Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Kinesiology

Supervisor

Dr. Craig Hall

Abstract

Mental toughness has been recognized as a key component necessary for optimal athletic achievement. The use of mental toughness training programs has been found to help athletes develop specific psychological skills associated with mental toughness, such as goal setting, positive self-talk, mental imagery, and relaxation. By developing these skills, athletes are better able to control levels of competition anxiety, increase levels of self-confidence, and ultimately, improve performance results. The main purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a specifically designed mental toughness training program for varsity level track and field athletes. Participants included 4 varsity track and field athletes from Western University (Mage = 20.27; SD = 1.26). Although results did not specifically indicate that the mental toughness training intervention positively influenced performance results, all participants reported that the intervention was effective for controlling levels of competition anxiety, increasing self-confidence, as well as improving performance in practice. Additionally, all participants reported high satisfaction with the intervention. Results from this study highlight the importance of mental toughness training for varsity athletes, and can furthermore encourage both coaches and athletes to devote an appropriate amount of training time to the development of psychological skills essential to success in sport.


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