American Student-Athletes’ and South Korean Student-Athletes’ College Experiences Participating in Athletics




Lee, Hyerim

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The aim of this study was to explore American student-athletes’ and South Korean student-athletes’ college experiences while participating in college athletics. A qualitative method design was used for this study. American student-athletes and South Korean student-athletes participating in college athletics (N=12, age range 18 – 22 years) were interviewed in person. Interview questions were asked to discover student-athletes’ perceptions of the benefits and challenges of being student-athletes and their academic and athletic motivation. The results revealed that South Korean student-athletes were more athletically motivated while American student-athletes tried to keep balance between academic and athletic motivation. In this regard, they experience difficulties in balancing academic and athletic demands which caused many student-athletes to consider the academic support services from the schools as a benefit of being student-athletes. Conversely, South Korean student-athletes did not experience difficulties in balancing between academic and athletic work as their academic demands were much less and they were more likely to enjoy tangible benefits provided by the schools.



Student-athletes, College experiences, Motivation, Benefit and challenges of being student-athletes