Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Views
412
Download
113
 
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine ( 2019 ) 18 , 758 - 771

Research article
Factors Influencing the Early Development of World-Class Caribbean Track and Field Athletes: A Qualitative Investigation
Candice E. Thomas1, , Timothy P. Chambers2, Luana C. Main3, Paul B. Gastin4
Author Information
1 Centre for Sport Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia
2 Discipline of Psychological Sciences, Australian College of Applied Psychology, Melbourne, Australia
3 Institute of Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia
4 La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre, School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

Candice E. Thomas
✉ Centre for Sport Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Victoria, 3125 Australia
Email: cethom@deakin.edu.au
Publish Date
Received: 27-03-2019
Accepted: 12-09-2019
Published (online): 01-12-2019
Share this article
 
 
ABSTRACT

This qualitative investigation sought to explore through a socio-cultural lens the perceived early training and competition environment, and support network of world-class Caribbean track and field athletes and the influence on their sport engagement and progression during early childhood and adolescence. Sixteen world-class track and field athletes (8 males and 8 females; M age = 29, SD = 5 years) from 6 English-speaking Caribbean islands took part in semi-structured interviews. A thematic analysis was performed on the transcribed data. Three superordinate themes were identified as key factors that influenced the early sporting development of world-class Caribbean athletes: (1) conducive sporting environment, (2) functional social support network, and (3) key organizational input. Findings revealed that perceived high levels of deliberate play activity in childhood (6 – 12 years) and an intense track and field competition culture in adolescence (13 – 20 years) were conducive to the continued engagement and progression of world-class Caribbean track and field athletes at the junior level. Furthermore, world-class athletes perceived themselves to be positively influenced by the support received from their immediate social support network and key organizations during this period. This study showed that a conducive sporting environment coupled with optimal social and organizational support may have encouraged world-class Caribbean athletes to remain engaged in track and field and to successfully progress within the sport at the junior level. Findings shed light on the sporting culture at the junior level within the Caribbean region and provide insight into key environmental factors that can influence and foster the development of future World Champions and Olympians.

Key words: Elite athletes, high performance, motivational atmosphere, psychosocial influences, talent development


           Key Points
  • Perceived high levels of deliberate play activity in childhood and an intense track and field competition culture in adolescence were conducive to the athletic development of world-class Caribbean track and field athletes
  • Immediate social support network was perceived to be highly influential on world-class Caribbean track and field athletes’ engagement, and progression, within the sport during childhood and adolescence
  • Talent recruitment process by key personnel during childhood and adolescence perceived to be highly influential to the initial entry of world-class Caribbean track and field athletes into the sport
  • Perceived tangible industry support received in late adolescence was a key contributor to the continued progression within track and field for world-class Caribbean athletes
  • Findings provide insight into key environmental factors that can influence and foster the development of future World Champions and Olympians within the Caribbean region.
 
 
Home Issues About Authors
Contact Current Editorial board Authors instructions
Email alerts In Press Mission For Reviewers
Archive Scope
Supplements Statistics
Most Read Articles
  Most Cited Articles
 
    
 
JSSM | Copyright 2001-2019 | All rights reserved. | LEGAL NOTICES | Publisher

It is forbidden the total or partial reproduction of this web site and the published materials, the treatment of its database, any kind of transition and for any means, either electronic, mechanic or other methods, without the previous written permission of the JSSM.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.