The Cognitive Component of Elite High Jumpers’ Preperformance Routines
Thomas Gretton, Lindsey Blom, Dorice Hankemeier, and Lawrence Judge
Preperformance routines are microlevel performance processes utilized by athletes to facilitate the attainment of an optimal state and enhance the chance for successful performance. Despite continued examination of these routines, only a small proportion of research has been directed toward the cognitive component of these routines. This study explored the cognitive component of elite high jumpers’ preperformance routines, and specifically the consistency of the cognitive content (i.e., psychological skills and strategies). Data were acquired over an 8-week high-jump season and subjected to inductive thematic analysis. Results revealed the consistent implementation of the cognitive content (e.g., visualization) but an inconsistent design of this content (i.e., the content of the visualization). Furthermore, results underline the critical role of high-jump coaches and an athlete’s need to be adaptable and competent in utilizing various types of preperformance routine. This study offers valuable insight into the complexities and inconsistencies of the cognitive component of high jumpers’ preperformance routines.
Volume 33 (2019): Issue 2 (Jun 2019)
Athlete Burnout Prevention Strategies Used by U.S. Collegiate Soccer Coaches
Emily Kroshus and J.D. DeFreese
Athlete burnout is an important psychological health concern that may be influenced by coach behaviors. Participants were 933 collegiate soccer coaches who described their utilization of burnout prevention strategies. Deductive content analysis was used to categorize and interpret responses. The most frequently endorsed prevention strategies involved managing/limiting physical stressors. Reducing nonsport stressors and promoting autonomy and relatedness were also endorsed. Motivational climate changes and secondary prevention strategies were infrequently reported. These findings can help inform the design of educational programming to ensure that all coaches are aware of the range of ways in which they can help prevent athlete burnout.
Book and Resource Reviews
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The Development of Self-Compassion Among Women Varsity Athletes
Meghan S. Ingstrup, Amber D. Mosewich, and Nicholas L. Holt
The purpose of this study was to explore factors that contributed to the development of self-compassion among highly self-compassionate women varsity athletes. More specifically, the research question was: how did women varsity athletes with high self-compassion perceive they became self-compassionate? To purposefully sample participants, 114 women varsity athletes completed the Self-Compassion Scale (Neff, 2003b). Ten athletes with high self-compassion scores then participated in individual interviews and a follow-up second interview. Data were analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis (Smith & Osborn, 2003). Analysis produced three main themes that contributed to the development of self-compassion: (a) role of parents (seeking and receiving help from parents, parents teaching self-kindness, parents putting experiences in perspective); (b) gaining self-awareness; and (c) learning from others (peers, siblings, coaches, sport psychologists). These findings provide insights into the ways in which self-compassion can be learned and taught, and have implications for practitioners who work with women athletes.
Efficacy of a Brief Mindfulness Intervention to Prevent Athletic Task Performance Deterioration: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Joanne E. Perry, Michael Ross, Jeremiah Weinstock, and Terri Weaver
Research has supported mindfulness as a predictor of athletic success. This study used a parallel trial design to examine the benefit of a brief one-session mindfulness training for performance on an individual, nonpacing, closed skill athletic task (i.e., golf putting). All participants (N = 65) answered questionnaires and engaged in two trials of the putting task. Participants were randomly assigned to an intervention or control group using a simple randomization strategy. Between trials, the intervention group received a mindfulness intervention. Mindfulness intervention included psychoeducation, reflection upon previous sport experiences, an experiential exercise, and putting applications. Repeated-measures ANOVAs demonstrated that the intervention group exhibited more successful outcomes on objective putting performance, flow state experience, and state anxiety (p < .05). Results suggest mindfulness may prevent performance deterioration and could produce psychological benefits after a brief training session.
Examining Stage of Change Differences in NCAA Student-Athletes’ Readiness for Psychological Skills Training
Stacy L. Gnacinski, William V. Massey, Courtney W. Hess, Mellanie M. Nai, Monna Arvinen-Barrow, and Barbara B. Meyer
To enhance the specificity of psychological skills training (PST) interventions, the purpose of the current study was to examine stage of change and gender differences in the combination of transtheoretical model (TTM) constructs (i.e., decisional balance pros and cons, self-efficacy, cognitive and behavioral processes of change) among collegiate student-athletes. Participants (N = 602) completed all TTM measures, and a factorial multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was conducted to examine the effects of stage of change and gender on the combination of TTM constructs. No significant interaction effect was identified, yet significant main effects of stage of change and gender were identified. Post hoc tests revealed unique linear combinations of decisional balance, self-efficacy, and processes of change for each stage of change contrast. Taken together, study findings may be used to enhance the specificity of behavior change interventions when delivering PST programs to both male and female collegiate student-athletes.
Exploring the Nature of Counterfactual Thinking and Their Perceived Consequences in an Elite Sporting Context: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Jack A. G. Marlow and Mark Uphill
This study explored the characteristics, contextual factors and consequences of counterfactual thoughts in seven elite athletes using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Counterfactuals were experienced regularly with self-directed and upward counterfactuals (cognitions about how things could be better) being most frequent. These upward counterfactuals typically occurred following performance that was below participants’ goals and expectations. These thoughts were perceived by participants to have a negative affect initially, and that they then led to facilitative behavioral consequences around learning and development. Some elements of counterfactual thinking could be used as a useful reflective tool to encourage elite athletes to problem solve and motivate cognitive, emotional and behavioral change to enhance future performance.