Nine (5 female, 4 male) certified athletic trainers (ATs) from a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I institution participated in semistructured interviews about their experiences with sport psychology services and perceptions on the potential role of sport psychology consultants (SPCs) in student-athlete development. Through consensual qualitative research procedures, 3 domains were constructed: knowledge of availability and understanding of sport psychology services, perceptions of sport psychology services for injury rehabilitation, and use of sport psychology services for sport performance. Interacting professionally with SPCs, working with sport teams that use sport psychology services, and receiving mentorship from senior ATs who have “bought in” to sport psychology were identified as underlying factors that influenced ATs’ knowledge and use of services. Recommendations for how SPCs can nurture collaborative relationships between themselves and ATs are also provided.
Rebecca A. Zakrajsek, Leslee A. Fisher, and Scott B. Martin
Kurtis Pankow, Amber D. Mosewich, and Nicholas L. Holt
The purpose of this study was to examine perceptions of leadership styles in model youth football coaches. Six award-winning youth football coaches participated, and each was interviewed twice. Within a qualitative descriptive framework, deductive analysis was completed to identify the coaches’ leadership styles, using the charismatic, ideological, and pragmatic model of outstanding leadership. Whereas pragmatic leadership behaviors were most frequently identified, all coaches appeared to have mixed leadership styles. Inductive analysis was then used to examine factors that influenced the coaches’ leadership development. Identified themes were role models, networks of coaches, experience and reflection, and formal, nonformal, and informal learning. These were consistent across all the coaches, regardless of leadership style. This study therefore provides new insights into the perceived use of pragmatic behaviors in mixed leadership styles in model youth sport coaches and indicates that similar factors contributed to their leadership development.
Paul R. Ashbrook, Andrew Gillham, and Douglas Barba
Using a single-subject research design, a 1-to-1 tailored mental-skills-training (MST) program was created, implemented, and evaluated. During the 20-wk intervention phase, 6 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I college golfers received a series of individually tailored MST sessions aimed at enhancing their mental skills and athletic performance. Each athlete’s golf performance, mental-skill frequency, and response to service were evaluated using visual inspection. Despite some limitations, results suggested that the 1-to-1 training program was effective, with nearly 50% of the performance and perception metrics improving from baseline and almost 80% of the mental skills improving. Follow-up analyses indicated that the program continued to positively affect performance into the next competitive season.
Elite Canadian women rugby union athletes’ (N = 10) attitude to and experience of physical aggression was investigated in this study. The methodology adopted in this postpositivist study was a deductive qualitative approach and involved theoretical thematic data analysis. The analysis and interpretation of data was informed by Kerr’s distinction between sanctioned and unsanctioned forms of aggression. Open-ended, semistructured interviews provided ample evidence that rugby provided pleasurable experiences through active physicality and sanctioned play aggression. With regard to unsanctioned aggression, backs and forwards recounted incidents of unsanctioned aggression perpetrated against them by opponents. Backs’ interview statements indicated no real involvement in unsanctioned aggression, but the majority of forwards had perpetrated acts of anger and power-unsanctioned aggression against opponents. No incidents of thrill-based unsanctioned aggression were described by the elite women athletes. Suggestions for future aggression research are discussed.
Andrew G. Wood, Jamie B. Barker, Martin Turner, and Peter Thomson
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.
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.