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Toni Bruce

Although previous researchers have described dimensions of women sportswriters’ locker room experiences or theoretically explored the challenge their presence poses to hegemonic masculinity, they have failed to adequately consider how they give meaning to their locker room encounters. Based on 33 in-depth interviews, participation at five Association for Women in Sports Media conventions and an analysis of published locker room stories, I determined the interpretive frameworks women sportswriters use to understand their experiences. Further, I show how emotional and physical reactions are profoundly influenced by the ways in which these women sportswriters categorize specific interactions. Despite the media and research focus on problematic “incidents”, I demonstrated that many male-female locker room interactions are positive or, at least, unproblematic. However, the continued salience of the locker room as a site supporting hegemonic masculinity is revealed in women sportswriters’ interpretations of the locker room as an always potentially threatening space.

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Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville, Jean F. Fournier and Alice Dubois

Coaches’ and athletes’ perceptions regarding their effective interactions and the underlying factors and reasons for effectiveness of these interactions were examined. An in-depth interview process was conducted with three expert judo coaches and six elite athletes. Qualitative data analyses revealed that the interaction style of the coaches was authoritative and was put into operation using the following six strategies: stimulating interpersonal rivalry, provoking athletes verbally, displaying indifference, entering into direct conflict, developing specific team cohesion, and showing preferences. Perceived autonomy, the main interaction style of athletes, was expressed by the following five strategies: showing diplomacy, achieving exceptional performance, soliciting coaches directly, diversifying information sources, and bypassing conventional rules. Results demonstrated the compatibility of particular interactions between coaches’ and athletes’ strategies. Theoretical models from industrial/organizational psychology are used to interpret these results, which differ from conventional findings in the sport psychology literature.

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Sheldon Hanton and Graham Jones

This study presents the first in a series of two articles extending previous findings that elite performers, compared to nonelite performers, interpret their preperformance cognitive and somatic anxiety symptoms as more facilitative than debilitating to performance (Jones, Hanton, & Swain, 1994; Jones & Swain, 1995). In-depth interview techniques were employed to investigate the cognitive skills and strategies underlying elite swimmers’ interpretations of their prerace thoughts and feelings. Participants were 10 male elite swimmers who consistently maintained facilitative interpretations. Data were drawn from verbatim transcripts and were inductively content analyzed. Four general dimensions traced the acquisition and development of the cognitive skills and strategies underlying facilitation from early competitive experiences to the present day. It was concluded that participants’ skills and strategies were acquired via natural learning experiences and various educational methods. These results extend the research literature on facilitative anxiety by identifying and clarifying the mechanisms underlying the phenomenon.

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Tracy W. Olrich and Martha E. Ewing

A significant amount of attention has been given to the psychological effects of anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) use in sport (Bahrke, Yesalis, & Wright, 1996). However, apart from a few selected case studies, a relative dearth of information has been provided concerning the subjective experience of people using AAS. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of 10 men who were using or had previously used AAS. The participants in this study were weight trainers with primarily a bodybuilding emphasis. All had used AAS at some point in their training experience. The study involved in-depth interviews focusing on the AAS use experience. Nine of the 10 men described their AAS use experience in a very favorable manner. The men perceived increases in muscle mass, strength, peer recognition, social status, sexual performance, and vocational performance. These findings are discussed relative to current AAS educational programs and interventions.

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Jean Côté

The purpose of the present study was to describe patterns in the dynamics of families of talented athletes throughout their development in sport. Four families, including three families of elite rowers and one family of an elite tennis player were examined. The framework provided by Ericsson, Krampe, and Tesch-Römer (1993) to explain expert performance served as the theoretical basis for the study. Ericsson et al. suggested that the acquisition of expert performance involves operating within three types of constraints: motivational, effort, and resource. In-depth interviews were conducted with each athlete, parent, and sibling to explore how they have dealt with these three constraints. A total of 15 individual interviews were conducted. Results permitted the identification of three phases of participation from early childhood to late adolescence: the sampling years, the specializing years, and the investment years. The dynamics of the family in each of these phases of development is discussed.

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Sophia Jowett and Geoffrey A. Meek

This study examined the interpersonal athletic relationship of four married coach-athlete dyads. In order to facilitate the examination of this unique relationship, the interpersonal constructs of closeness, co-orientation, and complementarity were integrated into a conceptual-based model. The main purpose of this study was to establish the utility of the constructs in understanding the coach-athlete relationship in married couples. Following in-depth interviews, the responses of the participants were content analyzed. Analysis revealed that the coaches and athletes’ close relationship facilitated the formulation of a cooriented view of relevant and important issues which subsequently affected the way in which cooperative interactions were expressed in training. The relationship-oriented aspects of this unique dyad are discussed in relation to a proposed conceptualization of the coach-athlete relationship, and future directions are presented.

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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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Tara Edwards, Lew Hardy, Kieran Kingston and Dan Gould

Structured in-depth interviews explored the catastrophic experiences of eight elite performers. Participants responded to questions concerning an event in which they felt they had experienced an uncharacteristic but very noticeable drop in their performance, a “performance catastrophe.” Inductive and deductive analyses were employed to provide a clear representation of the data. This paper reports on how the dimensions emerging from the hierarchical content analysis changed from prior to the catastrophic drop in performance, during the drop, and after the drop (in terms of any recovery). Two emerging higher order dimensions, “sudden, substantial drop in performance” and “performance continued to deteriorate” provide support for one of the fundamental underpinnings of the catastrophe model (Hardy, 1990, 1996a, 1996b); that is, performance decrements do not follow a smooth and continuous path. The paper examines the implications of the findings with respect to applied practice and future research.

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Jason S. Grindstaff and Leslee A. Fisher

The purpose of this study was to explore sport psychology consultants’ experiences of using hypnosis in their practice. Specifically a better understanding of hypnosis utilization as a performance enhancement technique in applied sport psychology was sought. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with six sport psychology consultants (all PhDs) who each possessed training and experience related to hypnosis. Analysis of the interview data revealed a variety of major themes and subthemes related to the guiding interview questions: (a) hypnosis training and experience, (b) stereotypes and misconceptions related to hypnosis, (c) utilizing hypnosis as a performance enhancement technique, (d) advantages and disadvantages of using hypnosis with athletes, and (e) cultural considerations related to using hypnosis.

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Joy D. Bringer, Celia H. Brackenridge and Lynne H. Johnston

Bringer, Brackenridge, and Johnston (2002) identified role conflict and ambiguity as an emerging theme for some swimming coaches who felt under increased scrutiny because of wider concerns about sexual exploitation in sport (Boocock, 2002). To further understand this emerging theme, 3 coaches who had engaged in sexual relations with athletes, or had allegations of abuse brought against them, took part in in-depth interviews. Grounded theory method (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) was adopted to explore how these coaches responded differently to increased public scrutiny. The findings are discussed in relation to how sport psychologists can help to shape perceptions of coaching effectiveness that are congruent with child protection measures. Reflective practice is proposed as one method by which coaches may embed child and athlete protection in their definition of effective coaching, rather than seeing it as an external force to which they must accommodate.