Abigail P. Cooley1, Andrew Thornton2, Jennifer A. Bunn, FACSM2, Paula Parker-Fordyce1. 1Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC. 2Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX.

BACKGROUND: Psychological hardiness encompasses three components: commitment, control, and challenge. Those low in hardiness have poor coping mechanisms and increased stress; conversely, those with high hardiness are more adaptable, more coachable, have higher concentration rates, experience less stress, and report lower levels of burnout. Research has shown athletes possess more hardiness than their non-athlete counterparts. Prior studies have shown various lacrosse positions take on different physical workloads, which may also affect hardiness. The purpose of this study was to determine the differences in psychological hardiness in female collegiate lacrosse players among year classification and position. METHODS: The Dispositional Resilience Scale-15 (DRS-15) was used to measure psychological hardiness at the beginning of a training year in 25 female Division I lacrosse athletes. Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to evaluate differences in hardiness and the three subscales by position (attacker, midfielder, and defender) and year classification (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior). RESULTS: By position, there was no difference in the hardiness subscales for commitment (p = .062), control (p = .182), or challenge (p = .674). There was a positional difference for total hardiness (p = .037), with midfielders (23.3 ± 2.4) exhibiting lower rates than attackers (28.6 ± 3.2, p = .039), but not defenders (26.6 ± 7.5, p = .162). For classification, there was not a difference found in commitment (p = .182), control (p = .485), or challenge (p = .795). Total hardiness among classifications was found to not be different either (range of 25.3-30.0, p = .332). CONCLUSIONS: The analyses show that players do not demonstrate a difference in hardiness subscales, by either position or classification, but midfielders showed lower hardiness than attackers. This information assists coaches to evaluate tolerance to training load, formulate more effective practices, maximize performance, and demonstrates how different positions respond to stressors. Based on this analysis, midfielders are more adaptable, resilient, and better stress-coping mechanisms for student-athletes, than attackers or defenders. GRANT: This research was funded in part by the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education.

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