Just be There! Athlete Motivation and Parental Support: A Phenomenological Study
The purpose of the study was to gather and understand the lived experiences of athletes of a young adult age, who lacked parental support during their athletic careers. Furthermore, the purpose included understanding the meaning these lived experiences had for the research participants and their sport motivation. The study used Moustakas’ phenomenological analysis to find meaningful realities of sub-elite and elite level athletes. A total of six athletes between the ages of 20-28 participated in semi-structured interviews. Two female athletes and four male athletes shared their experiences relevant to their sport and motivation levels. Sports included football (soccer), track and field, cheerleading, and triathlons. Themes that emerged from the data analysis included, presence, self and bodily concerns, mindset and time, each theme had a series of sub-themes. The study also used Eccles’ expectancy value theory to explain athlete motivation levels and their participation in sport. Results indicated that several factors within Eccles’ expectancy value theory lead to an athlete’s sport commitment and level of enjoyment. Athletes experiences revealed that many athletes found they needed more parental presence throughout their sport participation even as adults.