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Transition (From Sport) Experiences of Former National Football League Players: An NFL-LONG Study

J.D. DeFreese, Erianne A. Weight, Landon B. Lempke, Samuel R. Walton, Zachary Yukio Kerr, Benjamin L. Brett, Avinash Chandran, Rebekah Mannix, Ruben J. Echemendia, Michael A. McCrea, William P. Meehan III, and Kevin M. Guskiewicz

Transition from professional football life has important implications for the health and well-being of former National Football League (NFL) players. The study purpose was to examine former NFL players’ experiences of transitioning from sport including factors that helped and factors that made transition difficult. This study used a convenience sample of former NFL players drawn from a larger study of health and function. Participants included 1,784 former NFL players, mean age = 52.3 ± 16.3 years, 59% White, and a discontinuation mean of 24.0 ± 15.6 years after leaving the league. Participants responded to open-ended transition questions via mail or electronic questionnaire with responses analyzed using conceptual content analysis. The most frequently reported factors that helped transition included career transition plan/options (48%) and social support (40%). Whereas, structure- (33%) and identity-related (23%) difficulties were reported as factors that made transition difficult. Findings identify areas for targeted interventions to enhance NFL player well-being during transition from sport.

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Nonaccidental Violence Among Elite Athletes in Finland: Associations With Sport Conditions and Mental Well-Being and Ill-Being

Satu Kaski and Ulla Kinnunen

The aim of this research was to study the prevalence of nonaccidental violence among elite athletes in Finland, the predisposing factors to violence, and its consequences for mental well-being and ill-being. A total of 2,045 Finnish athletes participated in the study. Logistic and linear regression analyses were used to analyze the associations. The results indicated that 38.8% had experienced psychological abuse, 14.7% bullying, 13.3% gender-based harassment, and 5.5% sexual harassment. Female and younger athletes reported more violent experiences than male and older athletes. A team’s safe atmosphere and readiness to act protected athletes from nonaccidental violence, whereas the coach did not play a role. Nonaccidental violence, particularly psychological abuse, was associated with reduced mental well-being and increased ill-being. Our results suggest that it is worth investing in the team’s mutual relationships and safe cooperation when ensuring appropriate behavior and preventing nonaccidental violence among athletes.

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Erratum. Personality and Attitudinal Predictors of Sportspersonship in Recreational Sport

Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology

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Personality and Attitudinal Predictors of Sportspersonship in Recreational Sport

Tanya Fozzard and Dara Mojtahedi

Respect and fair treatment among competitors are necessary for maintaining quality and enjoyment in sporting competitions. Yet despite the existence of rules and expectations, many athletes choose to violate such sporting norms. The present study examined whether individual differences in Sportspersonship within recreational sports could be explained by personality and sport-related attitudes. Ultimate Frisbee players (N = 828) completed an online survey consisting of personality (dark triad, HEXACO-60, and Sportspersonship), demographic, and attitudinal questionnaires. Psychopathy was associated with low Sportspersonship, whereas Honesty-Humility, Agreeableness, and Openness to Experience predicted greater Sportspersonship. Additionally, participants holding positive attitudes about the conduct of other players and the efficacy of self-governed regulation displayed higher Sportspersonship. Positive associations between personality traits and Sportspersonship may be attributed to positive views toward cooperation and enjoyment of the experience, whereas negative associations between Psychopathy and Sportspersonship are likely to be linked to the callous and risk-taking nature of such individuals.

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Stressors and Expected Performance of Soccer Athletes: The Role of Sport Confidence and Cognitive Appraisal

Catarina Morais, Clara Simães, A. Rui Gomes, and Beatriz M. Gonçalves

This study aimed to provide a framework for how athletes evaluate stress before a competition and how stress relates to cognitive appraisal, sport confidence, and expectations of performance. Participants were 327 youth male athletes, aged 15–19 years (M = 16.90; SD = 1.00), who competed in the Portuguese National Football League and completed a questionnaire 24–48 hr before their match, using the critical incident methodology. Results revealed that opponents were the main source of stress for athletes and that the more athletes stress about their opponents, the more they tend to perceive the situation as threatening (and less challenging), the lower their perceptions of coping and sport confidence which, in turn, predicted lower expectations of individual and collective performance. In sum, perceiving the stressful situation as either a challenge or a threat predicts young athletes’ sport confidence and, consequently, expected performance when dealing with stressful competitive situations.

