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Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of this present study was to use a qualitative research design to understand the stressors encountered by opening and lower order cricket batsmen and to look at the appraisals and the subsequent coping strategies adopted by these batsmen when encountered these stressors. Six participants underwent semi-structured interviews of approximately 30 minutes in duration, where they discussed the stressors experienced and coping strategies adopted when batting some of which were noted down on a preceding hand-out sheet. This interview procedure allowed for an investigation of the stress process from initial stressors, appraisals (i.e., harm, threat, challenge, and benefit) and coping strategies. Inductive and deductive content analyses revealed participants encountered both organisational (e.g. pitch conditions) and competition (e.g. opponents) stressors. The majority of stressors were appraised as threatening. Avoidance, problemfocused and emotion-focused coping strategies were utilised to cope with specific stressors, of which problem-focused coping was most frequently cited. The strategies did not always cause a positive outcome. In addition, there were similarities and differences when batsmen opened compared to when they batted lower down. The findings revealed that stressors related to internal expectations and role within team affected batters in both roles. However, certain stressors such as ‘Type of Bowler-Spinners’ affected batters mainly when batting in the middle order compared to opening. However, when batsmen encountered stressors in the lower order there was greater use of problem focused coping in particular planning compared to when opening which a much larger percentage of emotion focused coping most notably self-talk. Practical implications, strengths and weaknesses of the study, and recommendations for the path of future
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