The Most Important Mental Toughness Attributes For Amateur Soccer Players and their
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Mental toughness was first integrated into the sporting context in the 1980’s. In the early stages of the literature, many studies were conducted with the objective of producing a definition, and identifying the attributes and characteristics of an ideal mentally tough performer. With limited success emerging from this period, Jones et al. (2002) provided the much needed clarity in this field with a definition produced through a scientific investigation and 12 attributes of an ideal mentally tough performer. From this point onwards, considerable advancements have been made, however, from the vast number of attributes that have been identified; there is still much ambiguity regarding which attributes are more important within a specific sport. The purpose of the present study is to identify which mental toughness attributes amateur soccer players perceive to be most important to soccer and how having high or low levels of these attributes will affect performance through a two-pronged methodology. 19 soccer players that have played at least county level completed a rating scale of 48 attributes that were specifically chosen from previous literature, on a scale of 1-10. 9 attributes had an average rating of 8.0 and above (Pushing past physical boundaries/ loving the bits that hurt; Bouncing back from performance setbacks as a result of increased determination to succeed; Pushing back the boundaries of physical and emotional pain while still maintaining technique and effort under distress (in training and competition); Having the ability to hang on and be calm under pressure; Knowing what it takes to grind yourself out of trouble; Making correct decisions when circumstances are ambiguous and pressurized; Enjoying the pressure associated with performance; Having an insatiable desire and internalized motives to). These attributes formed an interview guide which was used to find out why these attributes are important to soccer, and how possessing high and low levels of these attributes would affect performance. Through the use of inductive content analysis, and cross case analysis, the findings suggested that the attributes consistently link to the physical demands of the sport, and the team’s performance. This would suggest that the attributes perceived to be most important to performance may differ considerably in individual, and less physically demanding sports. Future research directions were identified in investigating a number of other sports and female athletes.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT AND EXERCISE SCIENCE
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Thrower, Sam (University of Wales Institute Cardiff, 2010)The purpose of the present study was to investigate how important each of the 30 mental toughness attributes (Jones et al., 2007) are within soccer and cricket. Four male premier league cricket players aged between 20 and ...
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