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Shooting Free Throws Under Pressure: A Social Media Self-Talk Intervention

Sabrina Gomez Souffront, Angeliki M. Mavrantza, and Marcelo Bigliassi

The present study sought to investigate the effects of a self-talk intervention on free-throw performance under pressure. The experimental manipulation was designed using a video from a social media platform. Thirty male college basketball players were randomly assigned into two groups (i.e., control and experimental). The experimental protocol incorporated three trials of three free throws each. Psychophysiological stress was assessed by use of heart rate variability. The illusion of pressure was created using arena recordings of large crowds along with instructions for participants to visualize a high-pressure scenario. The results indicate that the self-talk intervention was sufficient to improve free throw shooting accuracy during the postintervention phase. Short-term heart rate variability reduced significantly for the control group and remained relatively stable for the experimental group. Self-talk appears to influence free throw accuracy during situations of psychosocial stress by inhibiting the influence of negative thoughts on peripheral physiological reactions and movement automaticity.

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Eras of Burnout Research: What Does the Past Tell Us About the Future of Burnout in Sport?

J.D. DeFreese, Daniel J. Madigan, and Henrik Gustafsson

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The Influence of Social Support Provider on Adolescent Athlete Burnout and Engagement

Kathleen T. Mellano and Christine Pacewicz

The purpose of the current research was to examine the interaction of teammate and coach support on athlete burnout and engagement, and determine how type of teammate and coach support links with athlete burnout and engagement. Adolescent athletes (N = 176) completed measures of support, burnout, and engagement. Total teammate and coach support accounted for 14.9%–26.0% and 22.4%–36.7% explained variance across dimensions of burnout and engagement, respectively. No meaningful significant interaction was found. Teammate esteem support predicted reduced accomplishment, devaluation, confidence, and vigor (β = −0.31, −0.36, 0.28, and 0.28), while emotional and tangible support predicted dedication (β = 0.29 and 0.20) and enthusiasm (β = 0.30 and 0.22). Coach esteem support predicted reduced accomplishment (β = −0.59) and devaluation (β = −0.27). Findings suggest that support from one key agent can enhance youth athlete well-being, but types of support provided by agents differ in salience.

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Volume 17 (2023): Issue 3 (Sep 2023)

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The Influence of Athletes’ Psychological Needs on Motivation, Burnout, and Well-Being: A Test of Self-Determination Theory

Stephen Shannon, Noel Brick, Garry Prentice, and Gavin Breslin

Sport provides a significant role in the lives of athletes; however, both positive and negative mental health effects may occur from sporting experiences, including burnout and/or well-being. A cross-sectional survey was conducted including 685 athletes (M age = 23.39, SD = 6.22, 71% = male), testing multiple, complementary, self-determination theory hypotheses linked to well-being, and burnout. A multistage modeling approach encompassing confirmatory factor and path analysis was utilized, with results showing significant variance explained for well-being (R 2 = .30) and burnout (R 2 = .35). Several direct effects were found in line with self-determination theory, including between; needs-support and needs-satisfaction (β = 0.48), and needs-control and needs-frustration (β = 0.44); needs-satisfaction and motivational orientation (β = 0.25); needs-satisfaction and well-being (β = 0.37), and needs frustration and burnout (β = 0.25); and motivational orientation and burnout (β = −0.27), and motivational orientation and well-being (β = 0.18). Indirect effects were found for well-being and burnout via coach needs-support, needs-satisfaction, and motivational orientation in sequence (β = 0.24 and β = −0.22, respectively), in addition to burnout via coach needs-control, needs frustration, and motivational orientation in sequence (β = −0.12). To conclude, coach-based, sporting mental health interventions that promote the utilization of needs-supportive behaviors, while also highlighting the need to minimize needs-controlling behaviors, are recommended for the prevention of burnout and the promotion of well-being in athletes.