The continuation of emotional abuse as a normalized practice in elite youth sport has received scholarly attention, often with the use of a Foucauldian framework. The use of sense-making, a theoretical framework that focuses on how meaning is created in ambiguous situations, may give additional insights into the continuation of emotionally abusive coaching practices. The purpose of this study was to apply the seven properties of sense-making to explore how athletes and parents made sense of coaching practices in elite women’s gymnastics. We interviewed 14 elite women gymnasts and their parents to examine how they made sense of what occurred during practices. The results show how the sense-making of athletes and parents was an ongoing activity that resulted in a code of silence and a normalization of abusive coaching practices.
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|Published in||Young people and sport: from participation to the Olympics|