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Perceptions of the well-being and sport performance relationship

Clowes, H (2019) Perceptions of the well-being and sport performance relationship. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

This thesis extended knowledge on the well-being and sport performance relationship through the systematic investigation of the existent quantitative literature, and examination of elite athletes’ and sports practitioners’ perceptions and narratives of their experiences of the relationship. Following a systematic review, a qualitative research design was applied predominantly throughout the thesis, with employment of mixed methods in parts to supplement the data. Data were collected via one-off semi-structured interviews, longitudinal repeated semi-structured interviews, and structured diary questionnaires. Participants were UK-based elite athletes and sports practitioners from a multitude of different sports. Data were analysed systematically, thematically and narratively. Study one explored the extant quantitative literature examining a numerical relationship between well-being and sport performance. Results found an overall dearth of quantitative studies offering mixed support for a relationship due to inconclusive, varied evidence, making a consensus statement regarding the quantitative relationship between well-being and sport performance difficult. Study two investigated elite athletes’ narratives of their experiences of the well-being – performance relationship. Results found athletes’ narratives illustrated perceptions of a complex relationship revealed by the emergence of multiple types of interactions within their experiences. Life balance and the management of demands, and achieving an appropriate mind-set emerged as fundamental threads within the narrative, with the support network and individuality also highlighted as significant to the relationship. Study three investigated sports practitioners’ narratives of their athlete clients’ experiences of the well-being – performance relationship. Results found perceptions of an intricate and non-direct relationship, where well-being was considered to influence the probability of, but not determine, athletic performance. Practitioners emphasised athletes’ capacity to cope with their life demands and challenges, along with the sport environment and culture, and individuality as key facets within the relationship. Finally, study four examined elite athletes’ narratives of their experiences of the well-being – performance relationship longitudinally. Results found the narrative remained predominantly consistent over time, with some minor variation in the stability of the narrative told because of fluctuations in the particular nature of experiences. Responding to certain environmental demands and features inherent in the type of sport were significant to the relationship. Overall the results of the current thesis have implications for how support personnel may educate and prepare elite athletes better to navigate and manage this relationship, offering a proposed integrated framework representing the narrative overall.Recommendations for improving the support provision of elite athletes are made, along with proposed areas to target for development within a multifaceted well-being monitoring tool.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: well-being; sport performance
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sports & Exercise Sciences
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2019 09:58
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2019 09:58
DOI or Identification number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00011664
Supervisors: Tod, D, Knowles, Z, Eubank, M and Richardson, D
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11664

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