Sport performers (N = 213) completed either a questionnaire measure of dispositional optimism or a questionnaire measure of trait sport confidence and then provided information about how they cope with performance slumps. The use of task-focused, emotion-focused, and avoidance-oriented coping strategies was assessed with a slump-referenced version of the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS; Endler & Parker, 1990a). Results indicated that both personality measures were positively related to the use of problem-focused strategies and negatively related to the use of emotion-focused strategies. These findings are discussed in relation to previous research on confidence in sport and a model of sport-related coping proposed by Hardy, Jones, and Gould (1996). Practical implications for the effective management of performance slumps are also addressed.
J. Robert Grove and N. Paul Heard are with the Department of Human Movement at the University of Western Australia, Nedlands, W.A., Australia 6907.