chapter  7
16 Pages

Flow, Sport and the Spiritual Life

ByPATRICK KELLY, S.J.

For many people in America and elsewhere, sports have always been a natural topic of conversation. Over the last few decades, they have also become an area of inquiry for scholars from disciplines such as philosophy, history, sociology and psychology. More recently, scholars of spirituality have joined the conversation. Far from idle chatter, the water cooler conversations and academic discussions about sport have focused on such problems as the ethics of the exorbitant salaries of professional athletes, the commercialization of intercollegiate athletics, performance-enhancing drug-use scandals, and abusive coaching techniques employed by youth coaches or the all-too-frequent negative experiences of young people in Little League and school settings. The conversations also touch on the meaning of sport practices themselves and how the attainment of wealth and fame, which is possible for elite level athletes today, is related to human fulfi llment.