Sport Biofeedback: Exploring Implications and Limitations of Its Use

in The Sport Psychologist
View More View Less
  • 1 The University of Western Ontario
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $69.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $92.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $131.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $175.00

Biofeedback is among the various self-regulation techniques that mental performance consultants can utilize in their practice with athletes. Biofeedback produces psychophysiological assessments in real time to enhance awareness of thoughts and emotions. Quantitatively, research shows that biofeedback can facilitate self-regulation, allowing an athlete to gain control over psychophysiological responses that could be detrimental to performance. With technology becoming a widespread tool in monitoring psychophysiological states, an exploration of consultants’ use of biofeedback, their perceptions of effectiveness, and limitations of their use was warranted to qualitatively evaluate efficiency of the tool. A qualitative descriptive approach was taken through semistructured interviews with 10 mental performance consultants. Inductive reasoning uncovered three themes: positive implications, practical limitations, and equipment options. With biofeedback, athletes have the ability to develop a deeper level of self-awareness and thereby facilitate the use of self-regulation strategies intended for optimal performance states and outcomes.

Nelson Ferguson is with the Dept. of Geography, and Hall, the School of Kinesiology, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada.

Nelson Ferguson (knelso42@uwo.ca) is corresponding author.
  • Association for Applied Sport Psychology. (2019). Certification. Retrieved from https://appliedsportpsych.org/certification/

  • Bar-Eli, M., & Blumenstein, B. (2004). Performance enhancement in swimming: The effect of mental training with biofeedback. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 7(4), 454464. PubMed ID: 15712502. doi:10.1016/S1440-2440(04)80264-0.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bar-Eli, M., Dreshman, R., Blumenstein, B., & Weinstein, Y. (2002). The effect of mental training with biofeedback on the performance of young swimmers. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 51, 567581. doi:10.1111/1464-0597.00108.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Beauchamp, M.K., Harvey, R.H., & Beauchamp, P.H. (2012). An integrated biofeedback and psychological skills training program for Canada’s Olympic short-track speedskating team. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 6, 6784. doi:10.1123/jcsp.6.1.67.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Berger, R. (2013). Now I see it, now I don’t: Researcher’s position and reflexivity in qualitative research. Qualitative Research, 15(2), 219234. doi:10.1177/1468794112468475.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blumenstein, B., Bar-Eli, M., & Tenenbaum, G. (2002). Brain and body in sport and exercise: Biofeedback applications in performance enhancement. New York, NY: John Wiley.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bradshaw, C., Atkinson, S., & Dooby, O. (2017). Employing a qualitative description approach in health care research. Global Qualitative Nursing Research, 4, 2333393617742282. doi:10.1177/2333393617742282.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3, 77101. doi:10.1191/1478088706qp063oa.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2013). Successful Qualitative Research: A practical guide for beginners. London, UK: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • Braun, V., Clarke, V., & Rance, N. (2015). How to use thematic analysis with interview data. In A. Vossler & N. Moller (Eds.), The counselling and psychotherapy research handbook (pp. 183197). London, UK: Sage.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cowan, D., & Taylor, I.M. (2016). ‘I’m proud of what I achieved; I’m also ashamed of what I done’: A soccer coach’s tale of sport, status, and criminal behaviour. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 8, 505518. doi:10.1080/2159676X.2016.1206608.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DeWitt, D.J. (1980). Cognitive and biofeedback training for stress reduction with university students. Journal of Sport Psychology, 2, 288294. doi:10.1123/jsp.2.4.288.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Divsarnaz, B., Khalifeh, N., Divsarnaz, M., & Azimipoo, F. (2012). The effect of biofeedback training on the arousal of international women basketball player. International Journal of Arts & Sciences, 5(2), 3136.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dupee, M., Werthner, P., & Forneris, T. (2015). Managing the stress response: The use of biofeedback and neurofeedback with Olympic athletes. Biofeedback, 39, 9294. doi:10.5298/1081-5937-39.3.02.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Galloway, S.M. (2011). The effect of biofeedback on tennis service accuracy. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 9, 251266. doi:10.1080/1612197X.2011.614851.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Giblin, G., Tor, E., & Parrington, L. (2016). The impact of technology on elite sport performance. Sensoria: A Journal of Mind, Brain & Culture, 39.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gould, D., Tammen, V., Murphy, S., & May, J. (1989). An examination of U.S. Olympic sport psychology consultants and the services they provide. The Sport Psychologist, 3, 300312. doi:10.1123/tsp.3.4.300.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hall, C., Duncan, L., & McKay, C. (2014). Psychological interventions in sport, exercise & injury rehabilitation. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing Company.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hatzigeorgiadis, A., Galanis, E., Zourbanos, N., & Theodorakis, Y. (2014). Self-talk and competitive sport performance. Journal or Applied Sport Psychology, 26(1), 8295. doi:10.1080/10413200.2013.790095.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jiménez Morgan, S., & Molina Mora, J.A. (2017). Effects of heart rate variability biofeedback on performance: A systematic review. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 42, 235245. doi:10.1007/s10484-017-9364-2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Knight, C.J., & Holt, N.L. (2013). Factors that influence parents’ experiences at junior tennis tournaments and suggestions for improvement. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 2(3), 173189. doi:10.1037/a0031203.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lagos, L., Vaschillo, E., Vaschillo, B., Lehrer, P., Bates, M., & Pandina, R. (2008). Heart rate variability biofeedback as a strategy for dealing with competitive anxiety: A case study. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 36, 109115.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lagos, L., Vaschillo, E., Vaschillo, B., Lehrer, P., Bates, M., & Pandina, R. (2011). Virtual reality-assisted heart rate variability biofeedback as a strategy to improve golf performance: A case study. Biofeedback, 39, 1520. doi:10.5298/1081-5937-39.1.11.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Locke, E.A., & Latham, G.P. (1985). The application of goal setting to sports. Journal of Sport Psychology, 7, 205222. doi:10.1123/jsp.7.3.205.

