The purpose of this study was to examine elite Canadian individual-sport athletes’ experiences with an Olympic team-selection process. Six nonselected Canadian individual-sport athletes who were attempting to qualify for the Olympics took part in 3 semistructured interviews during the Olympic team-selection process, after they gained knowledge of their selection status, and after the Olympic Games. Data were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Three major themes emerged from the interpretation of the athletes’ experiences: (a) pursuing and expressing the Olympic athlete identity; (b) navigating the Olympic team-selection process: expectations, barriers, and tensions; and (c) moving on: reactions, life-goal reinvestment, and athletic-goal adjustment. Participants’ experiences were shaped by personal motivation and social expectations, with changes shifting across the 3 interview periods. Athletes attempted to manage the discontent of nonselection through processes of positive reappraisal, athletic-goal adjustment, and accentuating other life goals and identities.
“It’s This Thing of Being an Olympian That You Don’t Get From Anything Else”: Changing Experiences of Canadian Individual-Sport Athletes With Olympic Team Selection
Carolyn E. McEwen, Laura Hurd Clarke, Erica V. Bennett, Kimberley A. Dawson, and Peter R.E. Crocker
Problematizing the Pursuit of Personal Development and Performance Success: An Autoethnography of a Canadian Elite Youth Ice Hockey Coach
Cassidy Preston and Jessica Fraser-Thomas
Performance success and positive development are goals of youth sport coaching that need not but often do find themselves in conflict with each other, yet there is a dearth of research that has inquired into the tensions between these 2 goals for sport coaches. Adopting an autoethnographic research design, this study explored the first author’s coaching experiences with a focus on his attempts to facilitate players’ personal development and the team’s performance success in a Canadian elite minor ice hockey context. Framed in a positive-youth-development approach, the first author’s philosophy and behaviors were informed by key tenants of achievement goal theory and self-determination theory. Three key areas were problematized: pursuing personal development and performance success, creating a task-oriented environment, and implementing autonomy-supportive behaviors. Practical implications for elite youth coaches and coach educations programs are discussed.
The Role of Preperformance and In-Game Emotions in Cognitive Interference During Sport Performance: The Moderating Role of Self-Confidence and Reappraisal
Nicholas Stanger, Ryan Chettle, Jessica Whittle, and Jamie Poolton
This research examined whether prevalent preperformance (Study 1) and in-game (Study 2) emotions were associated with cognitive interference (i.e., thoughts of escape, task-irrelevant thoughts, and performance worries) and whether any effects were moderated by reappraisal and self-confidence. In Study 1, team-sport players’ preperformance anxiety positively, and excitement negatively, predicted cognitive interference during a competitive match. However, no moderating effects for reappraisal or confidence were revealed. In Study 2, badminton players’ in-game anxiety, dejection, and happiness positively predicted, whereas excitement negatively predicted, cognitive interference during a competitive match. Moreover, reappraisal and confidence moderated the relationships of excitement and happiness with task-irrelevant thoughts. The findings underscore the role that preperformance and in-game emotions can play in athletes’ thought processing during sport performance, as well as highlighting the importance of considering the effects of self-confidence and reappraisal on the role of in-game emotions in cognitive interference.
Volume 32 (2018): Issue 2 (Jun 2018)
Walking Multiple Paths of Supervision in American Sport Psychology: A Qualitative Tale of Novice Supervisees’ Development
Janaina Lima Fogaca, Sam J. Zizzi, and Mark B. Andersen
There is limited evidence for what characteristics of supervision delivery facilitate novice supervisees’ development. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between supervision-delivery approaches and the perceptions of service-delivery competence development in novice practitioners. The authors interviewed 9 supervisor–supervisee dyads before and after the academic term in which the supervisees had their first applied experiences. Supervisees also completed reflective journal entries regarding their supervisory experiences and development. Data analysis included constant comparative analysis and triangulation of qualitative results with a practitioner-skills inventory. Different approaches to supervision delivery seemed to contribute similarly to novice supervisees’ development. Supervisees developed in more areas when the dyads had consistent meetings, close supervisory relationships, feedback, and frequent opportunities for self-reflection and when supervisors adapted the delivery to the supervisees’ developmental levels. In addition, factors in supervisees’ background, practice, and supervision that contributed to perceptions of service-delivery competence are discussed.
