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

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Coping strategies of soccer players

MR Plaatjie, JR Potgieter


This study focused on coping strategies used by soccer (football) players by exploring the role of the environment, ethnicity and culture in players’ response to stressful situations. An interpretive-qualitative research methodology was applied with a sample of 33 professional soccer players. The subjects were representative in terms of race, age, experience and playing positions. Semi-structured interviews and biographical questionnaires were used to gather information. The data were analysed by means of an interpretive or thematic content analysis procedure. Results showed that there were similarities and differences in the way players coped with a variety of stressors.

Key words: Stress; Coping strategies; Soccer; Football; Ethnicity.

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