Portrait of Boredom Among Athletes and Its Implications in Sports Management: A Multi-Method Approach

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There is a common misconception that elite athletes enjoy their sports activities so much that they cannot feel bored. However, this research reveals that boredom is a prevalent emotion among professional, amateur, and college athletes that impacts their performance, brand preferences, and overconsumption behaviors. This investigation relies on a multi-method approach. Qualitative data were collected through interviewing athletes (n = 123), and the critical incident technique was used to record factual boredom incidents. Quantitative data were collected through a survey and analyzed using hierarchical regression models. The purpose of the survey was to evaluate athletes’ proneness to boredom and then present a typical sports consumption scenario in which athletes’ brand preferences and overconsumption behaviors were captured. Overall findings from this research indicate that episodes of boredom are common among athletes when they engage in repetitive tasks (34.8%); negative mood is anticipated (16.9%); teammates show a lack of interest and seriousness (15.7%); they must endure periods of waiting (13.5%); there is a lack of competitiveness and goal-setting (10.1%); there is a lack of participation in activities (4.5%); there is a lack of empathy with teammates and coaches (3.3%); and there are infrastructure issues (1.1%). Furthermore, this study presents evidence that boredom negatively impacts athletes’ performance (β = −0.41). Then, in a specific sports consumption scenario that uses sports drinks, this study finds that a more boredom-prone athlete has a higher chance of purchasing different brands of the same product (β = 0.37) and engaging in overconsumption behaviors (β = 0.44). The relationships among boredom, performance, variety seeking, and impulse buying are congruent with previous research on boredom. This research discusses several sports management implications and presents recommendations from coaches on how to cope with athletes’ boredom.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo831
PublicaciónFrontiers in Psychology
EstadoPublicada - 26 may. 2020


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