Thinking Aloud: Stress and coping in junior cricket batsman during challenge and threat states.

Mike MCGREARY, Amy Whitehead, Robert Morris, Martin Eubank

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


The present study examined stress and coping of cricket batsmen during challenge and threat states using the Think-Aloud method. Ten male elite-level junior cricket batsmen took part in the study. A repeated measures design was implemented, with participants verbalizing while both in (a) a threat state and (b) a challenge state. Participants were required to score 36 runs in 30 balls during the threat and challenge conditions. Verbalizations were subsequently transcribed verbatim and analyzed for stressors, coping strategies, and any other reoccurring themes. A paired samples t-test was conducted to examine differences in the number of verbalizations made for each theme between conditions. Ten secondary themes were grouped into four primary themes; these included (a) stressors, (b) problem-focused coping, (c) emotion-focused coping, and (d) gathering information. There were significant differences( pfound between any other themes. Thus, during a threat state, participants reported significantly more stressor verbalizations compared to a challenge state, while there were no significant differences in coping strategies reported (p>0.05). This finding offers a potential explanation for why athletic performance diminishes when in a threat state, as athletes then experience a greater number of stressors but do not report engaging in more coping strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1095-1117
JournalPerceptual and Motor Skills
Issue number6
Early online date8 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


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