University Of Tasmania

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Acting out what is inside of us: self-management strategies of an abused ex-athlete

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 02:33 authored by Jennifer McMahonJennifer McMahon, McGannon, KR
In this paper, the authors make use of narrative inquiry from the position of a story teller by using creative nonfiction to bring forward the complexities of abuse in sport. Through the use of vignettes, one female athlete’s story of how she self-managed her abuse post sport by acting out sexually is made known. As taboo stories tend to be silenced in sport literature, this research foregrounds how one athlete took back the power and control with men as a way of self-managing the physical and emotional abuse she experienced from male coaches. Although a temporary fix, the vignettes highlight how this athlete’s selfmanagement strategies were a complex form of empowerment, a contrast to what she felt when she was the recipient of abuse. The reader is encouraged to construct their own understanding of the athlete’s stories, thinking with her story rather than about her story. This paper contributes to understandings of athlete abuse by providing insight into the lack of support an athlete received post sport and further how she was expected to fend for herself, formulating her own self-management/coping strategies. Sport managers developing interventions and strategies related to abused athletes should consider the diverse challenges that they face.


Publication title

Sports Management Review








Faculty of Education


Elsevier Ltd

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2019 Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in human society