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Alex J. Benson, Mark Eys, Mark Surya, Kimberley Dawson, and Margaret Schneider

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Eric W. Hayden, Alan S. Kornspan, Zachary T. Bruback, Michael C. Parent, and Matthew Rodgers

One hundred twenty university counseling centers and athletic-department websites were viewed and analyzed for the provision of sport psychology services specifically to NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Division I Football Bowl Championship Series (FBS) student athletes. Using content-analysis methodology, the present research identified a fair number of university athletic departments (n = 29) and university counseling centers (n = 6) that provided specific sport psychology services. In addition, most athletic departments and counseling centers that provided sport psychology services had one individual on staff who was listed as the service provider. Results of the study are discussed in relation to providing a current understanding of the extent to which sport psychology is presently being provided to NCAA Division I FBS university student athletes. Future qualitative research is recommended to examine the work of professionals providing sport psychology services in athletic departments and counseling centers to better understand the precise nature of the services provided.

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Anne-Claire Macquet

This article presents a method for studying the consistency of coaches’ and athletes’ situation understanding. Three elite athletes and their coach were video recorded during winter training session, international summer competition, and training session following competition. Postperformance self-confrontation interviews were conducted separately with each participant, who was asked to describe his/her activity in relation to the events observed. Interview data were used to characterize compatible (i.e., similar or the same) information between coach and athlete and modes of compatibility. Results showed compatible situation understanding was based on five information categories: (a) technical elements, (b) athlete’s psychological states, (c) organization and safety, (d) performance, and (e) athlete’s experience. Results also showed whether coaches’ and athletes’ information were not compatible, compatible, or mutually compatible. The method used and specific findings are discussed in relation to the analysis of consistency of coaches’ and athletes’ situation understanding from larger samples of participants.

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Rebecca A. Zakrajsek, Jesse A. Steinfeldt, Kimberly J. Bodey, Scott B. Martin, and Sam J. Zizzi

Although there appears to be greater acceptance and use of sport psychology (SP), fully integrating SP consultants and services into college athletic programs has yet to occur in most institutions. Decisions to initiate, continue, or terminate SP services are often made by coaches. Therefore, college coaches with access to services were interviewed to explore their beliefs and expectations about SP service use and how an SP consultant could work effectively with them and their athletes. Using consensual qualitative research methods, three domains in coaches’ perceptions of SP consultants were revealed: who they are, what they do, and how they do it. Findings illustrate the importance of being “on the same page” with coaches, developing self-reliant athletes, and making an impact while remaining in a supporting role.

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Lee-Ann Sharp, Charlotte Woodcock, Mark J.G. Holland, Jennifer Cumming, and Joan L. Duda

The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effectiveness of a mental skills training (MST) program for male youth elite rugby athletes. Three focus groups were held with 21 under-16 male rugby athletes and four male coaches involved in the MST program to examine the quality of service delivery, athlete responses to the MST program, the mental qualities used by athletes, and its perceived influence on athlete performance. Following inductive-deductive content analysis, 40 subcategories and 16 categories emerged. Participants believed the MST program to be an interactive, well-planned program that increased athlete understanding of MST methods and awareness of MST strategies to manage rugby performance. Athletes thought it important that their coaches develop a greater knowledge and understanding of MST methods. Finally, athletes perceived the MST skills and methods they learnt through the MST program were transferable to other sports and areas of their life outside of rugby (e.g., school).

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Camilla J. Knight and Nicholas L. Holt

The purposes of this study were to identify the strategies parents use to be able to support their children’s involvement in competitive tennis and identify additional assistance parents require to better facilitate their children’s involvement in tennis. Interviews were conducted with 41 parents of junior players in the United States. Data analysis led to the identification of 4 strategies parents used to be able to support to their children: spouses working together, interacting with other parents, selecting an appropriate coach, and researching information. Five areas where parents required additional assistance were also identified. These were understanding and negotiating player progression, education on behaving and encouraging players at tournaments, evaluating and selecting coaches, identifying and accessing financial support, and managing and maintaining schooling. These findings indicated that parents “surrounded themselves with support” to facilitate their children’s involvement in tennis but required additional information regarding specific aspects of tennis parenting.

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Andrew L. Evans, Matthew J. Slater, Martin J. Turner, and Jamie B. Barker

The present study examined the effects of personal-disclosure mutual-sharing (PDMS) on a diverse set of group factors in a previously unexplored context. During a single bout of PDMS, 14 soccer-academy athletes voluntarily disclosed unknown personal stories to fellow teammates. Social identity, friendships identity content, results identity content, and collective efficacy were measured at baseline, post-PDMS, follow-up, and maintenance phases. In addition, team performance over the competitive season was assessed via goal difference and goal discrepancy. Data indicated that a short-term significant increase in friendships identity content and a sustained improvement in team performance occurred after the PDMS session, and social identity, results identity content, and collective efficacy remained elevated across all intervention phases. Data suggest that PDMS fosters immediate increases in aspects of team functioning that may exert a positive influence upon team performance. Future research would benefit from ascertaining the exact mechanisms in which PDMS encourages changes in team outcomes observed within the current study.

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Matthew A. Grant and Paul G. Schempp

Researchers sought to identify and analyze the actions of elite swimmers on a competition day that the athletes believed were critical to their success, and to understand the meaning the athletes assigned to each of these activities. The present study describes the competition-day routines of the elite swimmers by presenting the athletes’ actions, meanings, segments, and preparations within a substantive grounded theory. To this end, five U.S. Olympic medal-winning male swimmers from the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games participated in a three-stage data collection: an initial interview during a two-day training visit, a competition observation at an elite meet, and a follow-up interview via telephone. In addition, each participant’s coach was interviewed. Utilizing constructivist grounded theory (Charmaz, 2006), a substantive theory of a competition-day routine for elite swimmers emerged. Results suggested that athletes understood all their actions during a competition day as one routine, and research of competitive routines should include both the ostensive (i.e., plan) and performative (i.e., enactment) aspects of routines (Feldman & Pentland, 2003).

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Brandonn S. Harris, Lindsey C. Blom, and Amanda J. Visek

Assessment is an important element to the present and future of sport psychology (McCann et al., 2002), both in science and in practice. Yet, few resources exist addressing the unique developmental parameters facing sport scientists and sport practitioners when it comes to conducting sound assessment across the athletic lifespan. Indeed, this aspect of the literature remains particularly sparse with respect to youth sport assessment (Noble, 2011). Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to provide an understanding of the practical issues and best practice guidelines pertaining to assessment during the provision of sport psychology services to children and adolescent athletes.