Playing the Game: An Exploration of the Lived Experience of Australian Elite Level Athletes, with a Focus on their Mental Health and Wellbeing
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This research adopted an ecological orientation to extend understandings of the impact of extrinsic factors on athlete wellbeing. Athletes and support staff were engaged in semi-structured interviews analysed via causal layered analysis. Findings provided a holistic account of athletes’ lived experiences which reflected a “dark side” of elite and professional sport. Key messages revealed a dissonance between ‘the athlete’ and ‘a human’ and, spoke to athletes’ experiencing performance pressure beyond the competitive domain.
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