Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2021


The use of metaphor is distinctive and evident in every day human language. Previously, we demonstrated that humans easily produce metaphors when prompted. The current investigation explored whether various populations preferred known sport metaphors versus the literal translation. Coaches and players often express their understanding and expectations of sports through non-literal language. Understanding this narrative is effective for athlete's comprehension is essential in improving a team or individual performance. Long ago, Ortony (1975) praised the effectiveness of figurative language as a communication tool. The current study uses those principles to investigate the use of metaphor's validity in a sport context. Communicating the athletic experience is difficult due to its physiological nature. We believe that through metaphor physiological experiences will be more concrete. For example, metaphors are often used in sport to make abstract concepts easier to conceptualize. Our current measured athletes’ and non-athletes' preference for sport metaphoric speech. We believed that metaphors would be the preferred way to discuss sport concepts. Preliminary results showed that athletes preferred the use of metaphors more frequently than nonathletes. Results also showed that men preferred the use of metaphors more frequently than women.