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.
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