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Thinking aloud: an exploration of cognitions in professional snooker

Welsh, James C.; Dewhurst, Stephen A.; Perry, John L.

Authors

James C. Welsh

John L. Perry

Abstract

Objectives: Presently, there is no exploration into the cognitive processes of super-elite and elite professional snooker players during real-time performance. Therefore, this study explored the cognitions of seven professional snooker players during real-time solo practice performance. Design: A Think Aloud (TA) protocol analysis. Method: This involved players verbalizing and explaining their thoughts within naturalistic practice environments. Player’s verbalizations were recorded during each solo practice performance, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed via protocol analysis. Results: Analyses revealed an array of continuous reactive-adaptive cognitions relat-ing to stressors and coping strategies during performance, as well as general snooker-specific related thoughts. Specifically, the results highlighted key stressor themes which were coded as: Table Conditions, Distractions, and Mistakes. Our main finding was: Shot Preparation being essential to problem-focused coping, with Rationalizing integral to emotion-focused coping. Further results highlighted the visualperceptual and cognitive expertise of players, with regards to identification of problem balls and cueball spatial awareness, insofar as unearthing the delib-erate structure to practice routines. Conclusions: The study’s original and novel findings lend further support to the transactional process of coping. Whilst accordingly, the utilization of TA significantly contributed to our limited understanding of super-elite and elite real-time cogni-tions in professional snooker and self-paced sports generally. Future research should continue to dissect the sport-specific nuances that underpin real-time performance, not only during prac-tices, but within competitive play. TA is an appropriate methodology to use in the domain-specific sport of snooker.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2018-05
Print ISSN 1469-0292
Electronic ISSN 1878-5476
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 36
Pages 197-208
Institution Citation Welsh, J. C., Dewhurst, S. A., & Perry, J. L. (2018). Thinking aloud: an exploration of cognitions in professional snooker. Psychology of sport and exercise, 36, (197-208). doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2018.03.003. ISSN 1469-0292
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2018.03.003
Keywords Coping; Think Aloud protocol; Professional snooker; Super-Elite; Cognitions; Practice
Publisher URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1469029217306763
Copyright Statement ©2018, Elsevier. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: Thinking Aloud: An exploration of cognitions in professional snooker; Journal Title: Psychology of Sport and Exercise; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version: http://dx.doi.org/10.10...psychsport.2018.03.003; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Copyright Statement
©2018, Elsevier. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/



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