A QUALITITAVE STUDY OF STRESSORS IN WELSH WOMEN’S CRICKET
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of this study was to qualitatively evaluate stressors experienced in Women’s Cricket. Eight elite female Welsh cricketers were interviewed about the demands they face and their effects on performance. Two groups of stressors emerged from the data, competitive and organisational. Seven competitive stressors were identified: preparation, representing team and opposition, roles, mental and physical state, goals, atmosphere and personal performance. Eight organisational stressors were identified: team selection, team alterations, training facilities, location, travel, accommodation, finances and pitch condition. The most frequently cited themes within competition stressors were roles and goals, with all eight athletes stating a demand relating to them both. The highest cited themes for organisational stressors were team alterations, travel and finances. The results indicated a negative effect on performance for the most frequently cited themes: lack of concentration, decreased focus levels, pressure in order to live up to roles/expectations and frustration, with all participants expressing a decrease in performance levels due to these factors. The study highlighted more organisational demands in comparison to competitive demands. However, competitive stressors proved to have greater impact on performance levels. The observations identify all the demands faced by female cricketers and should be considered when preparing and taking part in a match environment. This knowledge will help for interventions to be developed in order to overcome these stressors.
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