“He Just Wanted Everything to Be Perfect, Me to Be Perfect”: U.S. NCAA Division I Daughter-Athletes’ Experiences of the Father–Daughter Relationship

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Little empirical research has been done on the father–daughter relationship in sport. Therefore, the purpose of this project was to obtain in-depth description of U.S. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I (DI) daughter-athletes’ lived experiences of this relationship during their athletic careers. Using a snowball and purposive sampling technique (Noy, 2008), participants were identified. Interviews informed by an existential phenomenological approach were conducted with 8 NCAA DI female athletes (Thomas & Pollio, 2002) and participants were given the opportunity to share their experiences in their own words. The thematic structure constructed from the interviews related to the existential ground, other, daughter-athletes’ experience of Dad: (a) My relationship with my dad is because of sport; (b) Mom is the emotional bridge between myself and Dad; (c) Helping me get better is painful: Dad as my coach; and (d) Dad has always been there for me. Interviews revealed that daughter-athletes perceived sport as a way for fathers to get involved in and form relationships with their daughters, relationships that daughters longed to have. Moreover, results suggested that daughter-athletes believed that this sport relationship would be more powerful if it were paired with a strong emotional connection outside of athletics. Suggestions for fathers of daughter-athletes are also offered.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles