International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
The present study explored the experiences of three football goalkeepers coping with negative media coverage. Goalkeeping is a hard position to play as you become scrutinized from all angles, and keepers are often blamed for losses by the media. The study of the media as a stressor is a relatively unexplored field. In this investigation, we chose qualitative semi-structured interviews as an explorative method. The respondents who were interviewed came from three different teams in a European Premier Division. Results revealed that the coping strategies used by the three goalkeepers may be organized into three major categories; social support, avoidance and problem-focused coping. The evaluation of the coach meant more than the game reports printed in the press. To cope with the perceived negative content in the media, the goalkeepers avoided buying, reading or watching news reports, or giving interviews on match day. With experience, the goalkeepers reported getting better in focusing on the task and the next move, and did not worry as much about the match reports. Experience seemed to be crucial for this specialist position.
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