Study-to-sports spillover among competitive athletes: A field study

Postema, A., Van Mierlo, H., Bakker, A. B., & Barendse, M. T. (2022). Study-to-sports spillover among competitive athletes: A field study. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/1612197X.2022.2058054.
Combining academics and athletics is challenging but important for the psychological and psychosocial development of those involved. However, little is known about how experiences in academics spill over and relate to athletics. Drawing on the enrichment mechanisms proposed by the Work-Home Resources model, we posit that study crafting behaviours are positively related to volatile personal resources, which, in turn, are related to higher athletic achievement. Via structural equation modelling, we examine a path model among 243 student-athletes, incorporating study crafting behaviours and personal resources (i.e., positive affect and study engagement), and self- and coach-rated athletic achievement measured two weeks later. Results show that optimising the academic environment by crafting challenging study demands relates positively to positive affect and study engagement. In turn, positive affect related positively to self-rated athletic achievement, whereas – unexpectedly – study engagement related negatively to coach-rated athletic achievement. Optimising the academic environment through cognitive crafting and crafting social study resources did not relate to athletic outcomes. We discuss how these findings offer new insights into the interplay between academics and athletics.
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