Personal strivings of mentally tough Australian Rules footballers

James D. Clark, Clifford J. Mallett, Tristan J. Coulter

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung

7 Zitate (Scopus)


The current study examined the personal strivings of mentally tough Australian Rules footballers. Data collection occurred in two phases. Phase one included conducting two focus groups with coaches and performance staff from an Australian Football League (AFL) club/franchise, to gain a culturally-specific mental toughness (MT) conceptualisation. This conceptualisation was used to identify mentally tough footballers (n = 7) from the club's playing group. In phase two, the selected footballers completed a personal goal strivings exercise (e.g., listing strivings, rating their commitment to them), which was subsequently coded for general and motivational themes, through nomothetic and idiographic lenses. Nomothetic analysis revealed broad trends consistent with previous MT research. Key themes included a high commitment to goals, high confidence, and achievement orientation. Focusing on four specific players, an idiographic analysis revealed different motivational agendas, including characteristically mentally tough motives, narcissistic motives, communion and growth motives, and vulnerable/anxious motives. In conclusion, despite broad themes aligning with current perspectives of MT, on an individual level, mentally tough athletes’ motivational concerns may vary. These findings stress the potential importance of examining goals as a central construct in conceptualising MT. Moreover, they challenge a universal assumption that MT operates in the same way across all performers, highlighting the need for greater idiographic analysis in MT research.

FachzeitschriftPsychology of Sport and Exercise
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Jan. 2022
Extern publiziertJa


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