Preparing to Take the Field: A Temporal Exploration of Stress, Emotion, and Coping in Elite Cricket

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 University of Otago
  • | 2 Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • | 3 Staffordshire University
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The purpose of this study was to explore the stress, emotion, and coping (SEC) experiences of elite cricketers leading up to and on the day of their first competitive fixture of the season. Four elite male cricketers (M = 21.25, SD = 1.5) completed Stress and Emotion Diaries (SEDs) for the 7-day period leading up to and on the day of their first competitive fixture of the season. We then interviewed the cricketers to explore the content of the SEDs in more detail. We used semistructured interviews to glean insight into the stressors, cognitions, emotions, coping strategies, and behaviors. Inductive and deductive content data analysis provided a holistic and temporal exploration of the SEC process underpinned by the cognitive-motivational-relational theory of emotions (Lazarus, 1999). The results highlighted the ongoing and continuous nature of the SEC process while illustrating the coping strategies the cricketers used leading up to and on the day of competition.

Miles is with the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Neil is with the Cardiff School of Sport, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, UK. Barker is with the Centre for Sport, Health, and Exercise Research, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, UK.

Address author correspondence to Adam James Miles at
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