As racially diverse, early-career sport psychology consultants (SPCs), we reflect on our experiences working with collegiate athletes and coaches whose racial/ethnic status were different from our own. Our reflections cover (a) the external effects of stereotypes, presence (and pernicious effects) of microaggressions, and strategies for effectively coping with such transgressions; (b) stereotype threat and how Jeremy Lin’s entry into the NBA affected our self-perceptions; and (c) a call to action to further promote a multicultural approach to sport psychology training, research, and practice. In sharing these thoughts, we hope to promote further dialogue in the emerging field of cultural sport psychology.
Alexander Brian Yu, Thomas Nguyen, and Trent Petrie
Tobias Lundgren, Lennart Högman, Markus Näslund, and Thomas Parling
Elite level ice hockey places high demands on player’s physical and technical attributes as well as on cognitive and executive functions. There is, however, a notable lack of research on these attributes and functions. The present study investigated executive function with selected tests from the D-KEFS test battery among 48 ice hockey players and compared them to a standardized sample. Results show that ice hockey players’ scores were significantly higher on Design Fluency (DF) compared with the standardized sample score. Elite players’ scores were not significantly higher than those of lower-league hockey players. A significant correlation was found between on-ice performance and Trail Making Test (TMT) scores. Exploratory analysis showed that elite-level center forwards scored significantly higher on DF than did players in other positions. Future research should investigate whether assessment of executive function should be taken into account, in addition to physical and technical skills, when scouting for the next ice hockey star.
Kevin M. Antshel, Laura E. VanderDrift, and Jeffrey S. Pauline
The NCAA Growth, Opportunities, Aspirations and Learning of Students in College data were used to explore the relationship between self-reported high levels of difficulties thinking or concentrating and grade point average (GPA) in college student-athletes. We specifically investigated the mediators of the relationship between self-reported high levels of difficulties thinking or concentrating and GPA. Results revealed there was a significant indirect effect between self-reporting the highest level of difficulties thinking or concentrating and service use through GPA, moderated by identity, full model: F(4, 14738) = 184.28, p < .001; R 2 = .22. The athletic/academic identity variable acted as a moderator of the mediating effect of GPA on the relationship between self-reported high levels of difficulties thinking or concentrating and the use of academic resources on campus. If a student-athlete who is self-reporting high levels of difficulties thinking or concentrating identifies more as a student, GPA is likely to prompt academic service use. However, if the student-athlete identifies more as an athlete, GPA is less likely to lead to use of campus academic support resources.
Andrew Romaine, J.D. DeFreese, Kevin Guskiewicz, and Johna Register-Mihalik
As head injuries in American football have received increasing publicity, the safety of the sport has become a great concern for parents nationwide. The purpose of this study was to examine perceived safety concerns in youth football using Eccles’ expectancy-value model (Eccles et al., 1983). We hypothesized perceived safety concerns to moderate relationships between parent perceptions of parent cost/benefit, child cost/benefit, and child motivation and enjoyment outcomes for football. Youth football parents (N = 105, M age = 42) completed valid and reliable online assessments of study variables. Regression analyses revealed child safety concerns (as rated by parents) to mediate, rather than moderate, the relationship between parent safety concerns and child cost perceptions (as rated by parents). Furthermore, safety concerns did not significantly associate with child achievement outcomes of motivation and enjoyment. Results provide valuable insight into parent and child attitudes toward youth football safety. Such knowledge may inform future educational interventions targeting sport safety promotion.
Emily Kaier, Danielle Zanotti, Joanne L. Davis, Kathleen Strunk, and Lisa DeMarni Cromer
Sleep concerns are prevalent among student-athletes and can result in impaired athletic and academic performance. The current study investigated the feasibility and effectiveness of a brief sleep workshop for student-athletes. Athletes (N = 152) completed baseline and follow-up questionnaires (n = 104) after the intervention. Greater than half of the athletes (51%) who attended the workshops and followup reported at least one change in sleep behaviors. Results revealed a significant decrease in sleepiness from baseline to follow-up and an improvement in daytime functioning. Although athletes reported an increase in problematic sleep hygiene behaviors, they recorded significant increases in sleep knowledge from baseline to follow-up, which was maintained at the second follow-up. These longitudinal data provide evidence that a brief psychoeducation sleep workshop for student-athletes is promising for improving sleep knowledge and daily functioning.
