The role of peers: siblings and friends in the recruitment and development of athletes
Keywords: talent, skiing, peers, recruitment, development
AbstractThe role of peers (siblings and friends) in the recruitment and development of cross country skiers was investigated using quantitative methodology. A questionnaire, constructed according to a Likert format, was employed to collect data on the 350 highest ranked cross country skiers on the International Ski Federation (FIS) point list (gender not a factor) representing the Norwegian Ski Association (NSF), and the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA). Approximately half the athletes were from each country. For the purpose of data analysis respondents were classified into three performance levels based on the best self-reported results from very high level ski competitions. The broad consequences of the findings of the study direct attention to the necessity of viewing sport not only in its individual talent/physiology/biomechanics/psychology dimensions but also in its societal contexts. More specifically, athletic performances may be viewed as significantly mirroring total growing-up conditions and life situations, particularly with reference to the intimate primary group relations of family and friends, and as such can be a measuring rod for the efficacy of a societyʼs social facilitation and policies.