Article Title



K. Taylor1, C. Brewer1, O. Buchholz1, K. Wiegand1, S. Matthews1, J. Roethlingshoefer2

1Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA; 2OWN IT Coaching, Miami, FL

Psychosocial factors, such as grit, resilience, and mental toughness, are shown to correlate with athletic performance and overall athlete well-being. Recently, personalized wearable technology has been highlighted to enhance athlete well-being; yet there is little evidence to support this. Further, research has indicated that wearable devices may be more effective when partnered with individual coaching. PURPOSE: To determine the effects of wearable devices and a holistic, athlete-facing coaching app on psychosocial factors in Division I basketball athletes. METHODS: Division I basketball athletes (n = 12; 58% female) reported their grit, resilience, and mental toughness using validated surveys before and after 5 weeks of wearable device use. Athletes were randomized to either a wearable only (W; n = 6) or wearable and coaching (WC; n = 6) group. The WC group received 4 weeks of individualized coaching through an athlete-facing coaching app. Differences in psychosocial factors were analyzed using ANCOVA with baseline values as covariates. RESULTS: There was a significant difference in perseverance grit between the two groups (W: 4.1 ± 0.2 vs. WC: 4.3 ± 0.5; p = 0.01). There was no significant difference in passion grit between the two groups (W: 3.1 ± 0.3 vs. WC: 3.8 ± 0.4; p = 0.15). Further, there were no differences in resilience (p = 0.65) or mental toughness (p = 0.34) between the two groups after controlling for baseline values. Resilience (W: 78.8 ± 6.3 vs. WC: 88.7 ± 8.5) and mental toughness (W: 37.3 ± 3.2 vs. WC: 40.2 ± 2.1) levels were slightly, but non-significantly, higher in the WC group compared to the wearable only. CONCLUSION: Perseverance grit is significantly higher in athletes who use a wearable device combined with a holistic coaching app than those only using a wearable device. There were no significant differences in passion grit, resilience, or mental toughness. However, scores were ~10% higher in the WC group compared to the wearable only, which may be meaningful for athlete well-being and success. Notably, these findings are limited by a small sample size and a short intervention duration (i.e., 4-5 weeks). Further research is needed to determine the long-term effects of wearable device use and coaching on psychosocial factors in a larger, diverse sample of college athletes.

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