Athlete Learning in Elite Sport: A Cultural Framework, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Athlete Learning in Elite Sport

A Cultural Framework, 1st Edition

Edited by Natalie Barker-Ruchti


188 pages

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Hardback: 9781138086418
pub: 2019-02-21
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Elite athletes lead a particular way of life, which creates significant learning and shapes their selves. This is the first sociological-pedagogical text to conceptualise athlete learning in elite sport and across athletic careers. It outlines theories of learning and argues for a cultural perspective capturing contextual influence, temporal changes, individual dispositions, and subjectivity.

Presented in three parts—landscaping elite sport and theorising athlete learning; showcasing athletes’ learning in elite sport; and informing research and practice—the book features nine international, multi-contextual, and multi-experience case studies of athlete careers, experiences, and learning across individual and team sports such as boxing, rugby, basketball, hockey, and gymnastics.

This is fascinating reading for students, researchers, and practitioners in sport organisations, sports coaching, coach education, and sport sociology and pedagogy.

Table of Contents


Part I: Landscaping Elite Sport and Theorising Athlete Learning

  1. Contemporary Elite Sport Landscape
  2. Existing Theories of Learning
  3. Cultural Perspective of Learning
  4. Part II: Showcasing Athletes’ Learning in Elite Sport

  5. Maintaining a dual career horizon in women’s artistic gymnastics: A case of a female gymnast
  6. Astrid Schubring, Natalie Barker-Ruchti, Roslyn Kerr, Georgia Cervin, Myrian Nunomura

  7. Learning through boxing: A case of a male boxer
  8. Christopher Matthews

  9. Learning through a semi-professional career and deselection: A case of a male ice hockey player
  10. Gretchen Kerr

  11. Career learning in youth elite biathlon: A case of a male biathlete
  12. Astrid Schubring

  13. Learning through rugby, migration and a professional career: A case of a male rugby player
  14. Roslyn Kerr and Koji Kobayashi

  15. Aging in professional sport: A case of a professional male basketball player
  16. Laura Purdy, Geoff Kohe and Rūtenis Paulauskas

  17. The implications of sport attire and culture on Muslim women’s participation in elite boxing: A case of a female boxer
  18. Anne Tjønndal

  19. The experience of an international female rugby player
  20. Francesca Cavallerio and Katrina McDonald

  21. An auto-ethnographic account of one athlete’s journey to reconciling gender diversity through elite boxing: A case of a gender non-binary boxer
  22. Aly Greey and Natalie Barker-Ruchti

    Part III: Informing Research and Practice

  23. Insights and Implications for Research and Practice
  24. Final Reflections

About the Editor

Natalie Barker-Ruchti is Associate Professor at the School of Health Sciences, Division of Sport, University of Örebro, Sweden. Prior to this appointment, and during the time of writing this book, Natalie was Associate Professor at the Department of Food and Nutrition and Sport Science at the University of Gothenburg. Her research focuses on coaches and coaching and on athletes and athlete learning. Examining specific elite sport contexts, coaching practices, and athletes’ experiences, Natalie’s research offers insight into the influence sport and coaches have on athletes’ performance, selves, and lives.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Sports Coaching

The Routledge Research in Sports Coaching series provides a platform for leading experts and emerging academics in this important discipline to present ground-breaking work on the history, theory, practice and contemporary issues of sports coaching. The series sets a new benchmark for research in sports coaching, and offers a valuable contribution to the wider sphere of sports studies.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SPORTS & RECREATION / Sports Psychology
SPORTS & RECREATION / Coaching / General
SPORTS & RECREATION / Sociology of Sports