Team resilience in high-performance women’s football: contextual stressors and opportunities for development

Szabadics, A., Morgan, P., Sarkar, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-8338-8500, McEwan, D. and McCormack, F., 2024. Team resilience in high-performance women’s football: contextual stressors and opportunities for development. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. ISSN 1041-3200

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The purpose of this study was to conduct a pre-intervention team resilience needs assessment in the context of high-performance women’s football. The needs assessment included a review of the literature, focus group discussions, and input from an expert steering group. Following scoping meetings with senior personnel from the National Governing Body, teams in the top two tiers of a professional women’s football league and within the academy structure were contacted. Five focus groups made up of football players were conducted. Altogether, 27 participants (Mage = 23.96, SD = 4.49) took part. The focus groups were analyzed using reflexive thematic analysis from a critical realist standpoint. The study identified the contextual stressors that high-performance women’s football teams encounter (i.e., organizational stressors arising from a newly professionalized environment and on-pitch stressors arising from low social resources), effective team resilience practices currently employed by group members (i.e., establishing a strong foundation for high quality relationships; unity in managing pressure; and learning from setbacks to inform future preparation for adversity) and the perceived gaps for team resilience development (i.e., limited effectiveness and inconsistent use of deliberate pressure training; inadequate psycho-social resources; and lack of effective proactive group level strategies during pressure). The study highlighted the importance of a systematic needs assessment within an Intervention Mapping Framework prior to undertaking an intervention as several nuances to the specific context of high-performance women’s football were identified.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Applied Sport Psychology
Creators: Szabadics, A., Morgan, P., Sarkar, M., McEwan, D. and McCormack, F.
Publisher: Informa UK Limited
Date: 6 June 2024
ISSN: 1041-3200
Rights: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Applied Sport Psychology on 6 June 2024, available at:
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 03 Jul 2024 15:01
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2024 15:01

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