STAYING IN SPORT: BASIC PSYCHOLOGICAL NEEDS OF EARLY-SPECIALIZED ATHLETES AND SPORTS PARENTING

2022-9-12
İbanoğlu, Ece
This study aims to understand the experiences of sports parents and early-specialized athletes on how athletes' basic psychological needs (competence, autonomy, and relatedness) relate to sports parenting during a sports career. Participants were eight early-specialized athletes and 16 parents (eight mothers and eight fathers) from individual and team sports. Having its foundations from phenomenology, semi-structured interviews were used, and accordingly, data were analyzed with a combined deductive and inductive thematic analysis. Results showed that sports parenting is a critical issue in early specialized athletes' life because of its relationship with athletes' basic psychological needs. Many sport-related decisions, such as sports selection, are taken together within the family or guided by the parents. The study indicated that athletes' autonomy (attitudinal, functional, and emotional), competence (self-awareness, self-discipline, self-esteem, self-sacrifice for success, and resilience), and relatedness (parent-athlete, club, coach-athlete, athlete-peer, parent-parent, and coach-parent relations) features changed and reformed over time possibly because of maturation of the athletes. Also, the combined factors (age-related changes, dual career, and perceived optimal sports parenting) represented critical milestones and expectations that activated at least two of the basic psychological needs in youths' lives. It should be noted that creating an environment where a child has the opportunity for optimal growth may have positive impact on individual and add value to society over time. This study has a potential to be used in designing structured guidelines and programs for sports parenting.

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Citation Formats
E. İbanoğlu, “STAYING IN SPORT: BASIC PSYCHOLOGICAL NEEDS OF EARLY-SPECIALIZED ATHLETES AND SPORTS PARENTING,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2022.