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A qualitative exploration of thriving in elite sport

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Athletes are often described as thriving in sport; however, extant research on this construct in sport has been divergent. This study aimed to provide the first dedicated exploration of thriving in elite sport performers by considering its characteristics, outcomes, and facilitators. Semi-structured interviews (n = 15) were conducted with athletes, coaches, and sport psychology practitioners, and were analyzed using applied thematic analysis. Thriving was perceived to comprise a sustained high-level of performance and dimensions of well-being. Furthermore, predominantly positive outcomes of thriving were described and participants identified a network of personal and contextual enablers that could facilitate thriving.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-149
JournalJournal of Applied Sport Psychology
Issue number2
Early online date25 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Thriving in Elite Sport

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Applied Sport Psychology on 25/07/2017, available online:

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 809 KB, PDF document

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