Exploring Relationships Among Passion, Self-Compassion, Fear of Self-Compassion, Deliberate Practice, and Performance in Canadian Women's Fastpitch Athletes
VanHorn, Candice Lee
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Research has been conducted on passion through a variety of activities, including sport. Passion, according to Vallerand et al. (2003), is “a strong inclination toward an activity that individuals like [or love], that they find important, in which they invest time and energy, and which comes to be internalized into one’s identity” (p. 507). Defined by the dualistic model of passion, harmonious passion describes a passion freely chosen because it had become valuable and meaningful to a person; conversely, obsessive passion describes a passion where individuals feel compelled to participate because some feelings of social acceptance, self-esteem, etc. are attached to the activity (Mageau et al., 2009; Rousseau, Vallerand, Ratelle, Mageau, & Provencher, 2002; Vallerand, 2012; Vallerand et al., 2003, 2006, 2007). A review of the literature shows harmonious passion relates positively to positive emotions such as enjoyment, higher self-esteem, and self-compassion (e.g. Kowalski, Mack, & Sabiston, 2015); whereas obsessive passion relates positively to negative factors of well-being such as guilt, anxiety, rumination (Mageau, Carpentier, & Vallerand, 2011; Mageau & Vallerand, 2007; Mageau et al., 2009), and a lack of self-compassion (Schellenberg, Bailis, & Mosewich, 2016). While self-compassion serves to manage through emotionally difficult experiences in sport in effectively healthy ways, a fear of self-compassion can have an effect on whether a person (athlete) displays self-compassion. In this study, participants were players on a female, elite, team sport (N = 26). These athletes completed an online survey that included measures of deliberate practice (Helsen, Starkes, & Hodges, 1998), passion (Vallerand et al., 2003), self-compassion (Neff, 2003), and fear of self-compassion (Gilbert et al., 2011). Descriptive statistics and correlation analyses describe ii the sample. Findings show higher levels of harmonious passion than obsessive passion, low levels of deliberate practice both in and out of season, moderate levels of self-compassion, and low levels of fear of self-compassion. In terms of correlations, there was a significant moderate positive correlation between harmonious and obsessive passion, and a significant strong negative correlation between self-compassion and fear of self-compassion, as well as a significant strong positive correlation between strikeouts (pitcher-only statistic) and in-season deliberate practice.