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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Transferable life skills learned through sports participation by university athletes committed to the sport Samuels, Sumerlee Eden

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify transferable life skills that are learned via sports participation. Understanding the importance of these particular skills were explored by directly asking the athletes. Eight focus groups constituting three to six people, aged 18-28, who are currently participating in sport at a university level were interviewed. The opening question for each focus group was "I would like you to talk about some of the life skills you have learned through participating in sport that will be valuable in terms of a future career." A second question pertaining to transferring the learned life skills into other environments was explored. The second question athletes were asked was "Which, if any, of the life skills mentioned in response to the first question could be transferred to other environments?" Data were analyzed using six steps offered by Krueger. Findings indicated that athletes mentioned over 200 life skills learned through sport participation including, time management, communicating with others and receiving feedback. The emerged life skills are discussed in light of Brooks 1984 study, and grouped into five overarching categories Interpersonal Communication/Human Relation Skills (IPU/HRS), Problem-solving/Decision Making Skills (PS/DMS), Identity Development/Purpose in Life Skills (ID/PILS), Fitness/Health Maintenance Skills (F/HMS) and Other. Findings from the second question indicated that athletes identified 36 skills, which they deemed transferable to other setting which were later organized into four categories Teamwork, Setting and Achieving Goals, Personal Drive and Perspective Taking. The conclusions of this study are discussed in relation to the relevant literature.

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