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Instrument

Psychological variables were assessed for each gymnast using the Athletic

Coping Skills Inventory-28 (ACSI-28; Smith et al., 1995). The ACSI-28 is a self-report

questionnaire developed using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. The

questionnaire measures seven sport specific psychological coping skills as well as a

total personal coping resource score. Specifically, the ACSI-28 provides indices of

seven psychological coping skill subscales: (a) Coping with Adversity, (b) Peaking

under Pressure, (c) Goal Setting and Mental Preparation, (d) Concentration, (e)

Freedom from Worry, (f) Confidence and Achievement Motivation, and (g)

Coachability. The scales are then summed to yield a Personal Coping Resources score,

which should reflect a multifaceted psychological skills construct.

Procedure

A packet containing a two-page questionnaire was sent to the 18 gymnastics

club head coaches and/or directors. At the top of the first page subjects were instructed

to fill out a brief demographic summary. The categories included age, ethnicity,

gender, and gymnastics level. The packet also included parental consent forms, pencils,

an audiotape, containing the instructions and the survey questions, and a postage paid

envelope for the return of the questionnaires. All 28 statements were formatted on a

four point Likert type scale with response choices being "Almost Never", "Sometimes",

"Often", and "Almost Always".

The assessment packages were mailed in the winter of 2002-2003. Follow-up

telephone calls were made to encourage coaches and directors to return the completed

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