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characteristics. If only one characteristic is being studied, then the best test would be

one specific for that characteristic. However, when trying to predict success in a sport

like gymnastics, or trying to identify one of several psychological constructs to

determine strengths and weaknesses, the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory-28 (ACSI-28;

Smith, Schutz, Smoll, & Ptacek (1995) has emerged as one of the best.

The Athletic Coping Skills Inventory - 28

The Athletic Coping Skills Inventory-28 (ACSI-28) measures the factors

deemed crucial to success in competitive athletic performance (LeUnes, Bourgeois, &

Guarnieri, 1999). A description of the ACSI-28’s sub-scales are as follows:

Coping with Adversity: Remains positive and enthusiastic even when things are going

badly; remains calm and controlled; can quickly bound back from mistakes and

setbacks.

Peaking under Pressure: challenged rather than threatened by pressure situations and

performs well under pressure; a clutch performer.

Goal Setting and Mental Preparation: Sets and works toward specific performance

goals; plans and mentally prepares herself for competition and clearly has a “game

plan”.

Concentration: Not easily distracted; able to focus on the task at hand in both practice

and competition situations, even when adverse or unexpected situations occur.

Freedom from Worry: Does not put pressure on herself by worrying about performing

poorly or making mistakes; does not worry about what others will think if she performs

poorly.

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