The purpose of this study was to examine “intangible” characteristics that scouts consider when evaluating draft-eligible prospects for the Western Hockey League. Sixteen scouts participated in semistructured interviews that were subjected to an inductive thematic analysis and then organized around predetermined categories of why intangibles were important, what intangibles were valued, and how scouts evaluated these intangibles. Intangibles helped scouts establish players’ fit with the organizational culture of teams and influenced scouts’ draft-list ranking of players. The key intangibles scouts sought were labeled compete, passion, character, and leadership/team player. Scouts noted red flags (i.e., selfish on-ice behaviors, bad body language, and poor parental behavior) that led them to question players’ suitability for their respective organizations. Finally, scouts used an investigative process to identify and evaluate these intangibles through direct observation; interviews with players, coaches, and trainers; and assessments of players’ social media activities. Implications for sport psychology consultants are discussed.
Talent Identification in Youth Ice Hockey: Exploring “Intangible” Player Characteristics
Ryan W. Guenter, John G.H. Dunn, and Nicholas L. Holt
A Transformational Coaching Workshop for Changing Youth Sport Coaches’ Behaviors: A Pilot Intervention Study
Sarah Lawrason, Jennifer Turnnidge, Luc J. Martin, and Jean Côté
To maximize the effectiveness of coach development, educational programs should target coaches’ interpersonal behaviors, be informed by behavior-change techniques, and incorporate comprehensive evaluation procedures. Thus, informed by the full-range leadership model (see Bass and Riggio in 2006) and the Behaviour Change Wheel (see Michie et al. in 2011), Turnnidge and Côté in 2017 developed the Transformational Coaching Workshop (TCW). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the TCW’s effectiveness through observation before and after coaches’ workshop participation. Participants included 8 male head coaches of youth soccer teams. Systematic observation and coding using the Coach Leadership Assessment System were employed pre- and postworkshop to examine coaches’ leadership behaviors. Coaches made improvements in the types of leadership behaviors used and how they were conveyed. This study demonstrates that systematic observation can be implemented to explore real-world changes in behaviors. Future research should examine the impact of the TCW on athlete outcomes.
UK Trainee Sport and Exercise Psychologists’ Perspectives on Developing Professional Judgment and Decision-Making Expertise During Training
Michelle Smith, Hayley E. McEwan, David Tod, and Amanda Martindale
The research team explored UK trainee sport and exercise psychologists’ perspectives on developing professional-judgment and decision-making (PJDM) expertise during their British Psychological Society Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology (Stage 2). An assorted analysis approach was adopted to combine an existing longitudinal qualitative data set with the collection and analysis of a new qualitative data set. Participants (1 female, 6 male) were interviewed 4 times over a 3-yr training period, at minimum yearly intervals. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and reflexive thematic analysis applied to transcripts using the theoretical concepts of PJDM. Experience, analytical reasoning, and observation of other practitioners’ practice was useful for developing PJDM expertise. PJDM expertise might be optimized through the use of knowledge-elicitation principles. For example, supervisors could embed critical cues in the anecdotes they share to expand the experience base that trainees can draw from when making decisions.
Athlete Leadership as a Shared Process: Using a Social-Network Approach to Examine Athlete Leadership in Competitive Female Youth Soccer Teams
Ashley M. Duguay, Todd M. Loughead, and James M. Cook
The present study sought to address 2 limitations of previous athlete-leadership research: (a) Researchers have predominantly examined the shared nature of athlete leadership using aggregated approaches, which has limited our ability to examine differences in the degree of sharedness between teams, and (b) the limited availability of research related to dyadic predictors (i.e., qualities of the relation between 2 individuals) of athlete leadership. Therefore, social-network analysis was used to examine athlete leadership across multiple levels (i.e., individual, dyadic, and network) in 4 competitive female youth soccer teams (N = 68). Findings demonstrated differences in the degree to which athlete leadership was shared between the teams. Furthermore, multiple-regression quadratic-assignment procedures showed that skill nomination and formal leadership status were significant predictors of how often participants reported looking to their teammates for leadership.
