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Raising Young Athletes: The Effect of Sport on Identity Formation

Written by Chrissie Slot
Identifying as an athlete can be fantastic: it serves as a solid foundation for healthy identity development and empowerment. But what happens when a youngster begins to see themselves as only an athlete – e.g. ‘I am a football player’ – to the exclusion of all else? This is where they fall victim of identity foreclosure, occurring when individuals prematurely and exclusively see themselves as athletes without fully developing other aspects of themselves.  During this time, all other life development is suspended in light of the one single identity role.  Before we examine the potential risks of holding a strong athletic identity, it...
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