The Relationship Between Developmental Experiences and Mental Toughness in Adolescent Cricketers

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

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Daniel F. GucciardiUniversity of Queensland

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The present study investigated the contribution of positive and negative youth sport experiences (i.e., processes or experiences that occur in a particular activity or setting) to self-reported mental toughness among youth-aged cricketers. A sample of 308 male cricketers aged between 13 and 18 years self-reported mental toughness using the Cricket Mental Toughness Inventory (CMTI; Gucciardi & Gordon, 2009), with 187 of these cricketers also documenting their exposure to a variety of positive and negative developmental experiences. Confirmatory factor and internal reliability analyses supported the hypothesized mental toughness measurement model. Structural equation modeling analyses indicated that a variety of developmental experiences were related to various mental toughness components, with initiative experiences evidencing the strongest overall relationship with mental toughness followed by negative peer influences. The number of years playing experience and hours per week training evidenced largely insignificant relationships with the exception of desire to achieve and attentional control components of mental toughness, as well as its global factor. Collectively, these findings lend support for the validity of the CMTI as a valid measure among adolescent cricketers, and highlight the importance of initiative and interpersonal experiences for mental toughness in cricket.

Daniel Gucciardi is with the School of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

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