Working as a Sport Psychology Practitioner in Professional Cricket: Challenges, Experiences, and Opportunities
While there have been increasing opportunities for sport psychology practitioners in cricket, there are concerns regarding employment practices in the field and the knock-on impact on the practitioners. The aim of this research was to explore the experiences, reflections, challenges, and opportunities perceived by practitioners regarding their own roles delivering sport psychology in elite cricket. Participants were 12 sport psychology practitioners (8 male and 4 female) purposively selected based on their experience working in cricket. Participants were interviewed to gain an understanding of their experiences working as sport psychology practitioners. The data were thematically analyzed, resulting in the emergence of 7 higher order themes: the role, perceptions of the psychologist, consultation approach, limiting factors, first-team environment, challenges faced, and proposed changes. Results suggest that there are similarities in the challenges experienced across professional clubs and at different levels in cricket. Broader challenges for the clubs, the national governing body, and the sport psychology profession also emerged.
A Closer Look at How Self-Talk Influences Skilled Basketball Performance
Behrouz Abdoli, James Hardy, Javad F. Riyahi, and Alireza Farsi
Empirical literature addressing the effectiveness of self-talk for expert performers is lacking. We addressed this shortcoming within the existent literature and examined the comparative effects of instructional and motivational self-talk on basketball free throw shooting accuracy and salient movement kinematics. We recruited 20 professional basketball players to participate in a 2 × 2 pre/post-test experiment. Free throw accuracy and movement patterns were recorded, with the latter subsequently used to calculate elbow–wrist coordination variability. Results indicated superior shooting accuracy and reduced movement coordination variability for instructional self-talk compared to baseline conditions, whereas no differences emerged for motivational self-talk. Findings from the study help practitioners to better guide skilled performers how best to use self-talk; an area in urgent need of further research.
Effects of a Motivational Self-Talk Intervention for Endurance Athletes Completing an Ultramarathon
Alister McCormick, Carla Meijen, and Samuele Marcora
This study examined the effects of strategic, motivational self-talk for runners completing a 60-mile, overnight ultramarathon using a randomized, controlled experiment. Data were collected before, during, and after an annual ultramarathon. Twenty-nine ultramarathon runners were randomly allocated to a motivational self-talk group or an alternative control group. A condition-by-time mixed ANOVA indicated that learning to use motivational self-talk did not affect preevent self-efficacy or perceived control. A t-test and magnitude-based inference indicated that motivational self-talk did not affect performance. Nevertheless, follow-up data suggested that most participants found the intervention helpful and continued to use it six months after their research commitment, particularly in endurance events and to a lesser extent in training. Participants continued to use self-talk to cope with exertion, as well as other stressors such as blister discomfort and adverse conditions. Suggestions are offered for future research examining the effects of psychological interventions on performance in endurance events.
From the Lab to the Field: Effects of Self-Talk on Task Performance Under Distracting Conditions
Evangelos Galanis, Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis, Nikos Comoutos, Fedra Charachousi, and Xavier Sanchez
This study explored the effectiveness of self-talk strategies on task performance under conditions of external distraction in laboratory and field experiments. In the laboratory experiment, 28 sport science students (M age 21.48±1.58 years) were tested on a computer game requiring attention and fine execution following a baseline assessment and a short self-talk training. In the field experiment, 28 female basketball players (M age 20.96±4.51 years) were tested on free-throwing, following a baseline assessment and a six-week intervention. In both settings the final assessment took place under conditions of external distraction (noncontinuous, sudden, loud noise). Analyses of covariance showed that participants of the self-talk group performed better than participants of the control group. Findings suggest that self-talk can counter the effects of distraction on performance, and indicate that the attentional effects of self-talk is a viable mechanism to explain the facilitating effects of self-talk on performance.