g., athletes’ stories of abuse) was used. As a result of engaging with narrative pedagogy, parents were able to identify unacceptable coaching practices. However, the extent of several dominant cultural ideologies (e.g., competitive performance ideology) became known through the parents’ responses and influenced the way they took up the athletes’ abuse stories.

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Robert Joel Schinke, Amy T. Blodgett, Kerry R. McGannon, Yang Ge, Odirin Oghene, and Michelle Seanor

This study explores a composite vignette of athletes acculturating in a national sport system. The research questions were: What acculturation narratives did the athletes’ construct when they considered the notion of their receiving culture’s national sport system? And within these, what are the key challenges in relation to support that the athletes storied about their receiving culture’s national sport system as they sought to acculturate? The research was framed in critical acculturation (see Chirkov, 2009a, 2009b). The fluid process of acculturation is illustrated using creative nonfiction presenting one unifying voice presented within a composite vignettes (see Spalding & Phillips, 2007). The three themes in the acculturation vignette were as follows: (a) nothing but love—a nationalistic romance, (b) losing my romance with nationalism, and (c) dollars in exchange for newcomer results. This project reveals how immigrant elite athletes can move between distinct narratives that can contradict one another.

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Hope E. Yungblut, Robert J. Schinke, Kerry R. McGannon, and Mark A. Eys

Researchers have found that female youths are particularly vulnerable to withdrawing from sport and physical activity programs in early adolescence (see Active Healthy Kids Canada, 2010). However, there is an absence of a comprehensive, emic description of how female adolescents experience physical activity. Open-ended, semi-structured interviews were conducted individually with 15 early adolescent females (12–14 years old) and 20 middle and late adolescent females (15–18years old). Co-participants in the mid to late adolescent cohort provided retrospective accounts of their early adolescent experiences along with insight on how their experiences shaped their current participation. The girls’ voices were brought to the forefront through composite vignettes that highlight their physical activity experiences, integrating the words used by the co-participants. Results are discussed in relation to physical activity programming for adolescent females and why a qualitative approach is useful in contributing to gender-specific physical activity programming.