Evaluation of a mental toughness training program for youth-aged Australian footballers

II. A qualitative analysis

Daniel F. Gucciardi, Sandy Gordon, James A. Dimmock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The general purpose of this study was to follow-up on quantitative data regarding the effectiveness of two different types of multimodal programs in enhancing mental toughness among youth-aged Australian footballers (Gucciardi, Gordon, & Dimmock, 2009a). Specifically, we aimed to enhance the interpretability and meaningfulness of the quantitative data by eliciting key stakeholders' (athletes', parents', and coaches') perspectives on the goals, procedures, and results of the mental toughness training intervention through one-on-one interviews. Ten players, one of their parents (5 fathers and 5 mothers), and 3 coaches were interviewed. A thematic content analysis using the constant comparison method was performed on the transcribed verbatim data. Participants described several benefits of the program: valuing the importance of quality preparation, being more receptive to criticism, team cohesion, an increased work ethic, tougher attitudes, and the development and identification of transferable skills. Four processes including enhanced self-awareness, techniques for self-monitoring, techniques for self-regulation, and multiple-perspective discussions were identified by participants as ways that the program contributed to enhanced mental toughness. Finally, increased parent involvement, parent and coach education programs, and multi-source assessments and feedback were highlighted by participants as avenues for improving future developmental programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-339
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Sport Psychology
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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