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An examination of the crossover of sport psychology skills from marathon running to management

Monds, Simon (2018) An examination of the crossover of sport psychology skills from marathon running to management. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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This research was looking to address the rationale that sport psychology (SP) skills, considered to be the mental attributes that enhance performance in the sporting context, are transferable into the business environment. Marathon running is primarily an amateur, mass-participation sport, however the psychological mindset and mental attributes required to train for a marathon are considered to be intense, particularly for those that are looking to achieve the Boston Qualifying (BQ) time. There is growing research of the transferability of SP skills from a sporting domain to the business environment (Barker, Neil & Fletcher, 2016; Ievleva & Terry, 2008; Gordon, 2007; Lloyd & Foster, 2006; Jones, 2002).

The researcher applied a qualitative approach to gather primary data through the process of conducting semi-structured interviews with eight participants. All participants had achieved the BQ time in the marathon and were working in management. The purpose of the interviews was to gain experiential data that could address what Gordon (2007) describes as what the transfer between the domains of sport and business means in real life.

The primary research question and aim of the study was to examine the experiences of marathon runners who are also in management and evaluate whether or not the use of SP skills crossover from marathon running to management. The objectives were (1) to investigate whether marathon runners who have achieved a BQ time apply sport psychology skills within their marathon training; (2) to investigate whether the participants apply sport psychology skills within their work environment and to address areas of intersection and divergence.

Orlicks’s (2008) Wheel of Excellence is presented in the literature as a vehicle for illustrating how a SP model could be used as a framework from the sport world and applied to the business world. The seven attributes of the wheel are; Focus, Commitment, Mental Readiness, Positive Images, Confidence, Distraction Control, and Ongoing Learning, and importantly all characteristics are considered within an individual’s control, and all are associated with peak performance.

The research identified that the SP framework was applied by all participants in their marathon training, despite no sport psychologist interventions. The analysis identified that the SP skills crossed over and were demonstrated by the participants in their managerial roles. While all of the characteristics of the framework crossed over, there were some areas of divergence from marathon running to management in some key skills; goal-setting, confidence and positive images. These areas of divergence may warrant further exploration in future research.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > Sports
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Science in Management
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2018 14:45
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2018 14:45

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