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Isabel Mesquita, Joana Ribeiro, Sofia Santos, and Kevin Morgan

The aim of this study was to analyze Portuguese expert coaches’ conceptions of learning sources that promote long-term coach development and the extent to which these sources are currently present in coach education programs. Six expert coaches were individually interviewed, using a semistructured format and the interviews were analyzed using QSR N6 Nudist software. The results highlighted the participants’ awareness of the uniqueness of coach education, emphasizing the importance of reflecting and engaging with a variety of learning experiences. Findings also revealed dissatisfaction with the current dominant education framework in Portugal, which remains excessively didactic and classroom-orientated. In contrast, the participants externalized a constructivist approach for coach education assuming the need for theoretical knowledge to be framed in practical contexts, where they have the opportunity to share and reflect their own and others’ experiences to develop learning. Such a position echoes Sfard’s acquisition and participation learning metaphors.

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Jamie B. Barker, Andrew L. Evans, Pete Coffee, Matt J. Slater, and Paul J. McCarthy

In a one group pretest-posttest design, 15 elite academy cricketers were exposed to two personal-disclosure mutual-sharing (PDMS) sessions during a preseason tour. Within PDMS1, athletes disclosed (via prepared speeches) relationship-oriented information and within PDMS2, mastery oriented information. Social identity, social identity content, and collective efficacy were measured at baseline (1 week before the tour), post-PDMS1, midpoint, and post-PDMS2, while social validation was also obtained after each intervention session. Quantitative data revealed significant increases in social identity and friendships identity content at post-PDMS1, and results identity content and collective efficacy at post-PDMS2. Qualitative social validation data highlighted the thoughts and feelings of the athletes before their speeches and supported the effectiveness of the PDMS sessions. In sum, the data suggest practitioners can develop team outcomes (e.g., a focus on results) through developing specific aspects of teams’ identities. Study limitations, practitioner guidelines, and areas for future research are discussed.

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Duncan Simpson, Phillip G. Post, Greg Young, and Peter R. Jensen

Ultramarathon (UM) running is a rapidly growing sport throughout the world, yet to date it has received little attention in sport psychology literature. To obtain further insight into this sport, the current study examined the training and competition experiences of UM runners. Phenomenological interviews were conducted with 26 participants ranging in age from 32 to 67 years (M = 44.1 yrs, SD = 8.1). Qualitative analysis of the interview data identified meaning units, which were grouped into major themes. A final thematic structure revealed five major themes that characterized the participant’s experience of UM running: preparation and strategy, management, discovery, personal achievement, and community. Taken together, the present results extend previous research on UM running and provide a number of suggestions for sport psychology consultants working with UM runners.

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Lenny D. Wiersma

Extreme sport athletes perform in environments that are characterized by danger, unpredictability, and fear, and the consequences of a mistake include severe injury or death. Maverick’s is a big-wave surfing location in northern California that is known for its cold water temperatures, dangerous ocean wildlife, deep reef, and other navigational hazards. The purpose of this study was to use a phenomenological framework to understand the psychology of big-wave surfing at Maverick’s. Seven elite big-wave surfers completed in-depth phenomenological interviews and discussed the psychology related to various stages of big-wave surfing, including presurf, in the lineup, catching the wave, riding the wave, wiping out, and postsurf. Big-wave surfers described a variety of experiences associated with surfing at Maverick’s and discussed several ways that they coped with its challenges. The results provide a greater understanding of the psychology of participating in an extreme environment.

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Stephen Pack, Brian Hemmings, and Monna Arvinen-Barrow

The maturation processes of applied sport psychologists have received little research attention despite trainees and practitioners having often reported experiencing challenging circumstances when working with clients. Within clinical psychology literature the self-practice of cognitive techniques, alongside self-reflection, has been advocated as a means of addressing such circumstances, and as a significant source of experiential learning. The present study sought to identify the possible types of, and purposes for, self-practice among twelve UK-based sport psychology practitioners. Thematic analysis of semistructured interviews indicated all participants engaged in self-practice for reasons such as managing the self, enhancing understanding of intervention, and legitimising intervention. Some participants also described limitations to self-practice. Subsequently, three overriding themes emerged from analysis: a) the professional practice swamp, b) approaches to, and purposes for, self-practice, and, c) limitations of self-practice. It is concluded that self-practice may provide a means of better understanding self-as-person and self-as-practitioner, and the interplay between both, and is recommended as part of on-going practitioner maturation.

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Eric M. Martin, Martha E. Ewing, and Daniel Gould

Significant social agents are thought to play a vital role in youth development (Brustad, Babkes, & Smith, 2001). The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) commissioned a nationwide survey to examine the effect significant social agents had on youth sport behavior. In Phase I, initial data were collected and results were published in the Journal of Coaching Education (2011). The results of the previous analyses were largely descriptive, and further analyses were desired. Therefore, the current study (Phase II) is a secondary but more in-depth data analysis of the initial data collected by the USADA. Phase II analyses (n = 3379, Mage = 12.23, SD = 2.78) revealed that youth sport coaches have the greatest positive influence on youth followed closely by parents, but all of the significant social agents, to different extents, were seen as more positive than negative by youth. Results varied by developmental level, gender, and competitive level. Results, limitations, and practical implications are discussed.

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Ashley Samson

There is evidence that an individual with a higher level of self-efficacy will persist longer and be more robust in their efforts than an individual with a lower level of self-efficacy (Feltz et al., 2008). As such, it follows that a high level of self-efficacy would be essential in a strenuous activity such as distance running. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the evolution of efficacy beliefs over the course of a training program by following 26 participants training for a marathon. Participants completed individual interviews at three different time points throughout the training and that were analyzed for content relevant to the formation of efficacy beliefs for the marathon. Overall, the findings indicated that physiological/emotional states were the most frequently mentioned source of information throughout the duration of the experience. Further, the influence of past performance experiences gradually increased throughout the duration of the program.

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Andrew Mills, Joanne Butt, Ian Maynard, and Chris Harwood

This study examined the factors perceived by successful coaches to underpin optimal development environments within elite English soccer academies. A semistructured interview guide was developed to interview 10 expert coaches about the environments they create for players at a key stage in their development. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and inductively content analyzed. The results identified a wide range of factors resulting in a conceptual framework that explained how these factors interact to underpin an optimal environment. Subcomponents of this framework included organizational core (e.g., advocate a player-driven ideology), adaptability (e.g., embrace novel ideas & approaches), player welfare (e.g., understand players’ world-view), key stakeholder relationships (e.g., build trust with parents), involvement (e.g., encourage players’ ideas/feedback), and achievement oriented (e.g., establish an explicit pathway to senior level). Collectively, the findings highlight the importance of establishing strong, dynamic, organizational cultures at elite youth soccer academies. Ways that academies might be helped to establish such environments are discussed.