Douglas Worthen and James K. Luiselli
Female high school athletes playing volleyball and soccer (N = 32) responded to a social validity questionnaire that inquired about their experiences with a sportfocused mindfulness training program. On average, the student-athletes rated most highly the effects of mindfulness training on emotional awareness and attention focusing, the contribution of mindfulness toward team play, the benefit of having coaches learn mindfulness skills, and the application of mindfulness to other sports. There were dissimilar ratings between the volleyball and soccer student-athletes concerning use of mindfulness when preparing for and during games. Most of the formal mindfulness practices taught during the training program were rated as being helpful to very helpful. We discuss factors influencing these findings and implications for mindfulness–sport performance research.
Jessica J. DeGaetano, Andrew T. Wolanin, Donald R. Marks, and Shiloh M. Eastin
The purpose of this study was to explore the influence of psychosocial factors and psychological flexibility on rehabilitation protocol adherence in a sample of injured collegiate athletes. Self-report measures were given to injured athletes before the start of a physical rehabilitation protocol. Upon completion of rehabilitation, each athlete was assessed by the chief athletic trainer using a measure of rehabilitation adherence. Correlational analyses and bootstrapped logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine whether broad psychosocial factors and level of psychological flexibility predicted engagement and adherence to a rehabilitation protocol. Psychological flexibility, as measured on the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (2nd ed.; Bond et al., 2011), contributed significantly to the overall logistic regression model. Study findings suggested that assessment of psychological flexibility could give medical providers a way to evaluate both quickly and quantitatively potentially problematic behavioral responding among injured athletes, allowing for more effective adherence monitoring.
Meghan Schreck, Robert Althoff, Meike Bartels, Eco de Geus, Jeremy Sibold, Christine Giummo, David Rubin, and James Hudziak
Few studies have explored the relation between withdrawn behavior (WB) and exercise and screen time. The current study used exploratory factor analysis to examine the factor structure of leisure-time exercise behavior (LTEB) and screentime sedentary behavior (STSB) in a clinical sample of youth. Structural equation modeling was employed to investigate the relations between WB and LTEB and STSB, conditional on gender. WB was assessed using the Child Behavior Checklist, and LTEB and STSB were measured using the Vermont Health Behavior Questionnaire. LTEB and STSB emerged as two separate factors. Gender moderated the structure of STSB only. For boys and girls, WB was inversely related to LTEB but not significantly related to STSB. LTEB and STSB are best represented as distinct, uncorrelated constructs. In addition, withdrawn youth may be at risk for poor health outcomes due to lower rates of LTEB. Mental health clinicians, sports psychologists, and related providers may be uniquely qualified to enhance motivation for sports participation in withdrawn youth.
Erik Lundkvist, Henrik Gustafsson, Paul Davis, and Peter Hassmén
The aims of this study were to (a) examine the associations between workaholism and work-related exhaustion and (b) examine associations between work–home/ home–work interference and work-related exhaustion in 261 Swedish coaches. Quantile regression showed that workaholism is only associated with exhaustion for coaches who score high on exhaustion, that negative work–home interference has a stronger association with exhaustion than negative home–work interference, and that the coaches on a mean level scored low on all measured constructs. In addition, coaches in the higher percentiles have a higher risk for burnout. Our results highlight the importance of studying coach exhaustion with respect to aspects that extend beyond the sports life.
Leadership is often formalized within sport through captaincy, but researchers have yet to examine the realities of captaincy at the highest level of professional competition. The current study examined the benefits, pressures, and challenges of leadership and captaincy in the National Hockey League (NHL). One captain of an NHL team participated in two in-depth interviews, providing thorough descriptions of his first-hand experiences as an NHL captain, including (a) the techniques he uses to manage his media obligations, (b) his role as a communication bridge between players and coaches, (c) the composition of his leadership group, and (d) examples of interactions that occur during player-only meetings. The transition to captaincy was considered an especially challenging and pressure-filled period. Practical implications for sport psychology consultants are discussed in terms of how they can assist captains of elite competitive teams in setting realistic expectations for their leadership role.