Super-Elite Athlete Performance in International and Professional Sports - The David Nilsson Story

PhD Thesis


Wilson-Gahan, Susan. 2022. Super-Elite Athlete Performance in International and Professional Sports - The David Nilsson Story. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/yy246
Title

Super-Elite Athlete Performance in International and Professional Sports - The David Nilsson Story

TypePhD Thesis
AuthorsWilson-Gahan, Susan
Supervisor
1. FirstProf Patrick Danaher
2. SecondProf Stuart Biddle
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages259
Year2022
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/yy246
Abstract

This thesis stories the Baseball journey of David Wayne Nilsson - an Australian who became a Major League Baseball All Star in the United States of America, an Olympic silver medallist and award winner, a gold medallist in international competition, a successful club and national coach, and the owner of Australian national Baseball leagues and clubs. The thesis explored and defined the systemic interactions that had significant impacts in developing and consolidating the physical and personal attributes, and the sport-specific skills, that facilitated David Nilsson’s success as a Baseball player, and that positioned him as a sportsperson of historical note in Australia's sporting landscape. The thesis addresses the question – “which bioecological systems and which physical and personal attributes and sport-specific skills, are significant; and how significant are they in the development of super-elite athlete performances in international and professional sporting contexts?” Data collection came principally from primary source accounts gathered in 22 field interviews with identified people who witnessed or shared in Nilsson’s journey. The study’s qualitative, phenomenological research design employed an innovative integration of Urie Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Model of Human Development (2005) and the life course/life history approach suggested by Biesta et al. (2005), and redefined this approach as “biographical storying”, to map and retell the story of Nilsson’s journey. The fusion of developmental systems approaches to life with an examination of individual physiology, psychology and behaviours provided a platform for analysing significant influences in developing David Nilsson’s super-elite athlete performances in both professional and international contexts.

Keywordsbiographical storying; Urie Bronfenbrenner; Major League Baseball; David Nilsson; phenomenology; super-elite sports performance
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390499. Specialist studies in education not elsewhere classified
440608. Recreation, leisure and tourism geography
Public Notes

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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Education
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