Verifying the Values and Sparking the Sprint: Research and Practice on Motivation in Sport Psychology

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Abstract

Love and all its manifestations, such as caring, connection, comfort, commitment, and confirmation of the precious worth and capacity of (an)other(s) and the self, truly marked the life of my dear and long-time friend, Arja Laitinen. Drawing from our many dialogues over the years, I have no doubt that she felt such love in her encounters with the important people who made up her day-to-day world. As epitomized in the affection for and admiration of Arja revealed by the authors contributing to this volume, she was the kind of person who also radiated love to those acquaintances and family members around her.
In this contribution, however, I would like to focus on a different type of love, namely an ardour for the injection of personal passion in one’s work. It was clear that Arja was ardent about her professional activities, such as her earlier scholarship on feminism, sport, and physical culture at the University of Jyväskylä or later efforts with Arinna centered in telling the life stories of Finnish women. She approached such endeavours with intrinsic zeal and dedication. What was also evident from my conversations with Arja was that she was keenly aware of and energized by how her own values, experiences, and concerns infused and informed her professional contributions.
The aim of this paper is to share a bit about my own professional journey as a teacher, scholar, and practitioner in the field of sport psychology. It will be a story of love that is told with love, for I truly feel blessed to be able to study what I study and I am truly touched to have the opportunity to contribute to this text. It also will be a narrative on the discovery and rediscovery of fervency and the role of values in my work. Moreover, this saga will touch upon my understanding of how such personal enthusiasm and ideals juxtapose with how I view and approach my area(s) of academic interest.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFeminist sport studies: Sharing experiences of joy and pain
EditorsMarkula Pirkko
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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