eCite Digital Repository

Enhancement of gratitude in the context of elite athletes: outcomes and challenges


Howells, K and Fitzallen, N, Enhancement of gratitude in the context of elite athletes: outcomes and challenges, Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 12, (5) pp. 781-798. ISSN 2159-6778 (2019) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

2019 Informa UK Limited

DOI: doi:10.1080/2159676X.2019.1679868


Gratitude has been heralded as important to emotional, social and societal wellbeing. A burgeoning body of recent research on the positive impact of gratitude in sport calls for an investigation into its relevance to the field of elite sport, particularly for building resilience and enhancing relationships. An interpretivist/constructivist research approach was adopted to explore the practices, outcomes and challenges of gratitude of ten Australian elite athletes Olympians and Para-Olympians who participated in a workshop on gratitude. Sports represented in this cohort included cycling, sailing, track and field, beach volleyball and diving. Semi-structured interviews were used to generate data, which were explored using content analysis. Enhancement of gratitude with the elite athletes resulted in the adoption of more meaningful and authentic gratitude towards others. Positive impact of gratitude expressed in this way was reported in the areas of improved attitude; greater awareness; better capacity to deal with stress; increased confidence to express gratitude; and enhanced performance. The paper also discusses the perceived challenges of expressing gratitude within this context.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:elite athlete, coach-athlete relationships, gratitude, positive psychology, wellbeing
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Sports science and exercise
Research Field:Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Health education and promotion
UTAS Author:Howells, K (Dr Kerry Howells)
UTAS Author:Fitzallen, N (Dr Noleine Fitzallen)
ID Code:135419
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2019-10-18
Last Modified:2022-11-08
Downloads:85 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page