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.
Frazer Atkinson, Sandra E. Short, and Jeffrey Martin
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.
Chris Wagstaff, Rebecca Hings, Rebecca Larner, and David Fletcher
This paper presents 2 studies examining the extent to which the frequency of encountered organizational stressors relates to burnout and whether qualities of psychological resilience moderate any such relationship. The studies were conducted with independent samples of athletes and coaches using a questionnaire design. In Study 1, 372 athletes completed measures of organizational stressors (Organizational Stressor Indicator for Sports Performers [OSI-SP]), resilience (Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale-10 [CD-RISC-10]), and burnout (Athlete Burnout Questionnaire). In Study 2, 91 coaches completed measures of organizational stressors (OSI-SP), resilience (CD-RISC-10), and burnout (Coach Burnout Questionnaire). Data were analyzed in a moderated regression model using Hayes’s PROCESS macro for SPSS and supported the hypotheses that the frequency of organizational stressors was directly related to burnout in both athletes and coaches and that psychological resilience moderated this relationship. These results highlight the influential role of organizational dynamics for athlete and coach well-being and indicate that psychological resilience is a salient individual difference variable that buffers against potential negative outcomes.
Jarred Pilgrim, Peter Kremer, and Sam Robertson
Little is known regarding the factors that are important for tournament preparation in golf. Eighteen elite amateur golfers and 12 expert coaches/practitioners were interviewed to identify the self-regulatory and task-specific strategies important for tournament preparation. Thematic analysis revealed four themes: understanding tournament preparation, planning, tournament preparation strategies, and self-reflection. Players used specific strategies to optimize their physiological and psychological state, develop course strategy, and structure and implement preparatory routines. The findings of this study have implications for coaches and players in developing a system for preparation, and could provide a framework to improve coaching curricula and guide further research.
Judy L. Van Raalte, Lorraine Wilson, Allen Cornelius, and Britton W. Brewer
Theory suggests that matching self-talk to sport demands can result in performance benefits, but the effects of self-talk in adventure-sport contexts that feature high risk (e.g., self-contained underwater breathing apparatus [SCUBA] diving) have not been studied. This research explored the effects of instructional and motivational self-talk in a high-risk adventure-sport context. Students (N = 78) enrolled in SCUBA diving courses were randomly assigned to self-talk (instructional, motivational) or control conditions; practiced self-talk and SCUBA diving skills; rated their levels of effort, confidence, and focus; and were evaluated during certification dives. Results indicated that participants gained confidence over time. The instructional-self-talk group reported being significantly more focused and confident during certification dives than the motivational-self-talk group. These results demonstrate the efficacy of matching self-talk to task demands in the high-risk context of adventure sports.
Julia Allain, Gordon A. Bloom, and Wade D. Gilbert
Competitions in many team sports include short breaks (e.g., intermissions, halftime) where coaches have a unique opportunity to make tactical adjustments and communicate with athletes as a group. Although these breaks are significant coaching moments, very little is known about what successful coaches do during this time. The purpose of this study was to examine intermission routines and knowledge of highly experienced and successful National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) ice hockey coaches. A thematic analysis was used to analyze semistructured and stimulated-recall interview data. Results revealed that coaching during intermissions was a continuous process influenced by the coaches’ history and personal characteristics. Drawing on these factors, the coaches created an intermission routine that guided them as they analyzed unpredictable situational factors such as their team’s performance and the athletes’ emotional state. Overall, the results offer a rare glimpse into the intermission strategies of successful coaches in a high-performance setting.
Christoph Szedlak, Matthew Smith, Melissa Day, and Bettina Callary
This study explored which strength and conditioning (S&C) coaching behaviors and characteristics are perceived as effective by elite athletes and how these influence the athletes. A secondary aim was to consider the development and usefulness of vignettes to elicit new knowledge. Ten elite athletes reflected on scenarios presented in vignettes. Resulting themes were divided into the processes and factors influencing athletes and how the athletes are affected. The athletes considered these themes effective because the coach had built an environment of trust and respect. How coaches might influence athletes were divided into cognitive influences and behavioral influences. The results are discussed in light of current sport coaching literature, and the way vignettes enhance the richness of the data collection is reflected on. Practically, the results suggest that S&C coaches can build trust and respect to influence athletes’ development through effective instruction, communication, and motivation.
Moira Lafferty and Caroline Wakefield
The aim of this study was to explore female student athletes’ participation in initiation activities, specifically to examine whether activities in the United Kingdom followed trends similar to those reported elsewhere. A sample of 8 female athletes representing both traditional and nontraditional team and individual sports (M age = 20 yr 3 mo, SD = 1 yr 3 mo) who met inclusion criteria of having taken part in an initiation ceremony consented to participate in a semistructured interview. Thematic content analysis resulted in the emergence of 6 higher order themes represented by 2 general dimensions: the initiation event and initiation outcomes. Findings indicated that female student athletes’ initiation activities encompassed discrete stages as they moved from team newcomers to accepted team members. Of particular concern is the direct and indirect role of alcohol in these events and the health and behavioral risks.