Personal experiences from participation in high school program dedicated to the development of skiers and snowboarders in norway

Por: M. K. Sisjord e M. Sorensen.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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This paper will present some results from a broader investigation of the psychosocial and cultural influence on young people who attend a high school program dedicated to the development of athletes participating in cross country skiing, alpine skiing, ski-jumping or snowboarding. The study utilizes both quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches. The study is based on a sample of students from 6 out of 9 such high schools. The quantitative data collection took place last fall, three months after starting the education. The qualitative part will take place in March 2004. Preliminary results from the psychological parameters of the study indicate that a motivational climate as performance oriented is associated with dispositional ego-orientation and perceived pressure from parents as well as less enjoyment. Perceptions of the climate as mastery oriented is associated with dispositional task orientation, perceived pressure from parents but in combination with support, and enjoyment. There are, however, differences between participants of the various sport disciplines, as those engaging in disciplines involving cross country skiing scored significantly lower on ego-orientation than those in the other disciplines. Preliminary findings do further indicate that the students experience more support from their coaches and other students, that from the teachers. Based on these findings, qualitative interview will be used to further investigate the social climate and organizational features within of the different disciplines, which will be the focus of this presentation.


Qualitative interviews will be sampled on sport discipline and gender, 12-15 participants altogether. The participants are about 16 years old. The interviews will take place at the school the participants attend. The interviews will be tape recorded and transcribed for analysis.


The results will elaborate issues related to the students’ relationship to the coaches, teachers and team mates, and pressure and support from parents. A central aspect will further be the participants’ perceptions of the way practice is facilitated, experiences from competitions, and emphasis on winning and performance.

Discussion / Conclusions

Research in this particular area is scarce. Therefore, the results will be discussed in relation to theory and results from other youth sports. The discussion will also refer to the structure and organization of the various sport disciplines. It is of particular interest to compare the various ski disciplines (cross country, alpine, ski-jumping and snowboarding), with their different history and culture. E.g. snowboard is associated with youth subcultures and other sports of "the new leisure movement" characterized by co-operation, self-expression and anti-competition. The results will also be discussed in relation to gender perspectives.



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