A grounded theory of the development of contribution through sport


The purpose of this study was to create a grounded theory of the process of the development of contribution through sport. Participants (n = 20) were seven athletes (Mage = 23.1) who had previously made some kind of contribution, seven coaches (Mage = 41.3) who had coached such an athlete, four parents of athletes (Mage = 53.0) who had had engaged in contribution, and two sport administrators (45 and 54 years old) responsible for designing or delivering youth sport programing. This study was conducted using Straussian grounded theory (Corbin & Strauss, 2015). Data were collected via individual interviews. The grounded theory produced depicts the development of contribution through sport as a three-stage process. The first stage was characterized by the centrality of individual personal development, whereby the foundation for contribution was laid through instilling core values and developing relationships. In the second stage, youth engaged in their initial contribution experiences typically through invitations from adults. These invitations, and initial contribution experiences, helped build competence and confidence. If these initial contribution experiences were perceived as successful. youth athletes were likely to continue to engage in contribution activities. The third stage was characterized by the display of regular or sustained contribution by athletes. The focus shifted from the development of the individual to providing a benefit to others. Throughout all three stages of the process, parents and coaches were influential; however, the relative influence of the two groups changed as youth got older, became more independent, and drove their own contribution.