South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation

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Thought sampling of cricketers during batting

Lynn Slogrove, Justus R. Potgieter, Cheryl D. Foxcroft


Researchers and practitioners have expressed the need for the use of qualitative methodological techniques in sports psychology research. In response to this challenge, the s applied a multiple-case study research strategy and in-depth interviews to identify the experiences of three potentially elite, top-order cricket batsmen during batting. The content analysis of the thought-sampling data obtained from nine interviews (i.e., a baseline interview followed by interviews subsequent to one good and one poor batting innings for each participant) revealed three major dimensions, namely, cognitions, affect and related behaviours. Within the cognitive dimension, four categories were identified, namely, task-focused thoughts, where strategy thoughts were predominant, positive / motivational thoughts such as self-praise, negative / inappropriate thoughts such as premeditation of shots and worries and doubts, and lastly, assorted thoughts. The affect dimension comprised categories of positive / normal affective states and negative affective states. The categories of related behaviours were batting strategy, behavioural routines, inter-personal issues, observation, physical practice, reaction to unfavourable situations, visual focus and warm-up. Based on the findings of the study, implications for practice are outlined.

(S. African J. for Research in Sport, Physical Ed. and Recreation: 2003 25 (1): 97-114)

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