Endurance athletes’ current and preferred ways of getting psychological guidance

Alister McCormick*, Paul A. Anstiss, David Lavallee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
92 Downloads (Pure)


This study examined how people who participate in endurance events currently get guidance on psychological aspects of their events and their preferred ways for receiving guidance from researchers and practitioners, so that psychologists can use these ways to disseminate research-derived knowledge. People in the United Kingdom (N = 574) who participated competitively or non-competitively in running (5 km and greater), road cycling (time trials, road races, or sportives), or triathlon events completed an online survey. The main questions addressed ways they have intentionally used to find psychological guidance, how they have got guidance without intentionally looking for it, and their preferences for receiving guidance. The most common ways of intentionally finding guidance were looking on websites (48.1% of participants), asking other athletes (46.7%), and asking coaches (32.5%). Athletes most commonly tried to find guidance on coping, motivation, and managing nerves. Posts on social media (51.3%), spoken word (48.0%), and magazines (45.9%) were common ways of unintentionally getting guidance, and athletes (68.1%) and coaches (45.9%) were most often the source of unintentionally received guidance. Websites (49.5%) and online videos (41.8%) were the most preferred ways to receive guidance, although researchers and practitioners working with coaches (35.5%) and event organisers (34.8%), and magazines (34.7%) were also preferable. Psychologists are encouraged to disseminate guidance to endurance athletes using websites, online videos, social media, magazines, and by working with coaches and event organisers. The data can also inform the design of intervention efficacy and effectiveness trials that deliver interventions in these ecologically valid and preferable formats.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-200
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number2
Early online date28 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2020


  • Cycling
  • Running
  • Triathlon
  • Knowledge translation
  • Research dissemination


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