The purpose of the current study was to investigate the relationship between attachment styles, emotion regulation strategies, and their possible effects on health-promoting behaviors among those who participate (N = 109) versus those who do not participate in extreme sports (N = 202). Multiple mediation analyses were conducted to test the hypotheses. Different nonadaptive emotion regulation strategies mediated the relationship between insecure attachment styles and health-promoting behaviors in two groups of the current study. In the extreme sports group, lack of awareness about emotions and lack of goals while dealing with negative emotions mediated the relationship between anxious attachment style and health-promoting behaviors; and lack of goals while dealing with negative emotions mediated the relationship between avoidant attachment style and health-promoting behaviors. In participants who do not engage in extreme sports, lack of clarity about emotions mediated the relationship between anxious attachment style and health-promoting behaviors. Findings and their implications were discussed in the light of the literature.
Natalie A. Brown, Michael B. Devlin and Andrew C. Billings
This study explores the implications of the sports communication theory of fan identification and the divisions often developed between identifying with a single athlete and the bonds developed for a sport as a whole. Using the fastest growing North American sport, mixed martial arts (MMA)—more specifically, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)—differences in levels of fan identification were examined in relationship to attitudes toward individual athletes and attitudes toward the UFC organization. An online survey of 911 respondents produced a highly representative sample of the UFC’s current audience demographics. Results showed significant differences in fan identify between gender, age, and sensationseeking behaviors, suggesting that distinct demographic variables may influence the role that fan identity has not only in sports media consumption but also in future event consumption. Implications and ramifications for future theoretical sports communication research and sports marketing are postulated.
Anna-Liisa Ojala and Holly Thorpe
Action sports (e.g., snowboarding, skateboarding, windsurfing, BMX) have traditionally celebrated antiauthoritarian, do-it-yourself and anticompetition cultural values. With the institutionalization and commercialization of action sports over the past two decades, and the introduction of mega-sports events such as the X Games, and the inclusion of some action sports into the Olympic Games (i.e., snowboarding, freestyle skiing, BMX), action sport athletes are increasingly working with coaches, psychologists, agents, managers and personal trainers to improve their performances. In this Insights paper we consider coaching in action sports via the case of Finnish professional snowboarders’ attitudes to coaches. Drawing upon conversations with elite freestyle snowboarders we briefly present insights into their perceptions of the various positions of coaches in professional snowboarding before we offer suggestions built upon a Problem-based learning approach for coaches interested in working with action sport athletes.
Lenny D. Wiersma
Extreme sport athletes perform in environments that are characterized by danger, unpredictability, and fear, and the consequences of a mistake include severe injury or death. Maverick’s is a big-wave surfing location in northern California that is known for its cold water temperatures, dangerous ocean wildlife, deep reef, and other navigational hazards. The purpose of this study was to use a phenomenological framework to understand the psychology of big-wave surfing at Maverick’s. Seven elite big-wave surfers completed in-depth phenomenological interviews and discussed the psychology related to various stages of big-wave surfing, including presurf, in the lineup, catching the wave, riding the wave, wiping out, and postsurf. Big-wave surfers described a variety of experiences associated with surfing at Maverick’s and discussed several ways that they coped with its challenges. The results provide a greater understanding of the psychology of participating in an extreme environment.
Robert Rinehart and Chris Grenfell
The relatively recent growth of so-called Extreme Sports has created an opportunity for scholars to examine sport, games, and play once again—but as the concepts are played out in emerging sport forms. In this ethnography of BMX bikers, we examine one group of youth within two different venues: the grass-roots, child-driven activity of setting up ramps, courses, and jumps locally, and the corporate, adult-driven activity where skateparks have become “safe zones” for children to practice their skills. Where does the grass-roots, pick-up, play activity of BMX [d]evolve into the for-profit multinational corporation business concern, and what are similarities and/or differences between BMX culture and other youth-oriented forms of sport? We attempt to understand BMX Sport as an emergent form of extreme sport and to unravel the complex connections between grass roots activity and for-profit, commodified activity, and what these activities mean to these participants.
