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Critical Pause: Athletes’ Stories of Lockdown during COVID-19

Whitcomb-Khan, G, Wadsworth, N, McGinty-Minister, K, Bicker, S, Swettenham, L and Tod, D (2021) Critical Pause: Athletes’ Stories of Lockdown during COVID-19. Sport Psychologist, 35 (1). pp. 43-54. ISSN 1543-2793

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Abstract

This study explored the experiences of elite athletes during the initial stages of lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The eight recruited participants (three females, five males) were asked to tell a story of their lockdown experience. Narrative analysis was used to explore the athletes’ stories. The athletes’ narrative is best represented in four distinct sections: a) Threat to Goals, b) On-Going Consequences, c) Overcoming COVID-19, and d) Adapting to COVID-19. Four narrative themes were also co-constructed from the athletes’ stories: a) Factors Athletes Found Challenging, b) Loss, c) Strategies that Benefitted Athletes Psychologically, and d) Silver Linings. Combined, these findings suggest that the initial stages of lockdown are best described as a critical pause. We present applied implications for athletes and sport psychology practitioners. We also recommend future research investigate the longitudinal effect of prolonged lockdown on athletes’ lives and a potential return to sport.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Accepted author manuscript version reprinted, by permission, from Sport Psychologist 2021, 35 (1): 43-54 https://doi.org/10.1123/tsp.2020-0106 © Human Kinetics, Inc.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Human Kinetics
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2021 12:32
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2021 13:45
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14080

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