Coping responses to failure and success among elite athletes and performing artists

Artur Poczwardowski, David E. Conroy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


This qualitative study identified and categorized the coping responses to failure and success of 16 elite athletes and performing artists. Data from individual, in-depth interviews were inductively analyzed for content and yielded 36 coping strategies (as lower-order themes). The identified strategies extended descriptive lists of coping behaviors reported in the performance psychology literature. Categories in coping-such as problem-focused, emotion-focused, appraisal-focused, avoidance-focused, and failing in coping-were used to organize the results. Cross-domain comparisons revealed a number of qualitative differences, such as "greater motivational changes after failure" being reported only by athletes and "letting ego go in an attempt to improve performance" reported only by performing artists. Cross-domain studies hold promise for clarifying the psychological aspects of performance for sport psychology consultants, whose services are increasingly invited by nonsport clients. Accounts of general, domain-specific, and individual patterns in coping behaviors can guide future research and consulting efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-329
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Applied Sport Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology


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