Do Elite Coaches from Disability Sport Use Psychological Techniques to Improve Their Athletes’ Sports Performance?

  •  Tânia Bastos    
  •  Rui Corredeira    
  •  Michel Probst    
  •  António M. Fonseca    


Goal-setting, imagery, relaxation and self-talk are psychological strategies crucial for successful psychological preparation and consequently for the improvement of the athlete’s sport performance. The coaches have an important role in the implementation of psychological skills training and may contribute to increase the use of psychological strategies by their athletes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the importance assigned to a group of psychological strategies (i.e., goal-setting, imagery, relaxation and self-talk) and its use in practice and competition setting by top elite coaches from disability sport. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted on ten elite Portuguese coaches. Content analysis was the qualitative methodology used for data analysis. Globally, the coaches acknowledge the importance of all four psychological strategies approached. However, the examination of the coaching routines on the application of psychological strategies suggested an undeveloped use of most of the strategies, specifically in the practice setting. Relaxation and self-talk were the most underused strategies. All the coaches reported the use of goal-setting in both the practice and competition setting. Overall, the present findings raise concerns about the effective contribution of Portuguese elite coaches for the development of successful psychological preparation among athletes with disabilities.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • Issn(Print): 1918-7211
  • Issn(Onlne): 1918-722X
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: quarterly

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