The purpose of this study was to research the experiences of four injured athletes during their rehabilitation from ACL injuries and to examine the potential usefulness of an adapted ACT intervention in addressing individuals’ adherence to rehabilitation protocols and their general psychological well-being. We investigated the usefulness of a brief, 4-session ACT program adapted for educational purposes and presented data as case studies. The case studies suggested that (a) the injured athletes experienced a multitude of private events immediately following injury, throughout their recovery, and when approaching a full return to sport; (b) the injured athletes typically avoided these private events and engaged in emotion-driven behaviors; (c) an adapted ACT approach for educational purposes could be useful on at least a basic level to help injured athletes accept private events, commit to rehabilitation behaviors, and have some certainty about returning to sport; and (d) more could be done to address the needs of injured athletes beyond the structure of our 4-session educational intervention. We concluded that the ACT-based intervention, to a certain extent, educated injured athletes about how to meet the challenges of their recoveries and how to commit to their rehabilitations, as well as to exhibit behaviors that would potentially permit their successful reentries to sport.
John Mahoney and Stephanie J. Hanrahan
Luis Calmeiro and Gershon Tenenbaum
The purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility of concurrent verbal protocols to identify and map thought processes of players during a golf-putting task. Three novice golfers and three experienced golfers performed twenty 12-foot putts while thinking aloud. Verbalizations were transcribed verbatim and coded using an inductive method. Content analysis and event-sequence analysis were performed. Mapping of thought sequences indicated that experienced players’ cognitive processes centered on gathering information and planning, while beginners focused on technical aspects. Experienced players diagnosed current performance aspects more often than beginners did and were more likely to use this information to plan the next putt. These results are consistent with experienced players’ higher domain-specific knowledge and less reliance on step-by-step monitoring of motor performance than beginners. The methods used for recording, analyzing, and interpreting on-line thoughts of performers shed light on cognitive processes, which have implications for research.
Eric D. Morse
Adam R. Nicholls, Jim McKenna, Remco C.J. Polman, and Susan H. Backhouse
The aim of this study was to explore the perceived factors that contribute to stress and negative affective states during preseason among a sample of professional rugby union players. The participants were 12 male professional rugby union players between 18 and 21 years of age (M age = 19 years, SD = 0.85). Data were collected via semistructured interviews and analyzed using an inductive content analysis procedure. Players identified training (structure and volume), the number of matches played and the recovery period, diet, sleep, and travel as factors that they believed contributed to their experience of stress and negative affective states. The present findings suggest that players may require more time to recover between matches, alongside interventions to help players manage the symptoms of stress and negative affect during times in which players are overtraining.
Jeffrey J. Martin, Laurie A. Malone, and James C. Hilyer
Research on elite female athletes with disabilities is extremely rare. Therefore, using the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (Cattell, Cattell, & Cattell, 1993) and Profile of Mood States (Droppleman, Lorr, & McNair, 1992), we examined differences between the top 12 athletes comprising the gold medal winning 2004 USA women’s Paralympic basketball team and 13 athletes attending the selection camp who did not make the team. Multivariate analysis of variance with follow-up tests revealed that athletes who made the Paralympic team scored higher on tough-mindedness (M = 5.7 vs. 4.3) and lower in anxiety (M = 5.6 vs. 7.8). For mood state, the Paralympians scored higher in vigor (M = 19.5 vs. 14.8) and lower in depressed mood (M = 3.9 vs. 6.7) and confusion (M = 5.5 vs. 7.5). The effect sizes were large (e.g., Cohen’s d = 0.91 - 1.69) for all five results.
