From Pre-Elite to Elite: The Pathway Travelled by Adolescent Golfers

Hayman, Rick, Borkoles, Erika, Taylor, Jamie Alan orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-0619-9992, Hemmings, Brian and Polman, Remco (2014) From Pre-Elite to Elite: The Pathway Travelled by Adolescent Golfers. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 9 (4). pp. 959-974. ISSN 1747-9541

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This study employed interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to explore the lived experiences of eight high performing adolescent golfers who had all successfully travelled the path from novice to elite level status. By means of semi-structured qualitative interviews, participants answered questions centred on four key areas which explored their journey from pre-elite to elite adolescent status: initial involvement and continued participation in golf, the meaning of golf, golf environment and social support. Two super-ordinate themes emerged from participants accounts: Early Pre-Elite Sporting Experiences and Strategic Approaches to Develop Adolescent Golfing Excellence. The study provides key insights into individual, social and environmental factors that enabled pre-elite adolescent golfers to make a successful transition to the elite pathway, and highlights plausible factors that may make a difference whether an athlete becomes elite or not. The findings will help coaches, policy makers and sport psychologists more effectively support emerging talent in golf.

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