“Need help? We got you!”: Sources of support for first-generation Latinx student-athletes

Grafnetterova & Banda / Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Education / April 2021

Approximately 6% of Latinxs participate in intercollegiate athletics (Lapchick, 2020). Many of these athletes are first-generation college students. However, a large gap in the literature currently exists on experiences of this student-athlete subpopulation. Therefore, this study explores the lived experiences of first-generation Latinx college athletes, focusing on what sources of support they rely on for persistence to degree attainment. Grounded in Rendón’s (1994) validation theory, this qualitative phenomenological study found that participants built a support network consisting of their teammates, athletic advisors, coaches, and family members. This study concludes with implications for practice and recommendations for future research.