Term of Award

Spring 2011

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Noah Genter

Committee Member 1

Daniel R. Czech

Committee Member 2

A. Barry Joyner


Throughout sports, elite athletes have faced mental boundaries in pursuit of their success. These mental boundaries, often referred to as "The Wall", have typically been investigated in endurance sports. Within the sport of rowing, Baltzell (1999) found that elite rowers coped with their mental boundaries by using; mental preparation, goal setting, social support and psychological well-being. However even though rowing is a sport where athletes experience "The Wall" frequently, modest research has been done to further understand this phenomenon. The purpose of this study was to examine the lived experience of elite rowers when challenged with "The Wall". The study utilized a humanistic theoretical framework. Semi-structured interviews were completed with eight to ten elite rowers. Data analysis procedures will follow Henderson (1992). Six themes emerged from the data analysis: (1) Team Support, (2) Hunger - strong desire for success, (3) Preparation, (4) War between body and mind, (5) Focus, and (6) Confidence. Implications from this study may benefit coaches, athletes, sport psychology consultants, and those who may encounter mental boundaries.

Research Data and Supplementary Material