A Phenomenological Analysis of Coping Effectiveness in Golf

in The Sport Psychologist
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The purpose of this study was to examine instances when international agegroup golfers coped effectively and ineffectively with performance-related stressors during competition. Eighteen male Irish international golfers (M age = 17 years) participated in semistructured interviews pertaining to their coping experiences during golf competition. Data were thematically analyzed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (Smith & Osborn, 2003). Strategies associated with effective coping were rationalizing, reappraising, blocking, positive self-talk, following a routine, breathing exercises, physical relaxation, and seeking on-course social support. Alternatively, different types of coping responses (trying too hard, speeding up, routine changes, negative thoughts, lack of coping) were associated with ineffective coping. Theoretical and applied implications of these findings are discussed.

Adam R. Nicholls and Remco C.J. Polman are with the Department of Sport, Health, and Exercise Science at The University of Hull, Hull, HU6 7RX, UK. E-mail: A.Nicholls@hull.ac.uk and R.Polman@hull.ac.uk. Nicholas L. Holt is with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6E 2H9, Canada. E-mail: nick.holt@ualberta.ca.

The Sport Psychologist
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