[Truncated] The purpose of this thesis was to develop a better understanding of the ways in which elite athletes cope with stress and how mental control strategies such as thought stopping can influence performance. Four studies were conducted. Study One examined the relationship between coping effectiveness and elite athlete performance. New Zealand athletes participating at the 1998 Commonwealth Games were sent questionnaires three weeks before and immediately after the Games. Results revealed that athletes employed a variety of strategies to help them cope with their most stressful experience. Stressor expectedness, however, was not related to coping strategy use or performance and coping evaluations. Significant differences were also observed in the cognitive appraisals of athletes facing expected and unexpected stressors. Unexpected stressors were perceived as more threatening than expected stressors. In addition, athletes indicated a significantly greater tendency to hold back or hesitate from responding or acting in the face of unexpected stressors in comparison to expected stressors. Finally, a modest but significant relationship was observed between coping strategy effectiveness and coping automaticity.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2002|