Journal article Open Access

The importance of contextualisation when developing pressure intervention: An illustration among age-group professional soccer players

Kent, Sofie; Devonport, Tracey; Lane, Andrew; & Nicholls, Wendy

The need for interventions that help adolescents cope with pressure is widely recognised (Yeager et al., 2018). However, a recent systematic review indicates that contextualising the pressure intervention is often overlooked (Kent et al., 2018) which likely detracts from intervention effectiveness. The focus of contextualisation is to identify from the perspective of intended intervention recipients, pressureinducing incentives, and factors factor facilitative and debilitative of performance under pressure. The present case study illustrates a process of contextualisation among age-group professional soccer players. Thirty-two male academy soccer players (11–12 years, n = 8; 13–14 years, n = 8; 15–16 years, n = 8; 17–18 years, n = 8) participated in one of eight focus groups. Informed by Baumeister and Shower’s (1986) definition of pressure five situational and two personal incentives were deductively identified. Fletcher and Sarkar’s (2012) model of psychological resilience was used to identify perceived protective and debilitative factors of performance under pressure. Supporting contextualisation, recommendation for integrating the identified incentives and protective factors into a pressure training intervention are presented. The resultant understandings are also of value to those working with adolescents.

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