Philosophy, Risk and Adventure Sports


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Citations Publications citing this paper.

Philosophy, Risk and Adventure Sports

Establishing a hybrid-methodology model for co-designing behaviour change : within the context of adventure sport participation in Scotland Sarah Morton. Playground Lofoten: joyful-sustainable adventurous lifestyles and their multi-dimensional relationship with natural environment Markus Zimmermann. Exploration of the processes and outcomes associated with participation in outdoor sports Alexandra Macgregor. A quest for risk in nature-based tourism? Middle-aged women negotiating the ageing process through participation in outdoor adventure activities Christopher Wharton.

Using qualitative methodology to better understand why females experience barriers to regular participation in adventure sport in Scotland. Sarah Morton. References Publications referenced by this paper. Evolutionary Heritage and Human Distinctiveness.

Living on the Edge: Extreme Sports and their Role in Society : Articles : SummitPost

Philosophy, risk and adventure sports Mary J. Understanding lifestyle sports: Consumption, identity and difference Belinda Wheaton. The Condition of Postmodernity. New York Citadel Press , D. These characteristics are summarized in Figure 1. Downloaded by [University of Central Lancashire] at 07 February Different Approaches to Risk Management Clearly, the ASC must deploy a careful and considered approach to risk management, bal- ancing the challenge of an activity with the potential benefits, while maintaining a level of risk that is authentic for the learner. Collins and D. Collins risk evaluation and control, recording of actions and review of assessment, unfortunately, frequently lacks the adaptability necessary to accommodate the dynamic environments encountered in adventure activities.

Risk benefit analysis is increasingly common in the UK, both in education and AS environments. For example, Priest and Gass , p. As reflected earlier, the overall benefit of exposure to risk during human development is increasingly being recognized Tovey, and an understanding that challenge is essential in a healthy and devel- oping society Moxnes, has produced a shift in thinking. Brown and Fraser highlight the complexities associated with decision making in this manner, an additional challenge that almost inevitably requires some differences in the process of coach planning, in event actions and in preparation.

Whatever the underlying causes, however, there is an increasing acknowledgement that risk benefit is a more effective and parsimonious method than the five steps model, at least for ASCs. However to apply this approach effectively a clear understanding of the potential benefits will be required Understanding the Benefits in Risk Benefit Analysis Traditionally, the benefits of adventure, outdoor, and experiential educative approaches have been difficult to quantify, especially from a personal development perspective. Risk Management in Adventure Sports Coaching 75 Different authors identify a range of benefits that encompass the short, medium and long term.

While supporting this approach, Hunt highlights the difficulty in quantifying the educational benefit and suggests that discussions frequently focus on learning outcomes as a way of defining this gain. For the educationalist this lack of clarity remains a complex challenge. Even here, however, the more complex and hard to define psychological benefits, such as confidence and focus, also play a part since they contribute to the level of performance that may be achieved. Whichever way the benefits are defined and conceptualized, however, this must form a central part of the pre-planning structure and in-event action with regard to risk man- agement.

However, Hunt also acknowledges that this approach does not reflect the complexity of risk and the vari- ety of the environments that characterize AS, implicitly acknowledging the complexity of the decision making process which underpins the risk benefit trade-off. Risk is frequently understood in negative terms; Lupton and Tulloch claiming it is synonymous with danger and hazard, where as Ward links risk to unacceptable threats that can be physical, financial, psychological, or social.

Crucially, however, Ward also identifies that risk is not only a negative impact or threat but it can also be positive or beneficial. Moxnes, By contrast, the risk benefit analysis advocated by Ball et al. Ball et al. Equally, the personal nature of learning, motivation and risk perception will also impact on this perceptual process: namely, one participant benefits from a learning expe- rience may well be different from the benefit experienced by another.


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Collins ASCs create their perceptions in response to extensive experience over a period of time, which clients through necessity do so from a more limited experience, however. This mismatch has the potential for a further conflict between the desired impact of an experience designed by the ASC and the actual impact on the student.

Older ASCs may have different perceptions of management of risk from those of younger participants or coaches Breakwell, Perceptions of risk, benefit, and impact on the learner will directly inform the utilization of risk in practice. The decision making process by the ASC on how to optimize the experience of learning by exploiting risk will be complex. Downloaded by [University of Central Lancashire] at 07 February Exploiting the Benefits: Decision Making in Relation to Risk Cross , Lyle and Cushion , and Martin, Cashel, Wagstaff, and Breunig all suggest that the collection of information is fundamental in coach decision making.

They propose that effective decision-making involves creating events and changing the future while also acknowledging that a lack of action may also lead to change. This logically sug- gests that the decision on whether to make a decision or not will, in itself, lead to other related decisions in dynamic environments.

Reward Yourself

In simple terms, even doing nothing is chang- ing something! The initial decision whether to act on infor- mation, store it for later or ignore it is fundamental. The need for ASC to make decisions regarding changing weather during a day-long coaching session and its impact on content, duration and venue in the immediate, short, mid and longer term provides a potent example of the dynamical challenge faced by the ASC. Thompson and Dowding describe this rational part as normative, assuming that the decision maker is being logical, rational and acting in an ideal world.

Under these approaches, the quality of the decision relates directly to out- come. Working from this NDM perspective, Cioffi and Markham recognize the part that emotions play and consider this in relation to intuitions. In this regard, Thompson and Dowding acknowledge intuition as a compo- nent of expert practice but also recognize a lack of consensus on the meaning of the term: English reports that intuitions are questionable, while Effken suggest they are subjective, immeasurable and un-teachable.

