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Understanding and recognizing high-performance swimmers’ well-being
Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, Volume: 11, Issue: 1, Pages: 12 - 27
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The wellbeing of high-performance athletes has recently received increased research attention, yet there has been little focus on how wellbeing may be conceptualized within the context of specific sports. Thus, the aim of the current study was to understand and recognise high-performance swimmers’ w...
|Published in:||Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology|
American Psychological Association (APA)
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The wellbeing of high-performance athletes has recently received increased research attention, yet there has been little focus on how wellbeing may be conceptualized within the context of specific sports. Thus, the aim of the current study was to understand and recognise high-performance swimmers’ wellbeing. The study used an interpretive description methodology (Thorne, 2016). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight elite swimmers and 13 coaches and practitioners currently working with swimmers on the performance pathway. Interviews were analyzed using reflexive thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2019). Participants indicated that, within the context of high-performance swimming, swimmer wellbeing is an individual phenomenon, underpinned by personal values and goals, which influence how it is experienced. Changes in swimmers’ wellbeing was characterized by a range of affective, cognitive, and behavioral indicators that were specific to the individual and influenced by their personal definition of wellbeing. The findings emphasize the subjective nature of wellbeing, in terms of how it is understood, experienced, and recognized within high-performance swimming. Taken together, these findings highlight the importance of coaches, practitioners, and other support staff knowing each athlete with whom they work, particularly regarding the personal values and goals that underpin their understanding of wellbeing, as well as each person’s specific indicators of changing wellbeing levels.
high-performance sport, Interpretive Description, mental health, self-awareness
College of Engineering