Publication Details

Swann, C. (2016). Flow in sport. In L. Harmat, F. Orsted. Andersen, F. Ullen, J. Wright & G. Sadlo (Eds.), Flow Experience: Empirical Research and Applications (pp. 51-64). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.


Sport offers rich opportunities to experience flow by posing both mental and physical challenges. Studies specifically investigating flow in sport were first published in 1992. Since then a body of empirical research has emerged in this area, which this chapter aims to review in terms of: (i) the methods commonly used to study flow in sport (i.e., interviews, questionnaires, and the Experience Sampling Method); and (ii) key research themes (i.e., the experience, occurrence, controllability and correlates of flow in sport). In turn, current issues within this field are examined, and recommendations are made for future research, including the need to build towards a causal explanation of flow, and potential refinement in understanding how athletes experience these optimal states.



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