Diversity Characteristics and Experiences of Discrimination in Certified Mental Performance Consultants
Zachary McCarver, Shelby Anderson, Justine Vosloo, and Sebastian Harenberg
The purpose of the present study was to explore diversity characteristics and experiences of discrimination in certified mental-performance consultants (CMPCs). The results of a questionnaire (N = 260) indicated that CMPCs remain a rather homogeneous population (>80% White, heterosexual, and able-bodied). Female and non-White consultants were significantly more likely to experience discrimination in the field. The findings indicate that minorities remain underrepresented among CMPCs. In addition, the profession is in need of interventional strategies to prevent experiences of discrimination in applied sport psychology.
The Effect of Manipulating Individual Consequences and Training Demands on Experiences of Pressure With Elite Disability Shooters
Mike Stoker, Ian Maynard, Joanne Butt, Kate Hays, and Paul Hughes
In previous research, multiple demands and consequences were manipulated simultaneously to examine methods for pressure training. Building on literature, in this study a single demand or consequence stressor was manipulated in isolation. Specifically, in a matched within-subject design, 6 international shooters (mean age 28.67 yr) performed a shooting task while exposed to a single demand (task, performer, environmental) or consequence (reward, forfeit, judgment) stressor. Perceived pressure, anxiety (intensity and direction), and performance were measured. Compared with baseline, manipulating demands did not affect pressure or anxiety. In contrast, pressure and cognitive anxiety significantly increased when judgment or forfeit consequence stressors were introduced. Thus, the findings lack support for manipulating demands but strongly support introducing consequences when pressure training. Compared with baseline, the judgment stressor also created debilitative anxiety. Hence, in terms of introducing a single stressor, judgment appeared most impactful and may be most effective for certain athlete populations.
Fun, Failure, and Fulfillment: A Case-Study Approach to Informal Athlete Leadership in Minor League Baseball
Philip D. Imholte, Jedediah E. Blanton, and Michelle M. McAlarnen
The purpose of this study was to crystalize a single case of informal athlete leadership in Minor League Baseball (MiLB) during the 2015 season. Teammates and coaches of a Class A MiLB team voted for the highlighted participant as the best athlete leader on the team. The first author conducted 8 individual semistructured interviews with the participant, 2 coaches, and 5 teammates. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis and open-ended prompts based on leadership and athlete literature, the first author learned about the highlighted participant’s emergence as a leader on a team without formal leadership titles. Findings revealed 4 main themes: navigating personal on-the-field failure, fulfilling others’ expectations, helping teammates manage emotions, and fostering a fun working environment. Findings also indicated 1 foundational theme, having a philosophy, that grounded the 4 main themes. Implications for athlete leadership development and future directions for athlete leadership research are discussed.
A Mental Warm-Up for Athletes
Britton W. Brewer, Adisa Haznadar, Dylan Katz, Judy L. Van Raalte, and Albert J. Petitpas
The purpose of this research was to develop and evaluate a 5-min structured mental warm-up involving aspects of goal setting, imagery, arousal regulation, and positive self-talk. Results of a study that featured a pretest–posttest design with 101 male youth soccer players (Study 1) and a study that featured a repeated-measures experimental design with 29 female intercollegiate soccer players (Study 2) indicated that executing the mental warm-up was associated with significantly greater readiness to perform and to use mental skills to enhance performance. In Study 3, 30 male high school soccer players used the mental warm-up daily over a competitive season and rated it as acceptable (albeit less so than their physical warm-up) at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the season. The findings suggest that a mental warm-up is both acceptable to athletes and potentially useful in helping them prepare for training and competition.
A Qualitative Exploration of Division I Tennis Players Completing the Mindfulness Meditation Training for Sport 2.0 Program
Trevor Cote, Amy Baltzell, and Robert Diehl
The present study examined college tennis players’ experience of the 6-hr sport-tailored mindfulness- and self-compassion-based intervention Mindfulness Meditation Training for Sport 2.0 (MMTS 2.0). Nine college athletes participated in individual semistructured interviews. Interview results revealed that the athletes perceived the mindfulness and self-compassions skills as valuable tools to respond optimally to adversity through observing, accepting, and offering self-compassion toward negative internal states on and off the court. The mindfulness and self-compassion skills were described as creating enhanced ability to overcome challenges and improve focus on the court and an enhanced quality of life off the court, including self-reported well-being markers. The participants also noted several challenges in completing the program (i.e., discomfort meditating, lack of independent practice, and hectic schedule as a student-athlete). These findings provide insight into how the delivery of mindfulness and self-compassion skills in a time-limited environment helps male and female athletes combat competition distress.