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“You’re only as good as your weakest link”: Implicit theories of golf ability

SLATER, Matthew J., SPRAY, Christopher M. and SMITH, Brett M. (2012) “You’re only as good as your weakest link”: Implicit theories of golf ability. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 13 (3). pp. 280-290. ISSN 14690292

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Abstract or description


The purpose of this study was to examine the antecedents, specificity, and ceiling effects of golfers’ implicit theories of sport ability.

The present study employs a qualitative research design. A constructivist grounded theory methodology was adopted.

Participants (N = 8) were asked to describe their conceptions of golf ability. All responses were recorded, transcribed, and the data were analyzed through a series of iterations, which led to the identification of three dimensions that constitute golfers’ beliefs about ability.

The three dimensions were: acquirable ability, stable ability, and developing natural attributes. Categories within these dimensions offer initial evidence for the role of social agents and the inherent culture of golf in shaping co-existing beliefs in relation to sport ability. Beliefs with regards to ceiling effects of ability are reported, with one theme proposing a ceiling to sport ability, and a contrasting category exemplifying the belief that there is always room for improvement.

The present study contributes to the field by offering initial evidence for the antecedents, specificity, and ceiling effects of golfers’ conceptions of their sport ability. Implications, both theoretical in terms of future research, and practical with regards to practitioners’ role in educating athletes and cultivating an environment conducive to the perception that sport ability is acquirable, are offered.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Health Sciences > Psychology, Sport and Exercise
Depositing User: Matthew SLATER
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2013 11:44
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:40

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