Maylon T. Hanold
This article examines the ways in which high-performance female ultrarunning bodies are created by and understood through the discourses of the normative running body, the ideal female body and pain. Using a Foucauldian framework, this paper shows how the ultrarunning body becomes a desired body beyond the marathon and how these same desires produce multiple and complex subjectivities for female ultrarunners. In-depth interviews were conducted with 8 high performance female ultrarunners. Findings suggest that ultrarunning is a sporting space which gives rise to more diverse subjectivities than previously found in distance running literature. Simultaneously, this discourse produces disciplined bodies through the mode of desire and “unquestioned” social norms, paralleling the constructs of extreme sports and (re)producing middle-classness.
Tan Leng Goh and Kerrie J. Kauer
This article is a feminist cultural-studies analysis of Singapore’s first all-female mountaineering team to successfully summit Mount Everest. A feminist cultural-studies approach was used to explore the highly male hegemonic domain of mountaineering and the ways in which the Singapore Women’s Everest Team (SWET) was situated within the sport and their local Singapore culture. Qualitative, face-to-face, semi-structured interviews with six elite-level Singaporean female mountaineers (ages 25 to 39) were conducted by the first author in January 2009, before their attempt to summit Mount Everest. Using inductive analysis and feminist deconstruction, several salient themes emerged from the data: (a) disrupting norms, (b) sexism in extreme sports, and (c) women-centered spaces. The interviewees demonstrated unity as an all-women team as they overcame challenges in their pursuit of climbing Mount Everest. This study attempts to expand the sport studies literature with multicultural and gendered perspectives of female mountaineers.
Almost half of the record 98 events being held at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games were either not held 20 years ago at Lillehammer or have been substantially modified. The Olympics as a global sports event are not stationary but must adapt and evolve in response to changing demands, just as the remarkable athletes who are competing do. While the Winter Olympics program has steadily grown since Chamonix in 1924, the rate of development has greatly accelerated in the last 20 years. Three factors seem to be instrumental. First, the Winter Olympics program has become more gender balanced. Female hockey teams are battling for gold, and this year women will compete in ski jumping for the first time. Most Winter Olympics sports have equal numbers of events for men and women today, although female participation still lags somewhat behind. Second, many traditional events have been modified by sport-governing bodies toward a more “TV friendly” format. Time-trial starts have been replaced by mass or group starts. “Sprint” and team events have been added to spice up traditional sports like cross-country skiing and speed skating. Finally “extreme” sports like half-pipe and ski-cross have crossed over from the X Games to the Olympics, with some arguing that the Olympics need these popular sports more than the X Games sports need the Olympics. All of these changes create new research questions for sport scientists who are also willing to adapt and evolve.
Gregg Bennett, Robin K. Henson and James Zhang
The rise in consumer and corporate interest in action sports, also known as extreme sports, has been phenomenal. The apparent popularity of action sports, when combined with the sponsorships, endorsements, and advertising dollars they have quickly garnered, lends itself to scientific inquiry regarding the level and nature of public interest. The purpose of this study was to examine Generation Y's perceptions of action sports, with a specific focus on the expressed popularity of action sports and the relationship between action sports interest and use of the media. The 39-item Action Sports Questionnaire (ESQ) was constructed to examine Generation Y perceptions of action sports, sports related viewing preferences, and sports related media usage among middle and high school aged students. The present findings suggested that these members of the Generation Y (n = 367) niche market preferred action sports over the traditional sports of basketball and baseball. Respondents also indicated stronger preference for soccer, but would prefer to watch the X-Games over the World Cup. There is an indication that soccer and action sports are more popular among the younger generation than some traditional team sports. Males were slightly more supportive that action sports would become more popular in the future, and the male respondents were likewise more familiar with action sports. More members of Generation Y watch action sports than their predecessors, and they likewise tend to be optimistic about the future of action sports if they watch events on television.
Kerry R. McGannon, Lara Pomerleau-Fontaine and Jenny McMahon
high degree of risk, whereby an error or accident—no matter how small—could result in harm, injury, or death ( Buckley, 2018 ; Brymer & Schweitzer, 2017 ). Extreme sports are deemed “risky” because they are carried out in the natural environment (e.g., mountains, water) and often without protective