Think Aloud: An Examination of Tennis Players Acute Stress and Coping Strategies | Abstract
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European Journal of Sports & Exercise Science


Think Aloud: An Examination of Tennis Players Acute Stress and Coping Strategies

Author(s): Arian Forouhandeh

Coping strategies have an influence on stress-related outcomes and appraisals, which can significantly affect athletic performance in an area which has increased in interest over the years, however limited research done in tennis. The aim of this study was to expand on previous literature examining a relationship between coping and stressors, and the influence upon athletic performance using Think Aloud. Eight competitive tennis players took part. Participants were instructed to verbalise their thoughts, following Level 2 verbalisation Think Aloud protocol (Ericsson and Simon, 1993) between points of a â??fast fourâ? competitive set of tennis. Audio-reports were recorded and data were transcribed verbatim, with data analysed as different themes of stressors and coping strategies. Results show that problem-focused coping was the most frequent for both winning and losing participants. Performance stressors were the most frequently reported appraisal for both groups. Different ranges of stressorappraisals were ultimately influenced by the score and stages of the match, affecting the coping strategy used. Think Aloud has been seen to be a reliable method, with an increase in validity compared to retrospective research, eliminating the amount of time between a stressful experience and the reporting. Findings and TA can aid psychologists and coaches in developing techniques and interventions to improve athletic performance.