In this paper, a vision for the future of U.S. NCAA Division I university sport is presented. It is argued that this context could serve as the place where performance “excellence” is rooted in caring. However, U.S. sport at this level must become purposefully structured to include educational components related to moral thinking, feeling, and behaving. Otherwise, it will continue to foster a type of disconnected or “game reasoning” mentality, building “characters” vs. character (Shields & Bredemeier, 1995). Using U.S.-focused feminism as the necessary first intervention, the paper is situated within a care moral orientation (e.g., Gilligan 1979, 1982) as well as sport psychology moral development scholarship (e.g., Bredemeier 1992; Fisher 1993; Kavussanu 2008; Oglesby 1990; Solomon 1993; Stephens 1993). A brief review of the current state of affairs in U.S. NCAA Division I university sport is presented first. Next, selected literature related to a care moral orientation and moral disconnection in U.S. psychology and sport psychology is highlighted. Finally, one vision of what a model of conscious, caring and connected U.S. NCAA Division I sport research and practice could look like is offered. Specifically, those who have the power to influence sport would develop character and the related skills of moral consciousness, caring, and connection, undergirded by feminist moral principles and reflective practice. Feminist (and all) sport psychology professionals are in a prime position to engage with sport constituents to enhance athletes’ overall experience, where character does matter, and, so, too, does performance.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 13, 2014
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