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  • 1.
    Söderström, Tor
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Umea School of Sport Science.
    Brusvik, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Umea School of Sport Science.
    Sandlund, Stefan
    Umea School of Sport Science.
    Guerrero, Esteban
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science. Umea School of Sport Science.
    The meaning and significance of physiological tests from the perspective of elite athletes2018In: ISSA 2018 Abstracts: The 2018 annual conference international sociology of sport association, Lausanne: ISSA , 2018, p. 105-105Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The use of physiological tests has received a lot of attention within high performance sport. One major motive for using physiological tests is to help the athlete enhance their performance (Tanner and Gore, 2013). However, to date, research undertaken in the field has not acknowledged or taken into consideration those that actually use the tests. What do they think about tests and how useful do they find them? Thus, in this paper we aim to explore the meaning and significance of physiological tests from the athletes’ perspective by scrutinizing their experiences of physiological tests and their importance for enhancing performance.

    The material in this study is based on interviews with eight elite athletes between 20-30 years of age in three different individual sports. They were all dual career athlete-university students. The results show that their experiences of using physiological test vary according to which training group they belonged to prior to entering university. The athletes believed that their pre-University coaches generally used tests as a checkpoint or single indicator of fitness. As a consequence, for most athletes, the tests had little or no importance with respect to how they evaluated and planned their training. In other words, physiological tests are not automatically useful for enhancing performance. Drawing on Bourdieu (1990), we argue that the use of tests in high performance sport can be considered as part of a practical logic that counteracts reflexive attention and processing necessary for enhancing the athletes performance (cf. Dewey, 1910).

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