Mental toughness (MT) is a key psychological variable related to achievement in performance domains and perseverance in challenging circumstances. We sought to understand the lived experiences of mentally tough high-altitude mountaineers, focusing primarily upon decisions to persevere or abort summit attempts. Phenomenological interviews were conducted with 14 mountaineers including guides, expedition leaders, and doctors (M age = 44 years). A content analysis was employed to identify key themes in the data. Participants emphasized the importance of MT in extreme environments and described rational, flexible, and vigilant decision-making. Turning around without summiting was the toughest decision reported, with recognition of the thin line between persevering and overstretching. In contrast to much MT literature, mountaineers accepted limits, demonstrated restraint, and sacrificed personal goals to aid others. Costly perseverance was also reported with some mountaineers described as “too tough”: overcompetitive, goal-obsessed, and biased decision-makers. These findings revealed both benefits and dangers of MT in mountaineering.
Lee Crust, Christian Swann and Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson
Rebecca Stanley, Rachel Jones, Christian Swann, Hayley Christian, Julie Sherring, Trevor Shilton and Anthony Okely
Background: Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years were recently developed. To maximize the uptake of the guidelines, perceptions of key stakeholders were sought. Methods: Thirty-five stakeholders (11% Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent) participated in focus groups or key informant interviews. Stakeholders included parents of children aged 0–5 years, early childhood educators, and health and policy professionals, recruited using convenience and snowballing techniques. Focus groups and interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed inductively using thematic analysis. Results: There was general acceptance of the Movement Guidelines. The stakeholders suggested that the Guidelines were highly aspirational and needed to be carefully messaged, so parents did not feel guilty if their child was not meeting them. Stakeholders identified that the messaging needed to be culturally appropriate and visually appealing. Dissemination strategies differed depending on the stakeholder. Conclusion: Seeking stakeholder perceptions is an important process in the development of national Movement Guidelines. This study successfully examined stakeholders’ perceptions regarding the acceptability, usability, and dissemination of the Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines. Effective and innovative strategies for maximizing compliance and uptake of the Guidelines should be prioritized.