Developing mental toughness: perceptions of elite female gymnasts

Richard Thelwell, B. Such, Neil Weston, J. Such, I. Greenlees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study examined how elite female gymnasts developed their mental toughness. Following semistructured interviews with 10 elite performers, inductive content analysis revealed four general dimensions that contributed to the development of their mental toughness. These included the sport process, sporting personnel, nonsporting personnel, and environmental influences. Although many of the findings reflect those from previous research but within a specific sport, a unique and unexpected finding related to the cultural differences experienced by the athletes throughout their development. The findings provide further details of how mental toughness could be developed in addition to future research and applied issues being discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-188
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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