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Ineke Vergeer and John M. Hogg

This study aimed to examine the effects of four situational factors on coaches’ decisions about an injured athlete’s participation in competition. A telephone survey was conducted among 64 coaches training female gymnasts of various competitive levels. Coaches were presented with hypothetical scenarios depicting situations in which an athlete suffered an ankle injury prior to competition. Injury severity, the gymnast’s age and ability level, and importance of the competition were systematically varied in a total of 16 scenarios. Using a multilinear polynomial model (Louvière. 1988), decision policies were calculated at the individual and aggregate levels. The aggregate level analysis showed a four-way interaction effect. Cluster analysis on individual policies revealed two groups, membership of which was associated with personal injury history. Results suggest that in their decision making, coaches are sensitive to the unique situational characteristics surrounding the injury and are influenced by their personal experiences with competing while injured.

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Nicholas L. Holt and John M. Hogg

The ability to cope with competitive stress is an integral part of elite sport performance. The purposes of this investigation were to identify and examine players’ perceptions of sources of stress and coping strategies prior to the 1999 soccer world cup finals. Using a case study approach (Stake, 2000), members of a women’s national soccer team (n = 10) participated in this investigation. Through the process of inductive data analysis, main sources of stress were categorized into the following four main themes: coaches, demands of international soccer, competitive stressors, and distractions. Participants used several types of strategies based on a range of problem-focused, emotion-focused, appraisal-reappraisal, and avoidance coping styles to deal with these stressors. The main coping themes identified were reappraisal, use of social resources, performance behaviors, and blocking. Athletes implemented different coping strategies depending on the stressors they encountered. The widest range of coping responses were displayed in coping with the communication styles used by the coaches. Implications of these findings for researchers, athletes, coaches, and sport psychologists are discussed.