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Implementing a pressure inurement training program to optimize cognitive appraisal, emotion regulation, and sport self-confidence in a women’s state cricket team

van Rens, F.E.C.A., Burgin, M. and Morris-Binelli, K. (2021) Implementing a pressure inurement training program to optimize cognitive appraisal, emotion regulation, and sport self-confidence in a women’s state cricket team. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 33 (4). pp. 402-419.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1080/10413200.2019.1706664
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Abstract

Athletes’ responses to stressors affect their performance under pressure. Pressure inurement training (PIT) is a form of stress exposure training which is used to optimize athletes’ stress responses. In this study, we implemented a 4-week PIT program in a state team of female cricket players. We evaluated the difference in players’ cognitive appraisal, emotion regulation, and sport self-confidence before and after the program, and evaluated their experiences of the program. Combined, the results of our multimethod pragmatist approach indicated that PIT is a promising intervention strategy. Estimates of effect sizes showed medium, positive effects of PIT on challenge appraisal and self-confidence, a small, negative effect on threat appraisal, and a small, positive effect on reappraisal. No effect on suppression was found. Furthermore, results from focus groups suggested that PIT made the players’ training sessions more representative of game situations, increased the purpose of the training sessions, provided awareness of emotion regulation and cognitive appraisal under pressure, and allowed practice of psychological skills important for performance under pressure. The players emphasized the importance of continuously monitoring the stressor difficulty level and stressor significance for the duration of the PIT program, and reported experiencing negative affect during the program. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.

Lay summary: This study showed that a pressure inurement training program likely optimizes female cricket players’ stress responses when performing under pressure. Players perceived that the programe made their training sessions more representative of match situations, increased the purpose of the training sessions, and increased awareness of their responses to stressors.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
Publisher: Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis Group
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/61540
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