The performance profile (PP) technique is a standard intervention employed by mental performance consultants to enhance a range of psychological outcomes within individuals and groups. Since its inception, the PP has generated much applied and research interest in the field of sport and performance psychology. The last decade has seen a resurgence of performance profiling publications, including applied reflections and empirical investigations, as well as extending use of the technique to novel populations. In addition to novel applications, more psychological outcomes, formal adaptations, theoretical extensions, and validity data have been provided. This paper distills previous and recent PP literature so as to provide a comprehensive and updated overview of the popular PP procedure. To this end, the PP technique’s implementation overview, theoretical roots, established variations, validity, and impacts to date are thoroughly discussed. Limitations of the technique and future directions to extend the performance profiling literature are offered. Collectively, this information provides readers with insight as to the flexibility, utility, and effectiveness of the PP technique and implications for professional practice.
Elmer A. Castillo
Tom De Clerck, Annick Willem, Sofie Morbée, Delfien Van Dyck, and Leen Haerens
A considerable amount of research based on self-determination theory has provided evidence for the pivotal role of the coaches’ motivating style in predicting sports club members’ motivation to participate in organized sports. This study also investigated the importance of the sports club leaders’ motivating style for members’ motivation. Specifically, it focused on the relation between the leaders’ motivating style and members’ motivation via the coaches’ motivating style (i.e., trickle-down effect), hereby relying on the perceptions of sports club members (N = 210). Results pointed to the existence of a trickle-down effect, showing that the leaders’ motivating style was reflected in the coaches’ motivating style, which in turn related positively to members’ autonomous motivation and negatively to members’ amotivation. This study provides a proof of principle of the trickle-down effect in sports clubs, urging researchers to further explore this effect in the sports context.
Tom O. Mitchell, Ian H.J. Cowburn, David Piggott, Martin A. Littlewood, Tony Cook, and Kevin Till
The possession of certain psychosocial characteristics can offer performance advantages in a range of domains. However, integrating a program to support the development of psychosocial characteristics is a lengthy process and involves context-specific knowledge and effective working relationships with stakeholders. The aim of this article is to present a real-life example of the design, delivery, and implementation of a theoretically informed psychosocial development program for players within an academy soccer setting to include player workshops, coach delivery, and ways to influence the environment. This multifaceted approach included formal and informal meetings, observations, coach education, and social media groups. Initial reflections suggested workshops are an effective method to “teach” some of the aspects within the program. Integrating coaches throughout design and implementation is recommended. Key stakeholders should consider investing time in education for coaches to develop strategies to foster psychosocial development in their players. Limitations and future recommendations are discussed.
Fernando Santos, Martin Camiré, and Dany J. MacDonald
Given that coaches who enroll in coach education courses may have diverse levels of openness to learning about positive youth development (PYD), the purpose of this study was to profile coaches’ openness to PYD before, during, and after their participation in a coach education course. A multimethod approach that involved field notes, nonparticipant observations, and interviews was used to create three profiles illustrating coaches’ varying levels of openness. Participants were three male coaches involved in competitive and recreational youth sport who had been coaching youth for more than 12 years. The profile of Graham represents a coach who was open to PYD. The profile of Fonseca represents a coach who was partially open to PYD. Finally, the profile of Taylor represents a coach who had no openness to PYD. Results are discussed in relation to how performance outcomes remain a high priority in youth sport, compelling some coaches to pay “socially desirable lip service” to PYD without any real intentions to modify their coaching practice. Revised policies and funding models, developed with input from multiple levels of stakeholders in the sport system, may prove useful in inspiring more coach openness to learning about PYD. This study may help further our understanding on how coach educators can use differentiated pedagogical approaches that may help make PYD a worthwhile and tangible objective for coaches who register in PYD coach education courses. Moving forward, future investigations on coach openness could be expanded to other sport contexts and coach development systems.
Christoph Kittler, Manuel Arnold, and Darko Jekauc
Attention is a key success factor in elite sports. Mindfulness training is suspected to be a determinant of attention. The present study was a wait-list controlled investigation of the effects of a mindfulness-based sport psychology program on sustained and selective attention in young elite athletes (n = 137) and the effects of mindfulness training dosage on improving attention scores. In addition, long-term effects were examined. Selective and sustained attention were assessed in a pre–post design using the Frankfurter Aufmerksamkeits-Inventar 2, a go/no-go task. The results of this study indicate that the Berlin Mindfulness-Based Training for Athletes improved both sustained and selective attention in young athletes and that more training in the same amount of time resulted in higher scores in the assessment. The data also indicate that students who continued to practice independently after the intervention had higher scores in the long-term measure.
Sophie Gibbs-Nicholls, Alister McCormick, and Melissa Coyle
This study identified helpful and unhelpful encouragement at mass participation running events and explored the meaning that runners found in encouragement. First, 10 k and half-marathon postevent surveys differentiated instructional and motivational components of helpful and unhelpful support. Second, an inductive, reflexive thematic analysis of 14 interviews highlighted the reciprocal relationship between the crowd and runners, whereby quality of support was reflected in runners’ emotions and behavior. Participants drew pride in participation and belief from the crowd, and they wanted to “give back” through doing their best. Personal and authentic support was particularly valued. Although support was widely appreciated, at times it created a pressure to “perform.” As a novel intervention based on our combined findings, we recommend that crowds, event organizers, and psyching teams give encouragement “with IMPACT” (Instructional; Motivational; Personalized; Authentic; Confidence-building; Tailored to the distance). Crowds should also demonstrate the “core conditions” of authenticity, empathy, and being nonjudgmental within their encouragement.
Tom Williams, Lynne Evans, Angus Robertson, Lew Hardy, Stuart Roy, and Daniel Lewis
The purpose of this study was to identify factors that distinguished between injured athletes who displayed high compared with low levels of rehabilitation adherence following anterior cruciate ligament reconstructive surgery. In order to gain an in-depth understanding of these factors, semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted with six high adherers, six matched low adherers and for each injured athlete, a significant other. Thematic analysis was used to identify the themes that distinguished between high and low adherers. Three themes were generated based on the findings: (a) preparation for postoperative rehabilitation, (b) an active versus passive approach to rehabilitation, and (c) the threat of a poor outcome. Each theme comprised a number of subthemes that further elucidated the participants’ rehabilitation experiences and adherence behaviors. The findings have important implications for medical professionals, sport psychology consultants, coaches, and athletes with a vested interest in expediting recovery following anterior cruciate ligament reconstructive surgery.
Lennie Waite, Chris Stanley, Brian Zuleger, and Anne Shadle
In preparation for the 2020–2024 Olympic cycle, members of the USA Track and Field sport psychology (SP) subcommittee investigated the SP service provision needs and preferences of 88 elite Olympic-level athletes. A mixed-methods needs analysis was employed, which consisted of surveys, interviews, and a focus group, to help understand current SP usage and shape future SP services for USA Track and Field. Findings highlighted a lack of knowledge and exposure to SP services and a desire for increased contact with SP professionals among athletes, exposing gaps and room for improvement in service delivery. Athletes cited flexibility in terms of service delivery mode and shared common core preferences for mental training, including help managing stress, pressure, emotions, and other challenges of competition and training. The results are discussed in relation to strengthening the effectiveness of service provision through increasing visibility, accessibility, and education regarding the benefits of SP services.