The influence of mindset and coping on psychological attributes in athletes

I’m member of the Diocese of Maitland’s Human Resources team and when I first started in HR, I experienced performance anxiety when speaking in public or doing training workshops – this is because I am a natural introvert.

However, over time and practice, I have learnt to be more comfortable when public speaking.

In my other life as a cricket and soccer mum, I’ve watched elite junior athletes for several years.  I have observed that players of similar sports ability often differ significantly in how they cope under pressure. I have also been studying psychology for the past five years.

This has sparked my interest in a research project for my Honours year which will examine the psychological attributes that may influence performance anxiety in athletes.

The attributes I am measuring are resilience, mental toughness and coping. My project will also look at the extent of how the “growth mindset” interacts with the other variables, especially how athletes cope with performance anxiety and how this may influence athletic performance.  So this research aims to examine how certain psychological attributes operate together to influence athletic performance.

Calling all athletes

I will be surveying athletes from a local (recreational) level up to international level from a broad range of sports.

I would like Australian athletes, who are aged 16 and older and living in Australia, to participate in my Honours research project by completing an online survey. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete.

If you are interested in participating in my project, the key aspect is whether you currently compete as an athlete.

About the study

This study is anonymous and any data gathered in the course of the study will remain confidential.

No individual will be identified within any results reporting.

At the end of the survey, you will be invited to enter a draw to win one of five Rebel Sport gift certificates each worth $50.

Please note, this research project has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of New England, Australia (Approval No. HE18-084, valid to 03/05/2019).

Feel free to contact me with any questions about this research by email at

You may also contact my supervisor, Dr Dominic McNeil at or (02) 6773 2410.

Thank you in advance to those who wish to participate in my research project – and please feel free to share this link with other athletes.

Click here to take the survey. It will be open and available until 25 August.