Passsion or addiction in sports?
The recently published volume by Attila Szabó and Zsolt Demetrovics attempts to explain the essential differences between passion for sports, a joyful practice in harmony with a healthy lifestyle, and addiction to exercise, a compulsive and compulsory behaviour, as well as the connection between the two attitudes. Relying on research into behavioural addictions, the publication sheds new light on the issue, sensitively addressing the boundaries between doing sports with passion and the compulsive training that is regarded as an addiction.
The volume presents an overview of the three dimensions of passion and offers a new frame to contextualise exercise addiction. It also addresses the misinterpretations of various aspects of training (the followers of which tend to seek a correlation between the intensity and frequency of training, the level of commitment, and the development of addiction). After analysing the health benefits of passionate sports and exercise, the authors focus on those factors that may lead to maladaptive practice. They also offer several theoretical models and definitions for determining exercise addiction based on research findings related to behavioural addictions. At the same time, the authors mention several examples to illustrate that even high exercise volumes can be beneficial, and although passionate sportspeople tend to dedicate an excessive amount of time and energy to practice their favourite sport, they cannot be considered addicts.
The volume is helpful for students, researchers, and clinicians interested in sports and exercise psychology, and may as well be valuable reading for regular exercisers and physically active individuals, including competing athletes.
The book can be ordered in a hardcover or e-book version on the website of the publisher: