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Missing Out, as Well: The Absence of Youth Sports and Its Effect on Parents During the COVID-19 Global Pandemic

Niel Strydom, Alex Murata, and Jean Côté

In December of 2019, COVID-19 began spreading globally. As a result, many youth sport organizations were forced to halt programming. While unfortunate, this imposed disengagement from youth sport provided an opportunity to explore what youth sport means to parents, being that this was the first time many were without it. As such, researchers aimed to explore the attitudes and perceptions of youth sport parents regarding their child’s sport participation in its absence. Semistructured interviews were conducted to explore these perceptions, and three themes were constructed through thematic analysis. Findings suggest that sport parents miss their experiences as “live-in” sports fans of their child’s sport participation due to the absence of their spectator experiences, social opportunities, and feelings of success, which drive their motivation for continued involvement. Understanding parental motivations to support youth sport participation may lead future researchers to uncovering the influences of parental behavior in the youth sport context.

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A Proposed Three-Stage Postperformance-Routine Framework

Jason Kostrna, Jean-Charles Lebeau, Camilo Sáenz-Moncaleano, and Brian Foster

Research has supported the use of preperformance routines to successfully manage the period preceding sport performance. In contrast, little research has been done on the period succeeding skill execution. This article introduces a three-stage model for postperformance routines (PoPR) for novice motor learning and performance including emotion regulation, performance analysis and correction, and continuation to the next performance trial. To test this model, 38 novice golfers completed a putting task after random assignment to either a PoPR or a control condition. Putting performance was measured after each putt, and self-efficacy, arousal, affect, and perceived task difficulty were recorded every 10 putts. Participants in the PoPR group improved their performance from baseline to postintervention (d = −0.55), while performance in the control group remained unchanged (d = −0.01). No significant differences were observed for performance consistency, emotions, self-efficacy, and perceived task difficulty. Thus, practitioners implementing a PoPR in novice athletes may consider the proposed three-stage framework for improvements in motor learning and performance.

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Erratum. “Keep the Pace! You’ve Got This!”: The Content and Meaning of Impactful Crowd Encouragement at Mass Running Events

The Sport Psychologist

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The Effects of Instructional Self-Talk on Quiet-Eye Duration and Golf-Putting Performance

Yonatan Sarig, Montse C. Ruiz, Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis, and Gershon Tenenbaum

While the impact of strategic self-talk on performance is well documented, examination of the attentional–perceptual mechanisms of self-talk is still at early stages. This study’s aim was to examine the effects of instructional self-talk on quiet-eye durations and putting performance. Thirty participants were recruited and randomly assigned to self-talk or control conditions. Participants performed a golf-putting task in a mixed between (self-talk vs. control) and within (pre- vs. postintervention) design. Two 2 × 2 mixed-design analyses of variance were conducted for performance and quiet-eye durations as dependent variables. A mediation analysis was conducted to examine the mediating effect of quiet-eye durations on performance. Results showed that self-talk use led to longer quiet-eye durations and better performance compared with controls. The mediation analysis indicated that performance was mediated by quiet-eye durations. Discussion centers on the role of quiet-eye in motor performance and how self-talk can assist in regulating quiet-eye.

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Bulletin Board

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National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Assistant Coaches’ Understanding and Use of Mental Performance and Mental Health Services

Morgan R. Eckenrod, Heather Hill, Melissa Thompson, Laurie A. Neelis, and Paul T. Donahue

Assistant coaches play an important role in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletic departments and spend substantial amounts of time working with student-athletes, yet no research to date has examined their knowledge of mental performance and mental health services. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to learn about NCAA Division I assistant coaches’ understanding and use of mental performance and mental health services. Thirteen assistant coaches employed at universities with at least one mental performance consultant and one licensed mental health provider were interviewed. Thematic analysis procedures were used, and five themes were constructed: (a) day-to-day responsibilities of the assistant coach, (b) needing both mental performance and mental health services, (c) factors influencing understanding of mental performance and mental health services, (d) factors impacting student-athlete utilization of mental performance and mental health services, and (e) confusion between mental performance and mental health services.

