The purpose of this study was to examine links between coping style, situational appraisals and the subsequent use of coping strategies in response to acute stress among competitive Australian basketball players (N = 190, 93 men and 97 women, ranging in age from 18 to 44 years). Regression analyses indicated that participants' approach and avoidance coping responses varied across four sport-related stressful situations. In addition, both personal and situational factors accounted for significant variation in players' approach coping responses, with situational factors better predictors of approach coping than personal dispositions. For avoidance coping, situational appraisals (i.e. perceived stress and controllability) were again better predictors than personal dispositions. The results lend credence to the interactional (contextual) model of coping in which participants' use of coping strategies is at least a partial function of situational demands.