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Title: Stress episodes and adaptation in the National Hockey League according to Canadian professional hockey players from Ontario
Authors: Battochio, Randy Cesar
Keywords: National Hockey League;adaptation;stress;maladaptation
Issue Date: 17-Mar-2014
Publisher: Laurentian University of Sudbury
Abstract: Adaptation in professional sport is the professional athlete’s capacity to act and react effectively to destabilizing stress episodes so that an internal sense of emotional and psychological balance is restored (Schinke, Tenenbaum, Lidor & Battochio, 2010). Professional ice-hockey players must overcome numerous stressors throughout their careers in the National Hockey League (NHL). Though sport researchers have conducted preliminary studies about the stress and adaptation processes of NHL players, small participant numbers and the use of a structured interview guide limited to rookie and veteran career stages limit the conclusions. Based on these limitations, the purpose of the present dissertation was to provide a comprehensive depiction of the stress episodes and processes that lead to adaptation and maladaptation in the NHL. Twenty-three current and former NHL players were recruited for individual interviews, which were then analysed using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) inductive thematic analysis. As a result, stress episodes and the subsequent strategies attempted to reach adaptation or maladaptation could be housed either within a career stage or across an NHL player’s career. Career stages were (a) entry into the NHL, (b) remaining in the NHL, and (c) becoming an All-Star. Across-career stress involved (a) high profile team, (b) injury, and (c) relocation. Subsequently, the participants identified pathways designed to alleviate or manage the stressors situated within each stress episode. Through retrospection, the participants decided whether their pathways taken during various stress episodes were adaptive. Recommendations were then proposed by these athletes for aspiring NHL players or maladaptive. Implications for sport researchers and practitioners (e.g., coaches, mental performance consultants) are also provided within the conclusion.
Appears in Collections:Doctoral Theses
Human Studies and Interdisiplinarity - Doctoral Theses

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