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.
Daniel M. Smith and Sarah E. Martiny
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.
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.