Emotions in Sport

Sport is an emotional matter: The emotions of athletes are the subject of media coverage, they are considered to enhance or hinder performance, and athletes of all levels train to deal with them in order to succeed in competition. In many people's everyday lives, sport is also used to deal with (negative) feelings and to put oneself in certain moods that are considered positive. Sport is and was considered a means to stay in a good mood and (mental) health – especially in challenging times of lockdown and contact restrictions, but also beyond them, calls to exercise were and are omnipresent.

What is the relationship between sport and feelings? How has it developed and changed over the last hundred years? How do athletes make use of feelings and what role does sport play as a means of managing feelings in people's everyday lives? How is the moving body of the athlete involved in doing sport emotions? – Based on the analysis of historical sources, but also on interviews and participant observation, this project explores the connections between sport, emotions and life in society. It focuses on popular sports and especially on female athletes, whose emotions were particularly much discussed.

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