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Exploring the Implementation and Practices of the Parent–Coach Dual Role

Mia KurtzFavero, Alex Murata, Niël Strydom, Tiffany Tse, Guilherme H. Costa, and Jean Côté

Previous research looking into youth sport coaching indicates that a majority of coaches may also be a parent to an athlete on their team. While previous studies have also sought to understand how being a parent–coach might affect parents’ relationships with their own child(ren), little work appears to explore how occupying this role might affect an individual’s ability to remain effective as a coach. As such, 14 parent–coaches were interviewed to examine how they perceived their dual role to influence their coaching effectiveness and to hear what strategies they used to remain effective. Interviews were analyzed thematically, and findings indicated that parent–coaches have few formalized resources to aid them in navigating the issues associated with their challenging dual-role position. More support would be welcomed by this population to improve their effectiveness and to ensure that all developing athletes in their care continue to have positive experiences within the youth sport environment.

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“It’s Absolutely Essential”: Sport and Performance Psychology Practitioners’ Perspectives on Training, Use, and Importance of Debriefing in Applied Work

Stefanee Maurice, Megan Byrd, Holt Crawford, Kaytlyn Johnson, Joy He, and Carolena Charalambous

Debriefing is commonly used in sport and performance psychology (SPP), but little has been done to expand debriefing education and training experiences. The researchers sought to examine SPP practitioners’ education and training on debriefing and how it is used in their applied work. This study had two phases (Phase I, n = 143; Phase II, n = 13). During Phase I, researchers developed a 16-item questionnaire regarding demographics and debriefing training, use, and importance. Many participants debriefed every session (46%) and rated debriefing as extremely (53.1%) or very important (39.2%). Participants were unsatisfied with their training (55%) and desired more debriefing training from coursework (65%). Three themes were identified in Phase II interviews: training and education, use of debriefing, and importance of debriefing. With limited research in SPP about debriefing, this study furthers knowledge about how debriefing is used in practice and how training experiences can be improved.

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An Insight Into the Use of Personality Assessment by U.K. Sport Psychology Consultants

Stephen Rowles and Tim Holder

Personality has a long, if somewhat checkered history in the sport psychology literature, but insight into its use in contemporary applied practice is more limited. This study investigated contemporary sport psychology consultants’ perceptions of using personality assessment. Ten participants (four female and six male; mean 14 years’ applied experience), all Health and Care Professions Council–registered and accredited by either the British Psychological Society or British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences, were purposefully sampled and interviewed. An inductive thematic analysis was then performed. Five themes were identified: effective practice, perceived impact, societal movements, organizational experience, and innovation. Findings deliver an original insight into the perceptions of practitioners around personality assessment in sport, illustrating a movement from prediction to development in the field and providing novel examples of bespoke, individualized tool application. Broad training and career experiences will help practitioners fully appreciate these potential opportunities.

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How Psychologists in Men’s English Football Academies Evaluate Their Working Context and Adopt an Appropriate Professional Practice Framework

Niels Boysen Feddersen, Francesca Champ, Stig Arve Sæther, and Martin Littlewood

This study examined how psychologists working in men’s English football academies evaluate their working context when choosing a professional practice framework for guiding applied psychology provisions. Sixteen psychologists—six women and 10 men—participated in two semistructured interviews. A stepwise inductive–deductive approach in the analysis was used. The authors found that 13 of the psychologists adopted humanistic psychology as their guiding framework. In exploring the reasoning, three categories were developed: (a) motives for choosing a humanistic approach, (b) challenges when applying a humanistic approach, and (c) perpetuating stigma and restrictive assumptions regarding sport psychology. The study shows that humanistic psychology might be an effective approach to countering some dehumanizing features in the current English academy context (e.g., an overreliance on metrics). However, the Premier League, the Football Association, and other governing football organizations should notice the drawbacks of how psychologists sometimes must collude with the current system to establish psychology in the academy before later expanding provisions.