Previous studies looking at the sources of stress in sport have generally overlooked the unique experiences of professional athletes participating in team sports. This paper describes the results of a qualitative study aimed at identifying the sources of stress experienced by a cross-section of professional Australian footballers. Players from two Australian Football League clubs took part in the study involving in-depth, one-to-one interviews and focus group discussions. The results revealed that players identified sources of stress that went beyond those associated with the competitive event (such as poor performances) and included a lack of feedback, difficulty balancing football and study commitments, and job insecurity. The influence of both competition and non-competition sources of stress parallels previous research involving non-professional athletes and indicates that the entire sporting experience needs to be taken into account when developing stress management strategies.
Online Publication Date: 01 March 2002
Field of Research
170114 Sport and Exercise Psychology
Socio Economic Objective
970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
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