This study sought to explore highly-skilled soccer players' perceptions of how contextual factors influence their decision making during matches.Design:
A qualitative design was used in which individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight professional male soccer players aged between 18 and 22 years.Method:
An interview schedule was designed to explore the perceived influence of a range of situational factors on decision making during matches. The interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. The data were analysed via an inductive thematic analysis.Results:
Seven themes were identified from the data. The four dynamic contextual themes were: (a) personal performance, (b) score status, (c) momentum, and (d) external/coach instructions. The three static contextual themes were: (a) match importance, (b) personal pressures, and (c) preparation.Conclusions:
The results highlight the importance of considering the dynamic and static context within which highly-skilled soccer players make decisions.