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Understanding elite youth athletes’ knowledge and perceptions of sport psychology / Alexandra Bell; Camilla Knight; Vicky Lovett; Catherine Shearer
Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, Pages: 1 - 23
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The purpose of this study was to examine elite youth athletes’ knowledge, perceptions, and understanding of sport psychology, psychological characteristics, and psychological skills. To address this purpose an interpretive description methodology was employed. Data were collected through five focus...
|Published in:||Journal of Applied Sport Psychology|
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The purpose of this study was to examine elite youth athletes’ knowledge, perceptions, and understanding of sport psychology, psychological characteristics, and psychological skills. To address this purpose an interpretive description methodology was employed. Data were collected through five focus groups with 34 elite youth swimmers, triathletes, and athletes (aged 13–20 years). Following each focus group, the recordings were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using thematic analysis. The first theme labeled perceptions, knowledge, and experiences of sport psychology encompassed athletes’ current and future perceptions of sport psychology as well as the factors impacting on athletes’ perceptions of sport psychology. The second theme was psychological characteristics for success in elite sport, which included athletes’ perceptions of the characteristics held by other elite athletes as well as the development of their own characteristics. The final theme accounted for the psychological skills deemed necessary for success in elite sport. Overall, the findings provide an insight into youth athletes’ varying perceptions of sport psychology, as well as their limited knowledge and understanding of key psychological considerations for sport. Lay Summary: Focus groups were used to explore the perception and understanding of sport psychology of elite youth athletes involved in swimming, athletics, and triathlon. Overall perceptions of sport psychology were varied, with multiple factors impacting upon them including the use and understanding of sport psychology, as well as coaches’ perceptions.
Youth sport, psychological skills, psychological characteristics, perceptions