It is our contention that intuition may be difficult to quantify and therefore to teach and learn but they are not un-teachable. The weaknesses of these intuitive approaches are clearly outlined in avalanche prediction and risk management deci- sions by McCammon Yet again, the need for more applied research is highlighted so that this highly regarded skill may be optimally developed. Specifically, such research must examine the process by which a skillful decision maker reaches a judgment in dynamic environments such as the outdoors.

Kahneman and Klien consider heuristic and NDM processes. Both approaches have signifi- cant areas of commonality. For example, the traps highlighted earlier have the potential to affect both heuristic and naturalistic processes, especially given the personal nature and degree of impact on the individual. Accordingly, a refocusing on the professional judgment and decision making process of more formally led groups may lead to adaptation of the traps or discovery of new ones to reflect professional pressures. Against the backdrop of these potential pitfalls, an expert decision maker will need be aware of the shortcomings in different approaches and able to monitor and modify style accordingly.

It is logical to consider that, in this context, these decisions may well be both heuristic and naturalistic to some extent. Accordingly, the knowledge required to recognize the values and weakness of both and adjust accordingly could be considered a meta-judgment, in that an evaluation decision about how these factors are changing and what this means precedes a second decision about what to do.

Supporting this chain of reasoning, Martin et al. Collins Awareness, self-management and appraisal are key elements of meta-judgment in prac- tice. As such, they are important features of coach development that, we suggest, may currently not receive sufficient or sufficiently formal attention in training, certification and on-going professional development, particularly in ASCs. This involves explicit reflection in order to iden- tify the declarative knowledge required to support and evolve that process. In this context, these meta-judgments may remain both intuitive and analytical in nature, exploiting both tacit and explicit knowledge bases in tandem.

If this were true, then it would be interesting to assay the extent to which all four could play a part in ASC development systems. Tacit knowledge often forms the basis of practitioner judgment. Investigation in the field to make explicit the decision making pro- cess will directly inform the tuition of decision making skills in ASC education, reflective practice being an essential element in that process and contributing to PJDM.

Reflection in PJDM Anecdotally, good judgment is linked to experience and it is this idea that, at first glance, superficially supports a heuristic approach.

However, Martin et al. The simplistic notion that good judgment comes from experience and that experience comes from bad judgment fails to recognize the value of reflection. Decision-making in this context is very complex, however, and is a synergy of processes facilitated by reflec- tion. AS are not necessarily riskier in absolute terms than other activities. Rather, it is the nature of the risk, being omnipresent and ultimately uncontrol- lable, that characterizes the activity.

Accordingly, the reflective process must be positioned within the changing environment, linking the environment and decisions draw- ing on prior experience in that environment and situation while anticipating the future decisions and events that may develop. We suggest that multilevel, nested reflection is integral to nested decision making. Yet again, a wide variety of research questions emerge. Is this ad-hoc, taking opportunity when it arises or rather, is it a considered aspect of the coaching process?

Namely is opportunity created in the process? Further research into this practical aspect of the decision making process will be required in order to establish the tacit or explicit natures of the decision making process on ASC practice. Conclusion Enhanced risk benefit analysis is a distinct and crucial process for the ASC; a focus on the benefits, rather than on the elimination of risk is fundamental and matched with a deep com- prehension of the individual response to risk.


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However, ASCs while working to develop a technical performance may adopt a process of hazard identification, risk assessment and manipulation of the perceived and real dangers in order to maximize potential benefit is underpinned by a complex deci- sion making process in which emphasis must be placed on the positive and negative aspects associated with risk taking if balanced against any perceived benefit. This, in turn, has a direct implication on the training and accreditation of ASCs.

Key Points

Making decisions based on the characteristics and styles of acknowledged experts rather than just copying their decisions! As McCammon identified, the tuition of judgment and decision-making appears crucial yet is conspicuous in its absence from most ASC, guide, and outdoor educational and governing body programs.

Therefore, to create the adaptive expertise required, attention must be paid to the decision-making skills of the individuals involved if we are to ensure effective, safe and good quality coaching practice. Of course, these conclusions all require further research and investigation in a manner that reflects the pracademic reality of decision making in relation to risk exploitation in ASC. We are currently working to create an empirical base through a process of collabora- tive research with academic and practitioners. This mixed method approach will enable us to identify and design a model for professional judgment and decision making in adventure sports and outdoor education that has both a practical and academic credibility.

It is hoped that this will further inform the debate which we hope this paper will stimulate. The culture in which an individual is focused on attempts to gain compensation for any suffering, loss, or damage caused by another individual or organization. References Abraham, A. Taking the next step: Ways forwards for coaching science. Quest, 63 4 , — Ball, D. Managing risk in play provision: Implementation guide. Annesley, DCSF publications.

Living on the Edge: Extreme Sports and their Role in Society

Breakwell, G. The psychology of risk. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Brevik, G.

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The quest for excitement and the safe society. In: M. McNamee Ed. Abingdon: Routledge. Brown, M. Re-evaluating risk and exploring educational alternatives. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, 9 1 , 61— Brymer, E. Dancing with nature: Rhythm and harmony in extreme sport participation. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, 9 2 , — Chambers, P.

Risk taking and reflective learning.

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Reflective Practice, 8 2 , — Cioffi, J. Clinical decision making by midwives: Managing complexity. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 25 2 , — Clements, K. The psychology of judgement for Outdoor Leaders. Contextualising the adventure sport coach. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, 10 1 , 81— Cross, N.

Individualization of training programmes. Cross and J. Lyle Eds. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann, pp. Csikszentmihalyi, M.

Philosophy, Risk and Adventure Sports Philosophy, Risk and Adventure Sports
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