Evidence from sequential-task studies demonstrate that if the first task requires self-control, then performance on the second task is compromised (Hagger, Wood, Stiff, & Chatzisarantis, 2010). In a novel extension of previous sequential-task research, the first self-control task in the current study was a sport psychology intervention, paradoxically proposed to be associated with improved performance. Eighteen participants (9 males, 9 females; mean age = 21.6 years, SD = 1.6), none of whom had previously performed the experimental task or motor imagery, were randomly assigned to an imagery condition or a control condition. After the collection of pretest data, participants completed the same 5-week physical training program designed to enhance swimming tumble-turn performance. Results indicated that performance improved significantly among participants from both conditions with no significant intervention effect. Hence, in contrast to expected findings from application of the imagery literature, there was no additive effect after an intervention. We suggest practitioners should be cognisant of the potential effects of sequential tasks, and future research is needed to investigate this line of research.
Tracey Devonport, Andrew Lane, and Christopher L. Fullerton
Hannah Macdougall, Paul O’Halloran, Emma Sherry, and Nora Shields
The well-being needs and strengths of para-athletes in a global and sport-specific context were investigated across subjective psychological, social, and physical health and well-being dimensions. Data were drawn from (a) semistructured interviews with Australian para-athletes (n = 23), (b) a focus group with the Australian Paralympic Committee (n = 9), and (c) a confirmatory para-athlete focus group (n = 8). The well-being needs and strengths of para-athletes differed across gender, sport, level of competition, and nature of impairment. Well-being needs were an interaction between physical pain, emotional regulation, lacking purpose outside of sport, and a lack of self-acceptance, especially for athletes with acquired impairments. Well-being strengths were perceived to increase as athletes increased their level of competition, and included personal growth, optimism, strong social support networks, and contributing to multiple communities. The importance of well-being as a multidimensional concept within the global and sport-specific context for para-athletes is discussed.
Karen M. Appleby and Kristen Dieffenbach
The purpose of this study was to investigate elite masters cyclists’ involvement in competitive sport. Using a descriptive, qualitative approach, the researchers interviewed ten elite-level masters cyclists. Data analysis revealed the following salient themes relevant to participants’ experiences: (a) athletic identity, (b) motivational factors, and (c) life balance. These findings suggest that participation as an elite-level masters athlete reflects a high degree of continuity for athletic identity that can be positive in relation to self-esteem and social validation and challenging in relation to transition and maintaining social relationships out of cycling settings.
Grounded in Scanlan’s sport commitment model (SCM), the purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between feelings of teammate acceptance and sport commitment in a sample of adolescent female volleyball players (N = 209). Despite theoretical justification for including social forms of influence such as social support and social acceptance as direct sources of sport commitment, empirical evidence has not been supportive of this association. Therefore, direct and indirect relationships between teammate acceptance and sport commitment within the SCM were tested. Findings supported the indirect relationship between teammate acceptance and sport commitment through sport enjoyment, personal investments, social constraints, and investment opportunities, accounting for 48% of the variance in sport commitment. It appears that teammate acceptance may be better situated as a distal source of sport commitment, but further research with more diverse samples is necessary. Sports psychologists who can collectively help athletes, coaches, and parents develop responsive interpersonal skills while reducing corporal punishment and aggression tactics can facilitate greater levels of social acceptance.
Mikel Zabala, Jaime Morente-Sánchez, Manuel Mateo-March, and Daniel Sanabria
This study addresses performance-enhancement drug (PED) consumption in amateur sport by investigating the relationship between psychosocial factors and PED use in amateur cyclists. Participants were asked whether they had ever taken PED. They were also asked whether they had any experience in competitive cycling, and the degree to which they participated in the event with a competitive aim. In addition, they completed the Performance Enhancement Attitude Scale, the Rosenberg self-esteem scale, and a bespoke self-efficacy questionnaire, and they rated the percentage of cyclists they believed took PED. Between-groups comparisons and two multiple regression analyses were performed. Overall, the results of our study point to adult amateur cyclists in general, and amateur cyclists with experience in competition in particular, as groups at risk for PED use. This study highlights the value of measuring psychosocial variables as a tool to assess PED use, a current issue at both sport performance and health levels.
Alicia H. Malnati, Leslee A. Fisher, Rebecca A. Zakrajsek, Leslie K. Larsen, Matthew P. Bejar, Johannes J. Raabe, and Jamie M. Fynes
Because alcohol abuse and sexual violence are particularly prevalent on college campuses (Coker et al., 2011), empowering female student-athletes is a vital pursuit for intercollegiate athletics (Gill, 2008; Cattaneo & Chapman, 2010). Using consensual qualitative research (Hill et al., 1997, 2005), we interviewed eight Division I female student-athletes who participated in an empowerment program about their experiences. Five domains were revealed: (a) perception of psychological empowerment, (b) perception of social empowerment, (c) perception of physical empowerment, (d) perception of biggest “takeaways,” and (e) experience of program. Findings illustrated the importance of empowering female student-athletes to believe in themselves, to act upon those beliefs, and to build community around those beliefs.
Jafrā D. Thomas, Allison M. Rasquinha, MooSong Kim, and Kim A. Rogers
Sergi García, Selen Razon, Robert Hristovski, Natàlia Balagué, and Gershon Tenenbaum
Drawing upon the nonlinear model of attention focus, the purpose of this study was to compare the intrinsic and intentional dynamics of task-related thoughts (TRT) in trained runners and nonrunners during an incremental maximal test. Fourteen trained runners and 14 nonrunners were assigned to 2 conditions: intrinsic (nonimposed thoughts) and intentional (imposed, task-unrelated thoughts; TUT). A significant effect of running velocity over TUT/TRT dynamics in both groups and conditions was observed (p < .001). Although, all participants received instructions to keep TUT for the entire duration of the test, an initially stable TUT phase was followed by a metastable phase (i.e., switches between TUT and TRT) an a final stable TRT phase nearing volitional exhaustion. The stable TRT phase lasted longer in runners group (p < .05) and included higher probabilities in pace monitoring thoughts subcategory (p < .05). The results revealed that trained runners seem to use TRT (i.e., pace monitoring) to maximize performance, and confirm the nonlinear model of attention focus during incremental maximal run in trained runners and nonrunners.
Benoît R. Gonzales, Vincent Hagin, Peter W. Dowrick, and Alain Groslambert
This study assessed whether cognitive stimulations could improve running performance. Nine trained men (22.6 ± 2.1 years old) performed four tests of stamina i) a control test (CT) at 100% of maximal aerobic velocity without any specific attention instructions, ii) a video self modeling test filmed from behind (VB), where runners attended to a video-loop of themselves, iii) a video self modeling test filmed from the front (VF), and iv) a video of landscapes (VL) with music. The results revealed a significant increase (p = .004) of stamina in all video conditions: VB (235 ± 59 s); VF (229 ± 53 s); VL (242 ± 57 s), compared with CT (182 ± 33 s). The results showed that the oxygen consumption was significantly lower (p = .02) in VB. Two distinct processes could explain these results including the active role of mirror neurons and the influence of music.