The perception of balance in elite athletes' lives.

Title: The perception of balance in elite athletes' lives.
Authors: Amirault, Kimberley.
Date: 1998
Abstract: Although the essential physical (Hollander, Meyers, & LeUnes, 1995; Krane, Greenleaf, & Snow, 1997) and mental (Bloom, 1985; Kreiner-Phillips & Orlick, 1993; Orlick & Partington, 1988) requirements of an elite athlete have been recognized as a necessity for excellence in sport, minimal research has examined the lives of these athletes as a whole and their perception of balance or imbalance in their life. The present study, therefore, set out to explore elite athletes' perceptions of balance in their lives. In depth, semi-structured interviews and modified self-reported diaries (Kramp, 1994) were conducted with 10 elite athletes (5 currently competing and 5 retired athletes). Inductive analysis of interview transcripts revealed that half of these athletes (2 current and 3 retired) defined balance primarily as having a vision or goal and striving towards it, while the other half (3 current and 2 retired) defined balance as respecting the different parts of their lives. Balance in these athletes' lives was perceived to fluctuate in cycles as it shifted in accordance with their needs and wants for that time in their life. In addition to highlighting the necessity of being true to themselves, important prerequisites for achieving balance in their lives were identified by all ten athletes. They stated that one must: (1) make a conscious decision to have balance; (2) have strong self discipline; (3) enjoy what you are doing; (4) have a supportive network; (5) have leisure time; and (6) be in the moment. Both the similarities and unique differences in the athletes' perspectives on balance were explored. Results from this study can be used to further advance the area of research that focuses on understanding balance in elite performers' lives.
CollectionTh├Ęses, 1910 - 2010 // Theses, 1910 - 2010
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