  • Martindale, A., & Collins, D. (2010). But why does what works work? A response to Fifer, Henschen, Gould, and Ravizza 2008. The Sport Psychologist, 24, 113116. doi:10.1123/tsp.24.1.113.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mellalieu, S.D., Hanton, S., & Thomas, O. (2009). The effects of a motivational general- arousal imagery intervention upon preperformance symptoms in male rugby union players. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 10(1), 175185. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2008.07.003.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Muir, I., Munroe-Chandler, K.J., & Loughead, T. (2018). A qualitative investigation of young female dancers’ use of imagery. The Sport Psychologist, 32(4), 263274. doi:10.1123/tsp.2017-0123.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • O, J., Munroe-Chandler, K.J., Hall, C.R., & Hall, N.D. (2014). Using motivational general-mastery imagery to improve the self-efficacy of youth squash players. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 26, 6681. doi:10.1080/10413200.2013.778914.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Parahoo, K. (2014). Nursing research principles, process and issues (3rd ed.). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Patton, M. (2014). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • Paul, M., & Garg, K. (2012). The effect of heart rate variability biofeedback on performance psychology of basketball players. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 37(2), 131144. PubMed ID: 22402913. doi:10.1007/s10484-012-9185-2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Perkos, S., Theodorakis, Y., & Chroni, S. (2002). Enhancing performance and skill acquisition in novice basketball players with instructional self-talk. The Sport Psychologist, 16(4), 368383. doi:10.1123/tsp.16.4.368.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Perry, D.F. (2018). Examining the effects of a mindfulness-based biofeedback intervention on self-regulation and sport performance in soccer athletes (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest (Accession No: 10812822).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sandelowski, M. (2000). What happened to qualitative description? Research in Nursing and Health, 23, 334340. PubMed ID: 10940958. doi:10.1002/1098-240X(200008)23:4334::AID-NUR93.0.CO;2-G.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sandelowski, M. (2010). What’s in a name? Qualitative description revisited. Research in Nursing and Health, 33, 7784. PubMed ID: 20014004.

  • Schinke, R.J., McGannon, K.R., & Smith, B. (2013). Expanding the sport and physical activity research landscape through community scholarship: Introduction. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 5, 287290. doi:10.1080/2159676X.2013.847477.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, B. (2018). Generalizability in qualitative research: Misunderstandings, opportunities and recommendations for the sport and exercise sciences. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise, and Health, 10(1), 137149. doi:10.1080/2159676X.2017.1393221.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, B., & McGannon, K.R. (2018). Developing rigor in qualitative research: Problems and opportunities within sport and exercise psychology. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 11, 101121. doi:10.1080/1750984X.2017.1317357.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sparkes, A.C., & Smith, B. (2009). Judging the quality of qualitative inquiry: Criteriology and relativism in action. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 10, 491497. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2009.02.006.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Strean, W.B. (1998). Possibilities for qualitative research in sport psychology. The Sport Psychologist, 12, 333345. doi:10.1123/tsp.12.3.333.

  • Suinn, R. (1985). The 1984 Olympics and sport psychology. Journal of Sport Psychology, 7, 321329. doi:10.1123/jsp.7.4.321.

  • Tracy, S.J. (2010). Qualitative quality: Eight ‘big-tent’ criteria for excellent qualitative research. Qualitative Inquiry, 16, 837851. doi:10.1177/1077800410383121.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zaichkowsky, L.D. (1982). Biofeedback for self-regulation o competitive stress. In L.D. Zaichkowsky (Ed.), Stress management for sport (pp. 5564). Reston, VA: American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, National Association for Sport and Physical Education.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 153 153 101
Full Text Views 24 24 18
PDF Downloads 11 11 6