Mental toughness (MT), a psychological construct, is pivotal in achieving peak athletic performance. The literature on MT, predominantly observational in nature, remains notably limited within the realm of dance. PURPOSE: To understand the impact of an MT intervention on dancers by examining score changes over time and identifying distinct response patterns through clustering. METHODS: Female athletes (N = 39; Mage = 19.86, SD = 1.21) participated in a structured intervention designed to enhance MT, with scores collected before the intervention, after, and at a 6-week follow-up. MT scores were collected using the Mental Toughness Index (MTI; 8 items; range = 1 - 7) covering eight key MT dimensions (e.g., buoyancy, emotion regulation). Participants with scores lower than 5 in MTI items received videos (0-5) addressing the specific MT dimension(s) (e.g., Item 7 measures Buoyancy). The analysis included only dancers in the intervention group (n = 27) and involved descriptive statistics to outline score distributions, paired t-tests to assess changes over time, Cohen's d to quantify effect sizes, and K-Means clustering to identify groups with similar response patterns. RESULTS: A) Descriptive Statistics: a) Mpre = 37.74, SD = 3.07; b) Mpost = 48.63, SD = 4.84; and c) Mretention = 46.54, SD = 4.96; B) Significance Tests: a) Pre vs. Post Intervention: t(26) = -10.831, p < .001, d = 2.64 and b) Post Intervention vs. 6 Weeks Later: t(26) = 1.679, p = 0.108, d = 2.15; and C) Clustering: a) Cluster 0 (8 athletes with significant improvement post-intervention but some decline in scores 6 weeks later): Mpre = 38.13, Mpost = 44.25, Mretention = 41.63; b) Cluster 1 (4 athletes had the lowest pre-intervention scores, showed significant improvement, and maintained or even slightly improved these gains 6 weeks later): Mpre = 33.75, Mpost = 45.25, Mretention = 47.75; and c) Cluster 2 (10 athletes with relatively high pre-intervention scores, showed the most substantial improvement post-intervention, which was mostly maintained 6 weeks later): Mpre = 39.70, Mpost = 52.40, Mretention = 50.60. CONCLUSION: The findings not only reveal notable improvements in MT immediately after the intervention, but high retention over a six-week period. This underscores the efficacy of this MT intervention in enhancing MT in dancers. The diversity in response patterns, as delineated by the clusters, highlights the importance of individualized approaches in MT training. Limitations include a convenience sample. Future studies should test longer retention intervals and explore more personalized interventions.



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