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Effectiveness of Individual Exercise and Sport Counseling Based on Motives and Goals: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Nina Schorno, Vanessa Gut, Achim Conzelmann, and Julia Schmid

This study tested the effectiveness of individual exercise and sport counseling in a nonclinical setting. The COunseling based on Motives and goals in Exercise and sporT (COMET) approach focuses on individual motives and goals and aims to identify suitable activities. Participants experience different exercise and sport activities and reflect on them with a counselor, who applies motivational interviewing. A stratified randomized controlled design with 129 people was used. The intervention group took part in a counseling event, which included feedback on motives and goals, trial exercise and sport sessions, and structured reflection. Four weeks later, members of the group got a telephone booster. The control group received minimal intervention as written information. Results show that the counseling promoted motivational competence (η2 = .16), physical activity–specific self-control (η2 = .08), and the weekly volume of exercise and sport (η2 = .15), whereas it did not influence self-concordance. Further studies can investigate whether the COMET approach is also effective in other settings.

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Volume 44 (2022): Issue 1 (Feb 2022)

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Effects of Cooperation and Competition on Performance, Emotion, and Effort: Goal and Means Interdependence

Christopher Ring, Maria Kavussanu, and Andrew Cooke

Social interdependence theory proposes that task structure influences performance via social interaction. Using this framework, we examined sport performance. Fifty-six males performed a basketball task under four conditions: as an individual (individual, perform your best) and as a member of a team of two (cooperation, where teammates sought to better their individual performance; means independent competition, where two teams competed sequentially to outperform the other team; means interdependent competition, where two teams competed simultaneously to outperform the other team). Task performance (points) was better during means independent competition than other conditions. Anxiety and effort peaked during the competitions and enjoyment was greater during competition and cooperation than during the individual condition. Emotions, effort, and actions are discussed as explanations for the performance effects. Social interdependence theory provides a valuable framework to understand emotion, motivation, and performance. Team competition can be used to promote effort and enhance performance in sport.

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The Influence of Social Contexts on Motor and Cognitive Performance: Performing Alone, in Front of Others, or Coacting With Others

Christian Kaczmarek, Alexander Schmidt, Anna Sophie Emperle, and Sabine Schaefer

Group settings can help or hinder performances. We conducted two studies in a sporting context. Participants performed alone and in groups in which the other participants served as spectators or as coactors. In Study 1, 33 CrossFit athletes performed a timed fine motor task (stacking cups) and a gross motor task (planks). Plank performance increased in front of spectators and in the coacting condition as compared with the alone condition, whereas stacking performances were not affected by the social context. Study 2 assessed a working memory task (three-back) and a timed obstacle course requiring primarily motor speed. Subjects were 42 sports students. Spectators led to performance deteriorations in the complex cognitive task but to improved performances in the simple motor task, supporting the predictions formulated by Strauss. Future research should investigate whether the effects are mediated by the perception of one’s own performance compared with the group or by personality traits.

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A Temporal Study on Coach Behavior Profiles: Relationships With Athletes Coping and Affects Within Sport Competition

Higinio González-García, Guillaume Martinent, and Michel Nicolas

The study aimed to identify coach behavior profiles and explore whether athletes from distinct profiles significantly differed on coping and affects experienced within 2 hr before the competition and during the competition (measuring them 2 hr after the competition). A sample of 306 French athletes (M age = 22.24; SD = 4.91; 194 men and 112 women) participated in the study. The results revealed the emergence of two profiles: (a) a coaching engaged profile that stands out for moderate physical training and planning, technical skills, mental preparation, goal setting, competition strategies, personal rapport, and moderate negative personal rapport; and (b) a less engaged coaching profile with low physical training and planning, technical skills, mental preparation, goal setting, competition strategies, personal rapport, and moderate negative personal rapport. Memberships of coach behavior profiles were not confounded by athletes’ practice experience, athlete’s gender, and coach experience. Results of latent profile analyses with Bose–Chaudhuri–Hocquenghem method (BCH) method revealed that coping and affective states significantly differed across the coach behavior profiles. As a whole, the less engaged coaching profile engenders the worst outcomes in competition. In conclusion, the detection of less adaptive coaching profiles would be crucial to prevent negative outcomes in athletes during the competition. This might be using intervention programs adapted to the peculiarities of athletes from a particular coach behavior profiles.