Samuele Joseph and Duncan Cramer
The present study examined elite cricket batsmen’s experiences of sledging to establish its frequency, effects, and the coping strategies used by players. Sledging in cricket is the practice whereby players seek to gain an advantage by insulting or verbally intimidating the opposing batter. Semistructured interviews were conducted on 10 elite batsmen. Interviews were transcribed and content analysis was conducted to elucidate themes. Several similar factors were reported for both the frequency of sledging and its effectiveness, the most influential being the period of innings, state of the game, and in-game pressure. The majority of the reported effects of sledging were negative, most notably, an altered perception of self, an altered state of mind, decreased batting ability, and over arousal. Numerous associated coping strategies were mentioned, the most frequently used being variations of self-talk. Other noteworthy coping strategies included routines, external support, showing frustration, avoidance coping, and relaxation techniques. Overall, players perceived that sledging had a substantial effect on a batter and their level of performance.
Vaithehy Shanmugam, Sophia Jowett, and Caroline Meyer
The purpose of this study was twofold: to explore the utility of components related to the transdiagnostic cognitive-behavioral model of eating disorders within an athletic population and to investigate the extent to which the model can be applied across gender, sport type, and performance standard to explain eating psychopathology. Five hundred and eighty-eight (N = 588) male and female British athletes completed a battery of self-report instruments related to eating psychopathology, interpersonal diffculties, perfectionism, self-esteem, and mood. Structural equation modeling revealed that eating psychopathology may arise from an interaction of interpersonal diffculties, low self-esteem, high levels of self-critical perfectionism, and depressive symptoms. Analysis further highlighted that the manner in which eating psychopathology may arise is invariant across athletes’ sport type and performance standard, but not across gender. The current findings suggest that the tested components of the transdiagnostic cognitive-behavioral model are pertinent and useful in explaining eating psychopathology among athletes.
Brandonn S. Harris and Jack C. Watson II
The utility of Deci and Ryan’s self-determination theory (1985) and Coakley’s unidimensional identity model (1992) has yet to be adequately assessed in understanding youth athlete burnout. This may be due to a lack of measures available to assess these relevant constructs in a youth athlete sample. Having such inventories would likely enhance practitioners’ ability to identify, prevent, and treat this phenomenon more effectively in young children. Therefore, the current study assessed the psychometric properties for modified burnout, motivation, and athletic identity inventories for a youth athlete sample. Participants included 88 youth swimmers ranging in age from 7 to 12 years, who completed measures assessing burnout, motivation, and athletic identity. Internal consistencies and exploratory factor analyses provided preliminary psychometric support for the use and continued evaluation of these revised measures with young athletes.
Benjamin J. Levin and Jim Taylor
Surfers are a heterogeneous population with a common interest in riding waves. Surfers qualitatively describe the surfing sensation as a hybrid of meditative and athletic experience. Numerous empirical studies link both meditative experience and exercise with reduced incidence of depression and anxiety; this potentially suggests that surfers may endorse fewer symptoms of either disorder. One hundred surfers (N = 100) were administered the Beck Depression Inventory-II, the Beck Anxiety Inventory, the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations, and a demographics questionnaire. Results indicate that surfers reported significantly fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety, and employed emotion-based coping responses to stressful situations significantly less than the general populace. Surfers also employed avoidance-based coping strategies more frequently than the general populace. Future study should evaluate causal relationships between surfing and incidence of depression and anxiety.
Rachel W. Thompson, Keith A. Kaufman, Lilian A. De Petrillo, Carol R. Glass, and Diane B. Arnkoff
The purpose of the present investigation was to evaluate the long-term effects of mindful sport performance enhancement (MSPE), a program designed to improve athletic performance and psychological aspects of sport. One-year follow-up assessments were conducted on archers, golfers, and long-distance runners (N = 25) who attended Kaufman, Glass, and Arnkoff’s (2009) and De Petrillo, Kaufman, Glass, and Arnkoff’s (2009) MSPE workshops. Across the athlete groups, participants reported significant increases in the ability to act with awareness (an aspect of trait mindfulness) and overall trait mindfulness from pretest to follow-up, along with significant decreases in task-related worries and task-irrelevant thoughts (both aspects of cognitive interference during sport). The long-distance runners exhibited significant improvement in their mile times from pretest to follow-up, with significant correlations between change in runners’ performance and trait variables. Results suggest that MSPE is a promising intervention associated with long-term changes in trait variables that may contribute to optimal athletic performance.