Elite athletes in flow : the psychology of optimal sport experience

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Susan A. Jackson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Daniel Gould

Abstract: An interpretive investigation of flow was conducted, involving both qualitative and quantitative methods of inquiry. The underlying purpose of the investigation was to gain an in-depth understanding of the flow state as experienced by elite athletes, including know ledge of those factors which may help or hinder flow from occurring. Twenty-eight elite-level athletes representing seven sports--track and field, cycling, triathlon, swimming, rowing, field hockey, and rugby--were the participants in this investigation. The athletes had all competed at an international level in their sport. Fourteen of the athletes were from Australia and 14 from New Zealand. Fourteen were females, and 14 males. The age range of the athletes was 18 to 35 years. Four purposes were addressed. The first purpose was to examine the flow state as it is experienced by elite athletes, and to ascertain whether athletes' experience of flow paralleled Csikszentmihalyi's (1990) model of the flow state. A combination of deductive and inductive content analyses of the 336 descriptors of flow confirmned that athletes' flow experiences did parallel the theoretical descriptions of flow forwarded by Csikszentmihalyi.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1992
Athletes $x Psychology
Sports $x Psychological aspects
Competition (Psychology)
Peak experiences

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