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Inhibitory Control Across Athletic Expertise and Its Relationship With Sport Performance

Jack Hagyard, Jack Brimmell, Elizabeth J. Edwards, and Robert S. Vaughan

Inhibitory control may be vital in elite sport. The authors examined the link between athletic expertise, inhibitory control, and sport performance in a two-part quasi experiment. Inhibitory control was indexed using the Stop-Signal Task, athlete expertise was categorized on literary recommendations, and sport performance was assessed using athlete and coach ratings. Study 1 examined cross-sectional and longitudinal patterns of inhibitory control across athletic expertise. Study 2 investigated whether the inhibitory control–sport performance relationship was moderated by expertise. Study 1 showed that expertise was linked to greater inhibitory control cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Study 2 revealed that expertise was related to superior performance on the Stop-Signal Task and athlete and coach performance ratings, and this relationship was moderated by athletic expertise. Inhibitory control relates to sport performance, increases with greater athlete expertise, and develops longitudinally. Long-term participation in sport may bring about changes in inhibitory control, which may lead to improved sport performance.

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When It HIITs, You Feel No Pain: Psychological and Psychophysiological Effects of Respite–Active Music in High-Intensity Interval Training

Costas I. Karageorghis, Leighton Jones, Luke W. Howard, Rhys M. Thomas, Panayiotis Moulashis, and Sam J. Santich

The authors investigated the effects of respite–active music (i.e., music used for active recovery in between high-intensity exercise bouts) on psychological and psychophysiological outcomes. Participants (N = 24) made four laboratory visits for a habituation, medium- and fast-tempo music conditions, and a no-music control. A high-intensity interval-training protocol comprising 8 × 60-s exercise bouts at 100% W max with 90-s active recovery was administered. Measures were taken at the end of exercise bouts and recovery periods (rating of perceived exertion [RPE], state attention, and core affect) and then upon cessation of the protocol (enjoyment and remembered pleasure). Heart rate was measured throughout. Medium-tempo music enhanced affective valence during exercise and recovery, while both music conditions increased dissociation (only during recovery), enjoyment, and remembered pleasure relative to control. Medium-tempo music lowered RPE relative to control, but the heart rate results were inconclusive. As predicted, medium-tempo music, in particular, had a meaningful effect on a range of psychological outcomes.

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Kim Gammage, Alyson Crozier, Alison Ede, Christopher Hill, Sean Locke, Eric Martin, Desi McEwan, Kathleen Mellano, Eva Pila, Matthew Stork, and Svenja Wolf

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Kim Gammage, Jeff Caron, Alyson Crozier, Alison Ede, Christopher Hill, Sean Locke, Desi McEwan, Kathleen Mellano, Eva Pila, Matthew Stork, and Svenja Wolf

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Determinants of Virtual Exercise Equipment Use: An Integrated Model Investigation

Navin Kaushal, Kathy Berlin, and Martin S. Hagger

Background: Given the limited research on behavioral determinants of using virtual exercise machines to engage in exercise during the COVID-19 pandemic, this study applied an integrated behavior change model to identify behavioral determinants using these machines. Method: Adult owners of livestreaming virtual exercise equipment (N = 123) completed measures of social cognition, planning, motivation, virtual exercise machine features, and sociostructural variables at an initial occasion (T1) and 4 weeks later (T2). Hypothesized relations among model constructs were tested using a cross-lagged structural equation model with past behavior and sociostructural variables as covariates. Results: Autonomous motivation predicted intentions and habit indirectly via attitudes and perceived behavioral control at T1; virtual exercise machine features predicted intention and habit indirectly via social cognition constructs at T1; and intention and habit at T1 predicted exercise behavior at T2. Conclusions: This study supports social cognition constructs and virtual features as predictors of exercise using virtual exercise machines.