Thinking aloud: Investigating stressors and associated coping strategies of cricket bowlers during a competitive match

Mike MCGREARY, Amy Whitehead, Phil Birch, Martin Eubank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review


Stressors and coping in cricket bowlers have yet to be explicitly examined. The present study aimed to investigate stressors and coping verbalisations of cricket bowlers during a competitive match using a Think Aloud (TA) method. TA provides access to a participant’s immediate short-term memory and overcomes limitations associated with retrospective methods such as recall bias and memory decay. Six semi-elite club level cricket bowlers were selected to verbalise their thoughts during a bowling spell in a real-life competitive match using TA. Verbalisations were recorded using an audio device and transcripts were thematically analysed to generate relevant stressors and coping themes. Findings indicated stressors and coping strategies varied throughout cricket bowling performance. Results also highlighted how stressors and coping responses represent a dynamic and recursive process and do not occur in isolation of one of another. Stressors were made up of organisational and competitive stressors and coping responses were coded using problem-focussed coping and emotion-focussed coping strategies. The findings from this study have extended previous literature by further understanding the stressors and coping responses of cricket bowlers by adopting a novel method of data collection, within an ecologically valid environment of real-life cricket competition. Applied implications and future research suggestions are discussed accordingly within the concluding remarks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)972-989
JournalQualitiative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • cognitions
  • competition
  • concurrent verbalisations
  • think aloud
  • thought processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Thinking aloud: Investigating stressors and associated coping strategies of cricket bowlers during a competitive match'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this