Research examining the effects of rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) on athletic performance is emerging. There is, however, a paucity of research exploring psychological interventions in specialized sport populations. The present study investigated the effects of a single REBT workshop, including intellectual and practical insight into the ABC(DE) framework, on psychological, physiological, and performance markers in an elite blind soccer team. From use of a within-participant pretest–posttest crossover design in an ecologically valid setting, data indicated small and immediate reductions in irrational beliefs, perceived helpfulness of preperformance anxiety, and physiological markers (i.e., systolic blood pressure) prior to a penalty-kick simulation. However, no substantial changes were shown in penalty-kick performance. In sum, although the findings elucidate some benefits of a single REBT workshop, the educational insight into the ABC(DE) framework was deemed insufficient for meaningful changes in outcome measures. Practical implications and recommendations for future researchers are discussed.
Andrew G. Wood, Jamie B. Barker, Martin Turner, and Peter Thomson
Irene Muir, Krista J. Munroe-Chandler, and Todd Loughead
Although dancers have noted using imagery to mentally rehearse a routine, understand and reinforce movement, inspire strong emotions, and lower arousal levels, this finding is specific to adult dancers, overlooking imagery use with young dancers. The current study qualitatively examined the 4 Ws of imagery use (where, when, what, and why) with female dancers 7–14 years of age. Twenty-three female dancers (M age = 10.43, SD = 2.19) from various dance styles participated in 1 of 4 focus-group discussions. Thematic analysis revealed findings similar to those identified in the domains of both adult dance and children’s sport. There were, however, findings emerging from the current study specific to young female dancers. These findings are provided, in addition to practical implications for dance instructors.
Daniel M. Smith and Sarah E. Martiny
Stereotype-threat theory holds that activation of a negative stereotype has a harmful effect on performance in cognitive and motor domains. This paper provides a literature review of stereotype-threat research in the motor domain followed by recommendations for sport psychology practitioners. The review discusses the most widespread stereotypes that exist in sport, the effects of stereotype activation on performance in different sports, and mechanisms that explain why stereotype threat decreases performance. Recommendations for practitioners include individual- and organizational-level approaches, with the former subdivided into interventions aimed at prevention or coping.
Ahmad F. Mohd Kassim and Ian D. Boardley
This research aimed to investigate whether athletes’ perceptions of their coach’s effectiveness on dimensions of coaching efficacy (i.e., motivation, technique, character building) predicted indicators of their competence, confidence, connection, and character in athletes from the UK and Malaysia. Athletes from team (volleyball, UK n = 46, Malaysia n = 49; hockey, UK n = 34, Malaysia n = 47; and basketball, UK n = 50, Malaysia n = 50) and individual (squash, UK n = 47, Malaysia n = 44; table tennis, UK n = 48, Malaysia n = 47; and golf, UK n = 44, Malaysia n = 47) sports completed questionnaires assessing the study variables. Multiple-regression analyses controlling for athletes’ sex, sport experience, and sport type showed in both samples that perceived motivation effectiveness positively predicted athletes’ connection and sport confidence, perceived technique effectiveness positively predicted their sport competence, and perceived character-building effectiveness positively predicted their moral identity. Thus, athletes’ perceptions of their coach may have important implications for athletes’ sport experiences in team and individual sports even in divergent cultures. Results are discussed in terms of their relevance for the coaching efficacy model and the athlete-level outcomes resulting from effective coaching.
Frazer Atkinson, Sandra E. Short, and Jeffrey Martin
The authors examined the relationships among athletes’ perceptions of their coaches’ and their team’s efficacy in a sample of 271 college soccer players (M = 19.84 years, SD = 1.42). Athletes’ perceptions of their coaches’ efficacy were assessed using a modified version of the Coaching Efficacy Scale (CES), and perceptions of team efficacy were assessed using the Collective Efficacy Questionnaire for Sport (CEQS). A canonical correlation analysis between the variants formed by the CES subscales and the CEQS subscales was statistically significant, Wilks’s criterion λ = .440, F(20, 883.17) = 12.40, p < .001. Significant canonical loadings indicated that athletes’ perceptions of their coaches’ being confident in their ability to motivate (β = −.78) and provide successful game strategies (β = −.49) to the team were the most predictive of the athletes’ confidence in their team’s ability to prepare (β = −.58), persist (β = −.13), and unite (β = −.36) during competition. The authors provide practical implications for coaches looking to enhance coaching and team efficacy that are linked directly to their findings.
Elizabeth M. Mullin, James E. Leone, and Suzanne Pottratz
A small but growing body of research has investigated the experience of gay male athletes “coming out” in sport, a historically homophobic environment. In this exploratory case study, the experiences of “Mark,” a male volleyball player who came out prior to a championship season, were examined using social identity perspective and athletic identity theory as the frameworks for analysis. Data sources included interviews with Mark, interviews with informants, and Mark’s social-media posts. A narrative of Mark’s coming-out experience was developed and explored in light of the theoretical frameworks, and 2 themes emerged from the data: gay athlete as a (dis)qualifier and “It’s not about the skills, it’s about the attitude,” which explores Mark’s psychological development and its relationship with athletic performance. Implications and strategies for sport psychology consultants working with gay male athletes are discussed.
Jonathan Rhodes, Jon May, Jackie Andrade, and David Kavanagh
Functional imagery training (FIT) extends multisensory imagery training by involving athletes with goal setting and appraisal. The authors measured the effect of FIT on 24 professional soccer players’ grit, a personality trait associated with perseverance for a long-term goal. In a stepped-wedge design, an immediate (n = 9) and a delayed (n = 10) group received FIT at Week 1 or 6 and were measured at Week 12. A self-selected control group (n = 5) received no intervention. The delayed group was also measured at Week 6 just before their intervention, and at Week 18. Grit scores in both intervention groups increased after the intervention, but the control group’s did not. The delayed group increased in grit between Weeks 6 and 12, showing the effectiveness of the intervention over a relatively short time, and continued to improve to Week 18. In the intervention groups, vividness of goal imagery also increased and players perceived that FIT improved sport performance.