Locke, Abigail (2003) "If I'm not worried, I'm nervous, does that make sense?" The use of emotion concepts by athletes in accounts of performance. Forum: qualitative social research/Forum qualitative sozialforschung, 4 (1). ISSN 1438-5627

Traditionally research into emotions in sport has focused on the impact of specific emotions upon performance, most notably anxiety. This paper approaches emotion from the perspective of discursive psychology, drawing on the methods of discourse analysis and conversation analysis. Using interview data from high level athletes, this paper examines the uses of emotion concepts in accounts of athletic performance. What becomes apparent through the analysis is that athletes claim that specific emotions such as nervousness are normal in sporting performance. In contrast, when accounting for failure, the athletes construct their build-up to the competition as containing no experience of these emotions. Rather than in traditional sports psychological research whereby emotions are seen to be quantifiable, this paper demonstrates how emotion terms form a rich interactional currency that are embedded within our accounting practices

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