The construction of the competitive identity of the child that practices under 7 football

Abel Merino, Ana Arraiz, Fernando Sabirón


The increase in extracurricular activities such as football among schoolchildren has involved new ways of capitalizing on the learning that is promoted, with implications for their self-esteem. The purpose of this study is to understand the implications for the young sportsman his participation in this framework, in which he assumes a specific role in the microsystem of the team, on the construction of their identity. An ethnographic case study design is applied through participant observation of 10 under’7 football teams during a school year and semi-structured interviews with their teachers. The analysis of qualitative data shows that the role that players assume incipiently in their teams is oriented toward performance and it has implications on their self-esteem. The expectations of the adult environment affect the way in which the personal success of each player is assessed according to their role. It is discussed the relevance of rethinking the way in
which sports-training practices are offered in school sports so that expectations converge with the particular potential of each child. Adult sensitization is indispensable.


Competitiveness; Self-esteem; School sport; Under 7's competition; Sportsmanship

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