How phenomenological insights can be used to explore a golfer's experience of the physicality of her body
Based on a single case study of a Danish elite golfer, this article focuses on describing the different ways in which the golfer experiences the physicality of her body during training. The aim of the article is to explore how phenomenological insights concerning self-consciousness can be used actively in the analyses of the golfer’s descriptions to better understand how the embodied expertise is practised in her training. The descriptions of the elite golfer’s daily practice were generated using a combination of participant observations and interviews. Drawing on phenomenological insights, we suggest that the golfer’s experience of the physicality of her body can be considered in relation to three possible dimensions of self-consciousness: a pre-reflective subject-related dimension, a reflective object-directed dimension and a pre-reflective performative dimension. The pre-reflective performative dimension is to be understood as a non-objectifying dimension of subjects experience and, in the present case, appears central to how the golfer adjusts and reshapes her technical skills. The golfer exemplifies how a possible pre-reflective performative dimension reflects the overall ‘feeling’ of the moving body. From a methodological perspective, the analysis of the single case study also exemplifies how phenomenological insights might concretely influence the analysis of an actual practice and how the achieved understanding can be important to the further development of elite athletes’ expert training.
Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 2013, Vol 6, Issue 4, p. 462-477