Dylan E. Horner, Dave Weise, Jeff Greenberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


To do so optimally, it is important to recognize that sports participants are, first and foremost, human beings with the same existential concerns as everyone else. Existential psychology provides insights into what those concerns are and how people address them. This chapter summarizes these insights and illustrate their value for sport psychology consultants. Existential psychology builds on the insights of philosophers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Camus. Existential themes emerged in seminal writings of William James and Sigmund Freud, but existential psychology was first developed by Otto Rank, and later expanded by authors such as Viktor Frankl, Robert Jay Lifton, Ernest Becker, and Irvin Yalom. When disruptions arouse one or more existential concerns, people may experience anxiety and depression, and they are likely to attempt to intensify their coping in either constructive or maladaptive ways. Six sport-related events seem most likely to arouse the Big Five existential concerns: death, injury, retirement, career change, failure, and success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Applied Sport Psychology
Subtitle of host publicationa Comprehensive Guide for Students and Practitioners, Second Edition
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781000884029
ISBN (Print)9781032002972
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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