An Exploration of Danish Elite Team Sport Athletes' Behavioral Intentions towards Athletic Recovery Services

Ava Sophia Cramp & Csanád Berta

Student thesis: Master thesis


Context & Objectives: In recent years, the topic of athletic recovery has gained significant prominence in the sports medicine industry, in both research and practice. The rise of athletic recovery can be attributed to several factors, including increased expectations and pressure on athletes; a more active population; advances in research on the effectiveness of recovery modalities; and a significant growth in awareness about the importance of physical and mental recovery, aided by public figures in the sports industry. Despite the increased emphasis on the importance and benefits of athletic recovery, the topic remains largely under-researched. An increase in the use of athletic recovery services for athletes, and for the active population in general, could provide numerous benefits, including a reduction in the number of preventable injuries, lower healthcare costs, and improved athletic performance. In order to better understand Danish elite athletes’ behavioral intentions in regard to athletic recovery usage, this analysis uses a theoretical framework built on the Integrated Behavioral Model, which largely stems from the Theory of Planned Behavior, as well as the Protection Motivation Theory.Research Design & Methodology: This qualitative research paper follows an interpretivist philosophy and abductive approach, and has an exploratory purpose. Ten semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted on a group of athletes that was selected using both demographic variables and predefined specific criteria. For the participant selection process, a non-probability technique, known as snowball sampling, was applied. The textual interview data collected was then analyzed by applying Attride-Stirling’s (2001) Thematic Network Analysis tool.Findings: Overall, the participating Danish elite athletes seem to have a positive perception of athletic recovery services. The thematic network analysis demonstrated a variety of factors influencing the participants intentions to use athletic recovery treatment and provided insights into their past behavior. Recovery treatment generally was perceived by participants as more necessary for older athletes or for those with a more intense training load. The participants' perceived control in the utilization of athletic recovery was impacted by self-efficacy, as well as barriers such as time, energy, financial cost, and access to and availability of resources. Time spent competing abroad and history of injury were determined as manifest variables that influenced intentions. Service expectations of a potential athletic recovery facility were also outlined, and they enabled the researchers to provide suggestions for future businesses in this field.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages343
SupervisorsSven Junghagen