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Enhancement of gratitude in the context of elite athletes: outcomes and challenges

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Howells, K ORCID: 0000-0003-4968-0687 and Fitzallen, N ORCID: 0000-0002-0002-5748 2019 , 'Enhancement of gratitude in the context of elite athletes: outcomes and challenges' , Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health , pp. 1-37 , doi: 10.1080/2159676X.2019.1679868.

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Abstract

Gratitude has been heralded as important to emotional, social and societalwellbeing. A burgeoning body of recent research on the positive impact ofgratitude in sport calls for an investigation into its relevance to the field of elitesport, particularly for building resilience and enhancing relationships. Aninterpretivist/constructivist research approach was adopted to explore thepractices, outcomes and challenges of gratitude of ten Australian elite athletes—Olympians and Para-Olympians—who participated in a workshop on gratitude.Sports represented in this cohort included cycling, sailing, track and field, beachvolleyball and diving. Semi-structured interviews were used to generate data,which were explored using content analysis. Enhancement of gratitude with theelite athletes resulted in the adoption of more meaningful and authentic gratitudetowards others. Positive impact of gratitude expressed in this way was reported inthe areas of improved attitude; greater awareness; better capacity to deal withstress; increased confidence to express gratitude; and enhanced performance. Thepaper also discusses the perceived challenges of expressing gratitude within thiscontext.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Howells, K and Fitzallen, N
Keywords: elite athlete, coach-athlete relationships, gratitude, positive psychology, wellbeing
Journal or Publication Title: Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 2159-6778
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/2159676X.2019.1679868
Copyright Information:

© 2019 Informa UK Limited

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