This case study focused on the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team during the period from 2004 to 2011, when Graham Henry (head coach) and Wayne Smith (assistant coach) coached and managed the team. More specifically, this case study examined the motivational climate created by this coaching group that culminated in winning the Rugby World Cup in 2011. In-depth interviews were completed with Henry and Smith in March 2012. A collaborative thematic content analysis revealed eight themes, regarding motivational issues and the motivational climate for the 2004–2011 All Blacks team: (i) critical turning point, (ii) flexible and evolving, (iii) dual-management model, (iv) “Better People Make Better All Blacks,” (v) responsibility, (vi) leadership, (vii) expectation of excellence, and (viii) team cohesion. These findings are discussed in light of autonomy-supportive coaching, emotionally intelligent coaching, and transformational leadership. Finally, practical recommendations are offered for coaches of elite sports teams.
Ken Hodge, Graham Henry, and Wayne Smith
Nicholas L. Holt, Homan Lee, Youngoh Kim, and Kyra Klein
The overall purpose of this study was to examine individuals’ experiences of running an ultramarathon. Following pilot work data were collected with six people who entered the 2012 Canadian Death Race. Participants were interviewed before the race, took photographs and made video recordings during the race, wrote a summary of their experience, and attended a focus group after the race. The research team also interviewed participants during the race. Before the race participants had mixed emotions. During the race they experienced numerous stressors (i.e., cramping and injuries, gastrointestinal problems, and thoughts about quitting). They used coping strategies such as making small goals, engaging in a mental/physical battle, monitoring pace, nutrition, and hydration, and social support. After the race, nonfinishers experienced dejection or acceptance whereas finishers commented on the race as a major life experience. These findings provide some insights into factors involved in attempting to complete ultramarathons and offer some implications for applied sport psychology.
Christiane Trottier and Sophie Robitaille
The aim of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of coaches’ perceptions of their role in the development of life skills in adolescent athletes in two different sport contexts. Semistructured interviews were held with 24 coaches: 12 coaching high school basketball and 12 coaching community swimming. All coaches followed a holistic, athlete-centered approach. Coaches described the life skills they taught, their motivations, and the strategies they used to foster life skills development in practice. Although some differences between the two contexts were identified, the overall results indicate that all coaches fostered the development of life skills through various teaching and transfer strategies, and that coaches had two main motivations: athletes’ needs and their own values. The main results are discussed in light of the literature on life skills in sport and positive youth development, and in terms of methodological considerations. The study concludes with some practical recommendations for coaches.
Stefan Koehn, Tony Morris, and Anthony P. Watt
The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of an imagery intervention for enhancing the experience of flow state and performance in junior athletes. On the basis of previous results, a tailored imagery script was developed to target critical flow dimensions, namely challenge-skills balance, clear goals, concentration on the task, and sense of control. It was hypothesized that the use of cognitive and motivational imagery would increase specific flow dimensions, which, in turn, would enhance flow state and competition performance. Participants in a single-case, multiple baseline A-B design study were four nationally ranked athletes. Following a 6-week baseline phase monitoring flow state and performance and a 6-week intervention phase using relaxation in conjunction with imagery techniques, three participants showed a sustained increase in flow experiences, and all four participants improved their service performance, groundstroke performance, and ranking-list position.
Carsten H. Larsen, Dorothee Alfermann, Kristoffer Henriksen, and Mette K. Christensen
The purpose of this article is to present practitioners and applied researchers with specific details of an ecological-inspired program and intervention in a professional football (soccer) club in Denmark. Based on an ecological agenda, the aim is to reinforce the culture of psychosocial development in the daily practice of a professional football academy, provide the skills required to succeed at the professional level and create stronger relations between the youth and professional departments. The authors suggest six principles as fundamental governing principles to inform an intervention inspired by the holistic ecological perspective. Descriptions of the intervention program and findings are presented in four interconnected steps. Insights are provided into delivery of workshops, the supervision of the coach, on-pitch training, evaluation of the program, and integrating sport psychology as a part of the culture within the club.
Sarah Draugelis, Jeffrey Martin, and Alex Garn
Although many researchers have examined ill-being (e.g., injury and illness) in dancers, few researchers have examined well-being. In the current study, dancer’s perceptions of the dance motivational climate, dance performance anxiety, dance self-concept, and their relationships to dance well-being were examined. A total of 182 university dance students from five universities completed surveys and a series of multiregression analyses were undertaken to predict well-being. Both dance self-concept and perceptions of a task climate were moderately related to well-being and contributed significantly to elements of well-being: vigor, enthusiasm, confidence, and dedication. An ego climate was unrelated to any of the four dimensions of well-being. Substantial variance was predicted in the various elements of engagement, ranging from 15% to 55%. In particular, two significant interactions indicated that a task climate may have protective effects against anxiety in terms of reducing the detrimental influence that anxiety may have on two forms of well-being: confidence and dedication.
Jordan A. Blazo, Daniel R. Czech, Sarah Carson, and Windy Dees
Sibling relationships are often regarded as among the longest lasting connections in a person’s life (Conger & Kramer, 2010). Sibling research has addressed topics such as socialization, support, and similarities and differences of siblings (e.g., Eaton, Chipperfield, & Singbeil, 1989; Horn & Horn, 2007; Whiteman, McHale, & Crouter, 2007). Scant attention has been given to how a younger sibling may be influenced by an older sibling’s sport involvement. The current study explored the lived experience of an older sibling’s sport achievement from the perspective of a younger sibling. An open-ended phenomenological approach (Kvale, 1983) was used to gain a description of the experience of sibling achievements in sport. Participant interviews revealed an overall thematic structure consisting of both positive and negative experiences: family influence, social influence, fondness, identity, abandonment, and jealousy. These findings broaden both sibling and sport literature, while providing valuable information for researchers and practitioners.
Martin J. Turner and Jamie B. Barker
The use of rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) in sport psychology has received scant research attention. Therefore, little is known about how REBT can be adopted by sport psychology practitioners. This paper principally outlines how practitioners can use REBT on a one-to-one basis to reduce irrational beliefs in athletes. Guidance is offered on the introduction of REBT to applied contexts, the REBT process through which an athlete is guided, and offers an assessment of the effectiveness of REBT with athletes. It is hoped that this paper will encourage other practitioners to adopt REBT in their work and to report their experiences.
Amanda Martindale and Dave Collins
This paper establishes current theoretical understanding on the development of professional judgment and decision-making (PJDM) expertise within applied sport psychology (ASP). Traditional and naturalistic paradigms of decision making are contrasted and the resulting blending of systematic analysis and intuition most appropriate for applied practice is explained through the concept of skilled intuition (Kahneman & Klein, 2009). Conditions for the development of skilled intuition are considered alongside recognition of the fragility of human judgment and the subtleties of the ASP environment. Key messages from cognitive psychology literature on the development of PJDM expertise are offered and recommendations made to facilitate the acquisition of decision-making expertise in ASP.