Athletes and Coaches through the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative View of Goal Management

Costa, Sergio, De Gregorio, Eugenio, Zurzolo, Lisa, Santi, Giampaolo, Ciofi, Edoardo G., Di Gruttola, Francesco, Morgilli, Luana, Montesano, Cristina, Cavallerio, Francesca, Bertollo, Maurizio and di Fronso, Selenia (2022) Athletes and Coaches through the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative View of Goal Management. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (9). p. 5085. ISSN 1660-4601

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Since the end of 2019 and throughout 2020, the world has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The sports world suddenly had to deal with a massive reorganization of events with important implications for the physical and psychological preparation of athletes and coaches. The purpose of this study was to explore how these changes impacted coaches’ and athletes’ goal-setting strategies and their experience of goal adjustment. As part of a wider mixed-method project involving 2162 coaches and 1354 athletes, an online qualitative survey was used, and data collected were analyzed using reflexive thematic analysis. Findings highlighted three overarching themes, in response to goal adjustment: “Moving on toward new goals”, “Letting go of goals”, and “Trying to hold on”, with several themes and sub-themes identifying different nuances of athletes’ and coaches’ experiences. The implications of such findings for the mental preparation of high-level athletes are discussed in two ways. Firstly, in light of existing literature on goal setting from an applied perspective; secondly, in the broader perspective of the sports culture and the application of our themes to other challenging moments that sports professionals might encounter.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: goal setting, goal adjustment, lockdown, qualitative survey, reflexive thematic analysis
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
COVID-19 Research Collection
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2022 08:46
Last Modified: 31 May 2022 16:18

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