Cardiff Metropolitan University
Gucciardi, Jackson, Hanton & Reid (2015) JSMS Accepted version.pdf (372.04 kB)

Motivational correlates of mentally tough behaviours in tennis

Download (372.04 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2022-05-03, 16:04 authored by Daniel F. Gucciardi, Ben Jackson, Sheldon Hanton, Machar Reid

 Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine motivational correlates of mentally tough behaviours among adolescent tennis players. Design: Two-phase study, involving the development of an informant-rated measure of mentally tough behaviours, followed by a cross-sectional survey including athlete and parent assessments of study variables. Methods: In Phase One, 17 adult, high-performance tennis coaches and 20 athletes participated in focus group interviews. Four scholars with expertise in performance psychology also completed a short, online survey. In Phase Two, a total of 347 adolescent tennis players (nmales = 184; nfemales = 163) aged 12–18 years (M = 13.93, SD = 1.47) and one respective parent took part in this study. An online multisection survey containing dimensions of passion, inspiration, fear of failure, and mentally tough behaviours was completed. Athletes self-reported all motivational variables, whereas parents rated their child solely on mentally tough behaviours. Results: Structural equation modelling revealed that harmonious passion (ˇ = .26, p < .01) and frequency of inspiration (ˇ = .32, p < .001) were associated with significantly higher levels of mentally tough behaviours. In contrast, fear of failure (ˇ = −.32, p < .001) and obsessive passion (ˇ = −.15, p < .01) were inversely related to mentally tough behaviours. Inspiration intensity was not significantly associated with mentally tough behaviour (ˇ = .13, p = .21). Conclusions: Motivational variables that are dispositional in nature, contextualised and contingent upon features of the environment, and concern one’s identity are important considerations for understanding mentally tough behaviours. 


Published in

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport




  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Gucciardi, D.F., Jackson, B., Hanton, S. and Reid, M. (2015) 'Motivational correlates of mentally tough behaviours in tennis', Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 18 (1), pp. 67-71

Print ISSN


Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Sheldon Hanton

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Mental Health and Wellbeing in Demanding Environments

Copyright Holder

  • © The Publisher


  • en

Usage metrics

    Culture, Policy and Professional Practice - Journal Articles


    Ref. manager