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Think Aloud: Acute Stress and Coping Strategies during Golf Performances

Nicholls, Adam R.; Polman, Remco C. J.; Nicholls, Adam; Polman, Remco C. J.


Adam R. Nicholls

Remco C. J. Polman

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Professor Adam Nicholls
Professor of Psychology/ Leader of the Sport Psychology and Coaching Group

Remco C. J. Polman


A limitation of the sport psychology coping literature is the amount of time between a stressful episode and the recall of the coping strategies used in the stressful event (Nicholls Polman, 2007). The purpose of this study was to develop and implement a technique to measure acute stress and coping during performance. Five high-performance adolescent golfers took part in Level 2 verbalization think aloud trials (Ericsson Simon, 1993), which involved participants verbalizing their thoughts, over six holes of golf. Verbal reports were audio-recorded during each performance, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using protocol analysis (Ericsson Simon, 1993). Stressors and coping strategies varied throughout the six holes, which support the proposition that stress and coping is a dynamic process that changes across phases of the same performance (Lazarus, 1999). The results also revealed information regarding the sequential patterning of stress and coping, suggesting that the golfers experienced up to five stressors before reporting a coping strategy. Think aloud appears a suitable method to collect concurrent stress and coping data.


Nicholls, A., & Polman, R. C. J. (2008). Think Aloud: Acute Stress and Coping Strategies during Golf Performances. Anxiety, stress, and coping, 21(3), 283-294.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 31, 2008
Online Publication Date Aug 18, 2009
Publication Date Jul 1, 2008
Print ISSN 1061-5806
Electronic ISSN 1477-2205
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 3
Pages 283-294
Keywords Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous); Developmental and Educational Psychology; Clinical Psychology; Psychiatry and Mental health
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