Psychological strategies included by strength and conditioning coaches in applied strength and conditioning

Jon N. Radcliffe, Paul Comfort, Tom Fawcett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)
    397 Downloads (Pure)


    This study provided the basis by which professional development needs can be addressed and add to the applied sport psychology literature from an underresearched sport domain. This study endeavored to use qualitative methods to explore the specific techniques applied by the strength and conditioning professional. Eighteen participants were recruited for interview, through convenience sampling, drawn from a previously obtained sample. Included in the study were 10 participants working within the United Kingdom, 3 within the United States, and 5 within Australia offering a cross section of experience from ranging sport disciplines and educational backgrounds. Participants were interviewed using semistructured interviews. Thematic clustering was used by interpretative phonological analysis to identify common themes. The practitioners referred to a wealth of psychological skills and strategies that are used within strength and conditioning. Through thematic clustering, it was evident that a significant emphasis is on the development or maintenance of athlete self-confidence specifically with a large focus on goal setting. Similarly, albeit to a lesser extent, there was a notable attention on skill acquisition and arousal management strategies. The strategies used by the practitioners consisted of a combination of cognitive strategies and behavioral strategies. It is important to highlight the main psychological strategies that are suggested by strength and conditioning coaches themselves to guide professional development toward specific areas. Such development should strive to develop coaches' awareness of strategies to develop confidence, regulate arousal, and facilitate skill and technique development.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2641-2654
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2015


    • activation
    • attentional focusing
    • confidence
    • goal setting
    • motivation
    • professional development
    • skill acquisition


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