Stories of identity from high performance male boxers in their training and competition environments

Thierry R.F. Middleton, Jacob Dupuis-Latour, Yang Ge, Robert J. Schinke*, Amy T. Blodgett, Diana Coholic, Brennan Petersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The current submission was conceived to broaden the discussion around male athletic identities by exploring the stories told by four members of the Canadian National Boxing Team. The athletes’ stories were elicited through an arts-based method followed by a conversational interview. Stories were then analyzed using an interpretive thematic analysis. Three salient themes were found—fluid masculinity, ethnicity brings an edge to boxing, and expressing identity through language. These themes present accounts that highlight how socially, culturally, and historically dominant narratives can allow athletes to feel comfortable in presenting the identities they might reveal or feel constrained from doing so due to factors outside of their control. The need to develop training and competition contexts that allow for the empowerment of athletes’ individually distinct identities is highlighted as a method to ensuring the positive mental health of elite level athletes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number58
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2018


  • Athletic identity
  • Culture
  • Elite athletes
  • Empowering contexts
  • Storytelling


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