Exploring high school swimmers’ sources of sport commitment

Heather K. Larson *, Bradley W. Young ** and Ian L. Reade *

(*) Faculty of Physical Education And Recreation, University of Alberta, Canada
(**) School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Canada


K. Larson, H., W. Young, B., L. Reade, I. (2018). Exploring high school swimmers’ sources of sport commitment. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 49(2), 91-111. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2018.49.091


The sport commitment model was developed in relation to youth sport, but recently proposed commitment sources (desire to excel, team tradition) arose from studies with highly elite adult athletes (Scanlan, Russell, Scanlan, Klunchoo & Chow, 2013). We explored sources of swimmers’ commitment to a high school team, including these newer sources, and the utility of the Scanlan Collaborative Interview Method (SCIM; Scanlan, Russell, Wilson, & Scanlan, 2003), which was developed with world-class adult athletes, among non-elite adolescent athletes. Following interviews with adolescent swimmers (3 f, 5 m; ages 15-17), deductive analyses affirmed the importance of established sources (enjoyment, social support, other priorities, valued opportunities) and described desire to excel and team tradition as highly relevant. Discussion focuses on the unique insights gained by using qualitative methods, such as the relevance of team tradition to this population and recommendations for future use of the scim to explore commitment

Keywords: High school sport, Scanlan Collaborative Interview Method, Sport commitment, Sport participation; Youth sport