The degree to which a person is identified as being an athlete. Athletic identity is a social construct, greatly influenced by the opinion of friends, family, coaches, and the media. Those with a very strong athletic identity tend to interpret events, such as an injury, in terms of how it affects their athletic involvement. Strong athletic identity tends to increase an individual's commitment to sport, but those with an exclusive athletic identity (i.e. whose only role in life is perceived to be that of an athlete) tend to have emotional difficulties when their athletic careers end.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.