Evaluation of a mental toughness training program for youth-aged Australian footballers: II. A Qualitative Analysis

Daniel Gucciardi, Sandy Gordon, James Dimmock

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    38 Citations (Scopus)


    The general purpose of this study was to follow-up on quantitative data regarding the effectivenessof two different types of multimodal programs in enhancing mental toughness amongyouth-aged Australian footballers (Gucciardi, Gordon, & Dimmock, 2009a). Specifically, weaimed to enhance the interpretability and meaningfulness of the quantitative data by elicitingkey stakeholders’ (athletes’, parents’, and coaches’) perspectives on the goals, procedures,and results of the mental toughness training intervention through one-on-one interviews. Tenplayers, one of their parents (5 fathers and 5 mothers), and 3 coaches were interviewed. A thematiccontent analysis using the constant comparisonmethod was performed on the transcribedverbatim data. Participants described several benefits of the program: valuing the importanceof quality preparation, being more receptive to criticism, team cohesion, an increased workethic, tougher attitudes, and the development and identification of transferable skills. Fourprocesses including enhanced self-awareness, techniques for self-monitoring, techniques forself-regulation, and multiple-perspective discussions were identified by participants as waysthat the program contributed to enhanced mental toughness. Finally, increased parent involvement,parent and coach education programs, and multi-source assessments and feedback werehighlighted by participants as avenues for improving future developmental programs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)324-339
    JournalJournal of Applied Sport Psychology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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