Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT; Ellis, 1957) is a psychotherapeutic approach receiving increasing interest within sport. REBT is focused on identifying, disputing, and replacing irrational beliefs (IBs) with rational beliefs (RBs) to promote emotional well-being and goal achievement. This study provides a detailed case outlining the application and effect of seven one-to-one REBT sessions with an elite level archer who was experiencing performance-related anxiety, before and during competition. The case also offers an insight into common misconceptions, challenges, and guidance for those who may consider applying REBT within their practice. Data revealed meaningful short and long-term (6-months) reductions in IBs and improvements in RBs, self-efficacy, perception of control and archery performance. The case supports the effective application of REBT as an intervention with athletic performers, promoting lasting changes in an athlete’s ability to manage their cognitions, emotions and behaviors in the pursuit of performance excellence.
Andrew G. Wood, Jamie B. Barker, and Martin J. Turner
Alyson J. Crozier and Kevin S. Spink
The primary purpose of this research was to examine the influence of different normative (descriptive, injunctive) messages on individual self-reported effort in sport. Adult recreational volleyball athletes (n = 58) reported their self-perceived effort, were randomly assigned through their team designation to one of three conditions (descriptive norm, injunctive norm, control) and then received multiple e-mail messages specific to their condition motivating them to work hard. Participants reported their self-perceived effort a second time after receipt of these messages. The results from a one-way ANCOVA, controlling for initial perceived effort, revealed that those in the normative conditions reported greater perceived effort than those in the control condition. Preliminary evidence is provided suggesting that individual self-reported effort may be significantly impacted by the perception of what others are doing and what others approve of within that environment (i.e., normative information).
Hayley L. deBeaudrap, John G.H. Dunn, and Nicholas L. Holt
The purpose of this study was to explore female varsity athletes’ perceptions of how they developed high levels of dispositional optimism in sport. Eighty-three female varsity athletes completed a domain-specific version of the Life Orientation Test (LOT: Scheier & Carver, 1985). Nine participants (M age = 19.33 years, SD = 1.5) who had high dispositional optimism in sport then completed individual semistructured interviews. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis methodology was used. Results showed that during childhood, participants perceived that their parents were supportive, provided feedback, and allowed them to have choice over the sports they played. During adolescence, coaches began to play an important role and participants were also able to learn about being optimistic through the positive and negative experiences they encountered. During early adulthood, participants developed personal narratives about the ways in which they approached sport with optimism.
Matthew P. Bejar, Leslee A. Fisher, Benjamin H. Nam, Leslie K. Larsen, Jamie M. Fynes, and Rebecca A. Zakrajsek
Although the biopsychosocial model of sport injury rehabilitation (Brewer, Andersen, & Van Raalte, 2002) is one of the most comprehensive frameworks to address athletes’ postinjury responses, there has been little research centralizing the myriad of cultural factors (e.g., nationality, ethnicity, socioeconomic status) that can impact psychological, social/contextual, and biological factors that, in turn, impact athletes’ recovery. The purpose of the current study was to explore high-level South Korean athletes’ experiences of injury and rehabilitation. Retrospective semistructured interviews were conducted with 11 retired high-level South Korean athletes. Employing Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR) methodology (Hill, 2012), four domains were constructed from the data: (a) Experience of the South Korean Sport System, (b) Immediate Post-Injury Perceptions, (c) Experience of Recovery Process, and (d) Post-Injury Reflections. The findings indicated that participants’ experiences of the forced hierarchy and power dynamics within the South Korean athletic specialist system influenced perceived sport injury rehabilitation outcomes.
Kelsey Timm, Cindra Kamphoff, Nick Galli, and Stephen P. Gonzalez
The historic Boston Marathon was struck by tragedy in 2013 when two bombs exploded near the finish line during the race. This tragedy provided the opportunity to study resilience in marathon runners, whose experience overcoming minor adversities may help them respond resiliently to trauma (Dyer & Crouch, 1988). The purpose of this study was to employ qualitative methods to examine the role of resilience in helping runners overcome their experience at the 2013 Boston Marathon. The researchers used Galli and Vealey’s (2008) Conceptual Model of Sport Resilience as a guide. Sixteen 2013 Boston Marathon runners were interviewed. Participants reported experiencing a confusing, unpleasant race day, followed by months of mixed emotions and coping strategies, which were mediated by personal resources and ultimately led to positive outcomes including increased motivation, strength, new perspectives, and a greater sense of closeness in the running community.
Jenelle N. Gilbert, Stephanie D. Moore-Reed, and Alexandra M. Clifton
Adolescent athletes can use psychological skills immediately after being taught, but a dearth of empirical evidence exists regarding whether these skills are maintained over time. A 12-week curriculum (i.e., UNIFORM; Gilbert, 2011) was taught to a high school varsity soccer team with three data collection points: pretest, posttest, 4-week follow-up. Use of several skills was significantly greater posttest compared with pretest as measured by the Test of Performance Strategies (Thomas, Murphy, & Hardy, 1999). Follow-up results were also salient. Relaxation, imagery, and self-talk use in practice was significantly greater than pretest at follow-up; relaxation, imagery, goal setting, and self-talk in competition showed similar results. Descriptive statistics and qualitative data triangulate these results. The UNIFORM curriculum enabled the athletes to use the skills more consistently. This study makes a contribution by measuring the skills at follow-up and providing evidence of their continued use four weeks after the curriculum’s conclusion.
Matthew J. Smith, David J. Young, Sean G. Figgins, and Calum A. Arthur
We examined transformational leadership behaviors are exhibited in an elite sport environment. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 9 professional county cricket players to explore perceptions of transformational leadership behaviors of their captain and head-coach. Behaviors were firstly deductively categorized based on the Differentiated Transformational Leadership Inventory, with the most frequently cited being high performance expectations and individual consideration from the coach, and appropriate role-modeling of the captain. Further inductive analyses revealed a range of other factors which may influence players’ perceptions of transformational leadership. From these findings, suggestions are offered for those working in an applied context with sporting leaders.
Michelle McCalpin, Blair Evans, and Jean Côté
Competitive engineering is a process whereby sport organizations modify the rules, facilities, and equipment involved in sport to facilitate desirable athlete outcomes and experiences. Competitive engineering is being increasingly adopted by youth sport organizations with empirical evidence positively supporting its influence on skill development and performance. The purpose of this study was to explore young female athletes’ experiences in their modified soccer environment. Seventeen recreational and competitive soccer players, aged 8–11, participated in semistructured photo elicitation interviews that featured several visual qualitative methods (i.e., athlete-directed photography, drawing exercises, and pile-sorting) to facilitate insight on their sport environments. Results revealed that the athletes’ competitively engineered soccer experience was perceived as being a distinct environment that emphasized personal development, positive relationships, and the underlying enjoyment of sport. These findings shed light of how youth sport structure modifications influence the athletes’ experiences, providing practical implications to further promote positive youth sport experiences.