STRESSORS, COPING AND COPING EFFECTIVENESS AMONG PROFESSIONAL AND AMATEUR RUGBY UNION PLAYERS DURING COMPETITION
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of this study was to discover the effectiveness of coping strategies used by professional and amateur rugby union players to deal with the most common stressors experienced during performance, and to discover why identified strategies were perceived to be effective or ineffective. Professional (N=4) and amateur (N=4) rugby union players recorded stressful experiences in a diary after three consecutive rugby matches before taking part in a semi-structured interview to discuss stressors, coping and coping effectiveness in greater depth. Coping effectiveness was measured using a Likert-type scale. The main findings indicate that professional and amateur rugby union players experience similar stressors and employ similar coping strategies, with professional players using slightly more avoidance coping strategies. The professional participants viewed the use of coping strategies as generally more effective than the amateur participants. The most significant finding was that in instances where different coping strategies were used to manage the same stressor the professional participants perceived their coping usage as more effective. Upon analysing reasons for coping effectiveness, the quality of the implementation of a coping strategy arose as a possible affecting factor regarding coping effectiveness. Further research into the variables that influence coping effectiveness is necessary to improve the knowledge base for coaches and sports psychologists who are planning interventions.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION
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