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An interpretive description of the conceptualisations of the taper process from the perspective of elite swimmers and swim coaches

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Max Stone


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Objectives: The overall aim of this study is to examine the psychological factors associated with the taper in elite swimming. Specifically, to identify the causes and perceived impact of these psychological factors and how to change them, and what effect they have on athletes perceived performance capabilities before and during competition. Design: Congruent with the exploratory nature and social, cultural and context dependent object of inquiry, semi-structured interviews will be used to collect data within an interpretive description (ID) design. ID is a naturalistic, inductive method of identifying and organising themes and linkages across participants. When data is collectively analysed, ID attempts to create explanations pertaining to participant’s motives and present them in a manner which has applied implications for practitioners. Methods: Swimmers and coaches will be purposefully sampled and interviewed in private rooms at swimming pools and training centres. Interviews will be conducted within a responsive interviewing model and transcribed verbatim. Data will be analysed concurrent to collection and used to iteratively inform the studies’ direction. Data analysis will begin with familiarisation of the transcripts, followed by ‘big picture’ analysis and the identification of themes, reoccurring patterns and linkages. Meaning and motives with reference to the social context will then be interpreted. Potential conclusions: In holistically identifying the psychological factors associated with tapering we hope to develop recommendations for practitioners in intervening during the taper, broaden the scope of psychological research within the tapering literature, and encourage further examination of the psychological factors involved in the taper process.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stone MJ, Knight CJ, Shearer C, Shearer DA

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: The Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology Conference

Year of Conference: 2016

Print publication date: 12/12/2016

Online publication date: 12/12/2016

Acceptance date: 25/07/2016

Publisher: The British Psychological Society