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Curb Your Enthusiasm: A Case of Young Malaysian Women’s Emotional Embodiment

Anaurene Roy and Tatiana V. Ryba

The purpose of this research was to explore, from a cultural psychological perspective, how young Islamic women experience themselves being physically active in the Islamic State of Malaysia. Open-ended, in-depth interviews were conducted with five Muslim women (aged 20-21) who actively participate in sports and physical activities of their choice. Drawing on a feminist poststructuralist perspective, young women’s narratives were examined as cultural manifestations of gender control in the context of sport and exercise through discourse analysis. One narrative explicitly revealed the workings of power in emotion regulation and restriction while other narratives highlighted power mechanisms operating through other forms of emotional constitution of the young female body. This paper is an attempt to (re)construct the compelling case of a culturally constituted expression of joy and enjoyment in the exercise setting. The key findings are discussed in relation to panoptical power exercised through the socio-cultural medium of the Islamic state.

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Migration and Career Transitions in Professional Sports: Transnational Athletic Careers in a Psychological and Sociological Perspective

Sine Agergaard and Tatiana V. Ryba

With rising globalization and professionalization within sports, athletes are increasingly migrating across national borders to take up work, and their athletic and nonathletic development is thereby shaped and lived in different countries. Through the analysis of interviews with female professional transnational athletes, this article contextualizes and discusses arguments for developing an interdisciplinary framework to account for lived experiences of the close intertwining between transnational migration and career development in professional sports. By combining our psychological and sociological perspectives, we identify three normative career transitions for transnational athletes. First of all, transnational recruitment that draws on social networks as well as individual agency. Secondly, establishment as a transnational athlete that is connected to cultural and psychological adaptation as well as development of transnational belonging, and thirdly, professional athletic career termination that for transnational athletes is connected to a (re)constitution of one’s transnational network and sense of belonging.

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The Benefits of Yoga for Athletes: The Body

Tatiana V. Ryba

Column-editor : John M. Kaltenborn

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Exploring the Life Form of a Student Athlete Afforded by a Dual Career Development Environment in Finland

Natalia Korhonen, Aku Nikander, and Tatiana V. Ryba

The current paper introduces a case study conducted in one of the most well-established athletic talent development environments in Finland, with the focus on the environment’s ecological dynamics and organizational culture, in light of its recent effort to rebrand itself as a dual career development environment. Our analysis has been inspired by the holistic ecological approach and ecological dynamics, wherein the authors have considered a dual career development environment from the point of view of its transactions with agentic individuals and affordances for student athletes in the study domain, the sports domain, and the private domain. The authors believe our findings can provide other sports environments with insight into what to consider when transforming the organizational culture of an environment to better aid their student athletes in realizing their dual career goals.

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Student Athletes’ Causal Attributions for Sport and School Achievement in Relation to Sport Dropout and Grade Point Average

Milla Saarinen, Raymond Bertram, Kaisa Aunola, Julia Pankkonen, and Tatiana V. Ryba

The present study longitudinally examined stability and change in the attributional profiles of Finnish student athletes (n = 391) in upper secondary sport schools. Moreover, it examined the extent to which these profiles, and changes in them, were associated with athletes’ level of sport competition and school achievements and dropouts at the end of upper secondary sport school. Using latent profile analysis, five different and highly stable attributional profiles were identified for student athletes: (a) depressive (6.9%), (b) athletic self-serving (23.0%), (c) average (16.4%), (d) learned helplessness (30.9%), and (e) responsible (22.8%). The results further showed that over the 3-year study period, the responsible attributional style, wherein individuals take responsibility for successes and failures, predicted student athletes’ subsequent high grade point average and low sport dropout rates even after controlling for the impacts of their earlier grade point average, gender, and type of sport.

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Antecedents and Consequences of Student-Athletes’ Identity Profiles in Upper Secondary School

Ali Moazami-Goodarzi, Matilda Sorkkila, Kaisa Aunola, and Tatiana V. Ryba

This study examined the identity profiles that upper secondary school Finnish student-athletes show and the extent to which these profiles were associated with their athletic and academic achievements and withdrawal from sports and school. A total of 391 adolescent athletes (51% female) completed assessments of student and athletic identity four times during their time in upper secondary school. Using growth mixture modeling, three groups were identified: dual identity (77%), changing identity (5%), and athletic identity (18%). The higher the academic achievement was at Time 1, the more likely the athletes were to show a dual identity than an athletic identity profile. Similarly, athletes with dual identity showed higher subsequent academic achievement at Time 4 than those with an athletic identity profile. Finally, athletes with dual identity were more likely and athletes with athletic identity less likely to withdraw from sport activities during upper secondary school than would be expected by chance.

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Restoring Harmony in the Lifeworld? Identity, Learning, and Leaving Preelite Sport

Noora J. Ronkainen, Tatiana V. Ryba, and Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson

Sport provides many youth participants with a central life project, and yet very few eventually fulfill their athletic dreams, which may lead them to disengage from sport entirely. Many studies have explored the processes of athletic retirement, but little is known about how youth athletes actually reconstruct their relationship with sport and embodiment postretirement. The authors explored these issues in the story of “Pilvi,” a Finnish alpine skier who disengaged from sport in her late adolescence. Employing an existential-phenomenological approach, they conducted six low-structured interviews with Pilvi, combined with visual methods, and identified key themes relating to the body, space, culture, and time. Their findings highlight the difficulty of building a new relationship with sport and the often restrictive cultural horizons of sport and exercise culture that limit the “possible selves.” The authors discuss the significant implications for applied practitioners helping youth athletes and effectively supporting them in leaving their sport.

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From a Junior Coach to the Senior Ranks: Relational Transition From a Collaborative Autoethnographic Perspective

Jaakko A.O. Nikander and Tatiana V. Ryba

Coaches are key people influencing athletes’ careers and their development, especially when athletes approach the junior-to-senior transition. Junior-to-senior mobility also includes transitioning into a new psychosocial environment, including changes in cultural narratives and expectations for both an athlete and their coach. The purpose of this study was to contribute knowledge about a sports coach’s career development and transitions by theorizing a relational co-construction of transitions from the junior level to the senior level. The cultural transition model was used as a conceptual framework to explore the temporality of the first author’s (Jakob) relational transition. To coproduce Jakob’s story, a collaborative autoethnographic approach was utilized. A photo-elicitation method and cyclical interviewing were used to generate the data followed by a thematic narrative analysis. The results indicated that the dominant narratives of elite sport and relation to the athlete shaped Jakob’s subject position, from which he projected his future career as a coach during the transition. Central to relational transition is the understanding that the meaning (re)construction and negotiation of cultural practices occur through interactions with repositioning. The subjective repositioning of both the athlete and the coach can impact the dynamics and outcomes of the transition process.