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Chase Stodden
Professor Agosta
UWRT 1102-022
05 April 2016
Research Log
Citation: Symes, Rebecca. "Understanding Athletic Identity: 'Who Am I?'" Podium Sports
Journal. 24 May 2010. Web. 01 April 2016.
Date Accessed: 4/1/2016
Type of Source: Secondary Source, Article
Inquiry Questions Answered: Does participating in sports affect ones identity? How? What are
the positive effects sports may have on a persons identity? Negative?
Keywords: Athletic Identity
Summary + Commentary: In Symes article, she argues that there are two sides to identity:
Private identity and Public identity. Where private identity is made up of our attitudes, beliefs,
feelings and emotions and public identity is made up of how we think others see us. Symes
follows up this idea with stating we rank the different identities we hold in a hierarchy
according to their relative salience. The identity with the highest rated salience, for athletes, will
be that relating to their sport. Symes also wrote about the The Up and the Down Side of Athletic
Identity. Having a strong athletic identity results in being a more elite athlete which leads to
dedication to a certain sport. While that may be a positive, it can also turn into a negative by
resulting in dangerous and dysfunctional practices, says Symes. Examples of dangerous and
dysfunctional practices may include performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) or over training which
leads to injury.
This piece my Symes gave me a better understanding of what athletic identity could be and
introduced me to new ideas that I had not previously thought of. I liked how she broke up an
identity into two different identities, including private and public identity. I could relate to her
idea of ranking our different identities by salience and for most athletes, the highest rated
salience would relate to the sport he or she participates in.
Further Questions: How does the involvement of PEDs affect an athletes athletic identity?
Citation: Lockhart, Barbara D. Injured Athletes Perceived Loss of Identity: Educational
Implications for Athletic Trainers. Athletic Training Education Journal (2010): 26-31. Web. 01
April 2016.
Date Accessed: 4/1/2016
Type of Source: Secondary Source, Journal
Inquiry Questions Answered: Does the loss of being able to participate in sports change a
persons identity?
Keywords: Athletic Identity
Summary + Commentary: Lockhart argues in this piece that it is athletic trainers duty to
recognize their educative responsibilities and assist injured athletes in addressing issues of

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identity loss. Identity based on athletic performance is, by its very nature, unstable and prone to
variability, says Lockhart. Leading to the conclusion that an athlete who highly identifies with
their athletic identity receives an injury or some other reason to cause a sudden stop in being an
athlete is more psychologically detrimental and most endure a loss of identity. With that said,
Lockhart also mentions that athletes with low athletic identity are better off when injured due to
them viewing athletics more as something they do instead of who they are. Athletes who have
suffered from injuries in the past have the possibility losing their edge in the future in fear of
injury and loss of identity.
The purpose of this journal was not something that I was interested in, nor what I needed for my
research, but the information about athletes and the loss of being an athlete that some athletes go
through was useful. The conclusions that Lockhart made between athletes who highly identify
and athletes who do not identify with athletics as much were conclusions that I agree with and is
the way I envisioned athletes handling the loss of being able to participate in sports.
Further Questions: What do people identify with when they are no longer athletes?
Citation: Pottratz, Suzanne. "Athletic Identity." BelievePerform. 2013. Web. 02 Apr. 2016.
Date Accessed: 4/2/2016
Type of Source: Secondary Source, Article
Inquiry Questions Answered: Does participating in sports affect ones identity? How? What are
the positive effects sports may have on a persons identity? Negative?
Keywords: Athletic Identity
Summary + Commentary: Pottratz argues that by participating in a sport, an individual is
making a social statement about who they are and how they want others to think of them. She
believes that an athletic identity is developed through acquisition of skills, confidence, and social
interaction during a sport. While there are both positive and negative effects of an athletic
identity, Pottratz thinks that having a strong athletic identity often leads to a strong sense of self
and sureness of who you are. A negative side to that thought can be that a strong athletic identity
may force an athlete to neglect other aspects of life in order to fill the athlete role. Another
negative is facing retirement, something all athletes go through at some point. Is is something
that cannot be escaped, says Pottratz, and it could be difficult to adjust to a life without their
sport because they lack other sources of self-worth.
Pottratzs view of athletic identity is close to the view of Symes in the sense of the participation
of sports is making a social statement about who they are and how they want others to think of
them, making that a part of Symes Private Identity. I liked, and agreed, with Pottratzs positive
and negatives for athletic identity. I also liked how she put that retirement from a sport cannot be
escaped. While some may think that comment is obvious and common sense, it is a thought I
have never thought of and one I would imagine that most athletes do not want to think of.
Further Questions:

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Citation: ODonnell, John Patrick. Personal interview. 03 April 2016.


Date Accessed: 4/3/2016
Type of Source: Primary Source
Inquiry Questions Answered: What sports are you involved in and at what level do you
compete? Has being an athlete affected your identity? As you have grown as an athlete, has your
identity changed? Do you think that your identity will change when you can no longer compete?
Keywords: Athletic Identity
Summary + Commentary: ODonnell participated in intramural soccer and tennis here at
UNCC. Being that he has been participating in sports (baseball, soccer, tennis, basketball) since a
young child, he said stated sports have definitely impacted him and is a big part of who he is
today. He responded to the third question by saying that his identity hasnt changed as hes
grown as athlete, hes grown as an athlete because of his identity and how much of a passion he
has for sports. When he can no longer compete, ODonnell said that his identity should not
change too much because he will always be involved in sports, whether that is attending games
or coaching little league.
This primary source gave me a decent understanding of how a previous high school athlete and
current intramural college student views athletic identity. While he is not competing at a high
level like the other Division I athletes here, he is still involved in sports and appeared to be okay
with that.
Further Questions:
Citation: Dalton, Tyler. Personal interview. 03 April 2016.
Date Accessed: 4/03/16
Type of Source: Primary Source
Inquiry Questions Answered: What sports are you involved in and at what level do you
compete? Has being an athlete affected your identity? As you have grown as an athlete, has your
identity changed? Do you think that your identity will change when you can no longer compete?
Keywords: Athletic Identity
Summary + Commentary: Dalton is a senior in high school and is currently involved in varsity
soccer. He responded to my first question by saying, I dont know who I would be without
soccer, or how I would spend my free time, or even who my friends would be. He believes that
his identity has stayed the same throughout his soccer career, or if it has changed, not by much
for he still loves the game. He responded to my fourth and final question by saying that he
simply does not know how his identity will change because that time has not came yet.
This interview was not as helpful or productive as the first but gives me an idea of what younger
athletes think about athletic identity, although not much of an idea.
Further Questions:

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Reflection: I feel that my strongest sources are the first two pieces that I found by Symes and
Lockhart. They included the most information and backed up what they said the strongest
compared to other sources. The sources that I preferred where the secondary sources because the
authors of the pieces found online where more knowledgeable on the subject, although my
primary resources were still useful and gave me the view of someone my age on the topic. I did
not have a sixth source to complete the requirement of 6-8 sources because I could not find
another secondary source of quality, nor could I find another interviewee.