Working with teams and training groups is a common and major challenge for applied sport psychologists. This document is a position statement on the rationales, methods, and procedures of team-focused approaches in the practice of sport psychology. Furthermore, practice recommendations and research desiderata are discussed. To develop the paper, a consensus conference with nine experts from North America and Europe was held in Spring 2010. First, the paper presents the rationale for team-focused interventions and addresses the concepts of team cohesion, team efficacy, team potency, and a task involving leadership style. Second, the contributions of sport psychologists to enhancing group functioning are discussed, including methods for enhancing interpersonal skills, team climate, and coach athlete relationships. Third, determinants of how sport psychologists decide procedure and build trust in working with teams are articulated. Finally, the consensus group recommends an intensified effort to examine the effects and practice applicability of theory-driven, ecologically valid interventions.
Jens Kleinert, Jeannine Ohlert, Bert Carron, Mark Eys, Deborah Feltz, Chris Harwood, Lother Linz, Roland Seiler, and Marion Sulprizio
Karin Moesch and Erwin Apitzsch
Psychological Momentum (PM) is commonly referred to in competitive sports, but still has to be considered elusive from a scientific perspective. This study explores coaches’ perception of triggers, strategies and characteristics of PM in female elite handball teams. Semi-structured interviews with nine coaches were evaluated using a qualitative content analysis. The results revealed that positive and negative PM were characterized by factors regarding behavior, cognition, confidence, emotions, and the team. Triggers for positive PM were categorized into confidence, players’ individual factors, team factors, and team-opponent-factors, whereas triggers for negative PM related to coach factors, confidence, external factors, players’ individual factors, and team factors. Moreover, strategies emerged that are considered beneficial for controlling PM. The results are discussed with emphasis on behavioral aspects, confidence, emotions, team factors, and application. Foundations based on this study and recent research lead to the assumption that PM is probably best portrayed in a circular approach.
Matthew A. Pain, Chris Harwood, and Richard Mullen
The aim of the current study was to facilitate systematic reflection and action to improve the performance environment of a soccer team during a competitive season. Using the Performance Environment Survey (PES; Pain & Harwood, 2007) as a diagnostic instrument, the researcher worked with the coach to collaboratively identify areas in which team preparation and functioning could be improved. Completed by the players and coach after each match, the PES captured feedback around team preparation and performance in the physical, psychological, coaching, social, planning/organizational and environmental domains. Analysis of this feedback provided the stimulus for weekly discussions with the coach. Results suggested that coach and player reflection increased during the study, and the coach reported that the PES data and his reflections on that data were beneficial to managing the performance environment. In areas where change was targeted—in particular the social and the phaysical domains—improvements in team functioning were reported. Team feedback meetings were also perceived as helpful to improving player ownership and cohesiveness.
Jesse Steinfeldt, Leslie A. Rutkowski, Thomas J. Orr, and Matthew C. Steinfeldt
This study examined on-field antisocial sports behaviors among 274 American football players in the United States. Results indicated that moral atmosphere (i.e., teammate, coach influence) and conformity to masculine norms were significantly related to participants’ moral behavior on the field (i.e., intimidate, risk injury, cheat, intentionally injure opponents). In other words, the perception that coaches and teammates condone on-field antisocial behaviors—in addition to conforming to societal expectations of traditional masculinity—is related to higher levels of antisocial behaviors on the football field. In addition, conformity to traditional masculine norms mediated the relationship between moral atmosphere and on-field aggressive sports behaviors, suggesting a relationship between social norms and moral atmosphere. Results of this interdisciplinary endeavor are interpreted and situated within the extant literature of both the fields of sport psychology and the psychological study of men and masculinity. Sport psychologists can use results to design interventions that incorporate moral atmosphere and conformity to masculine norms in an effort to decrease aggressive sports behaviors in the violent sport of football.
Ronnie Lidor, Gal Ziv, and Tamar Gershon
In this article we reviewed a series of studies (n = 18) on psychological preparation of the goalkeeper (GK) for the 11-m penalty kick in soccer. The main findings of this review were that deception strategies (e.g., standing slightly off-center) can increase the chances of the kick being directed to a desired direction, and that individual differences among GKs should be considered when planning sport psychology programs for GKs. A number of research limitations and methodological concerns, such as the lack of ecological validity of the tasks performed in the studies and the lack of studies on psychological interventions, were discussed. In addition, a number of practical implications for sport psychology consultants who work with GKs in soccer were suggested.
Zoe Knowles, Jonathan Katz, and David Gilbourne
This paper examines reflective practice by illustrating and commenting upon aspects of an elite sport psychology practitioner’s reflective processes. Extracts from a practitioner’s reflective diary, maintained during attendance at a major sporting event, focused upon issues that relate to on-going relationships and communication with fellow practitioners and athletes. Authors one and three offered subsequent comment on these accounts to facilitate movement toward critical reflection via an intrapersonal process creating considerations for the practitioners with regard to skills and personal development. These issues are discussed in relation to pragmatic topics such as “staged” and “layered” reflection encouraged by author collaboration and shared writing within the present paper. We argue these outcomes against more philosophical/opaque considerations such as the progression of critical reflection and critical social science.
Jérémy B. J. Coquart, Yancy Dufour, Alain Groslambert, Régis Matran, and Murielle Garcin
The purpose was to study the relationships between psychological factors and perceptually-based values (Ratings of Perceived Exertion: RPE and Estimated Time Limit: ETL). The researchers obtained the scores of several psychological factors (anxiety, extraversion-introversion, neuroticism-stability, self-esteem, motivation, psychological resistance and endurance, desire for success, social desirability, dynamism, competitiveness, activity control, risk-taking, emotional control, aggressiveness, sociability, cooperation, acceptance of a judgment, and leadership) among 23 cyclists. The cyclists performed a graded exercise test in which the researchers collected RPE and ETL at 150, 200, 250 and 300W. Correlations between RPE/ETL and psychological factors were examined. RPE was correlated with leadership, psychological resistance and endurance. ETL was significantly correlated with psychological endurance. These results suggest a link between psychological factors, effort perception, and the time limits predicted by teleoanticipation. These relationships varied according to intensity.
Philipp Bennet Philippen and Babett H. Lobinger
The yips in golf is the interruption of a smooth putting movement by an involuntary jerk or freezing of the arm. Psychological factors seem to worsen the phenomenon. However, published data on how the yips in golf is cognitively and emotionally experienced are very limited. Moreover, the focus of attention in yips-affected golfers has not been investigated. Thus, we interviewed 17 yips-affected golfers to record the thoughts and feelings that are experienced in a situation in which the yips occurs. In addition, we asked them about their focus of attention right before putting. Content analysis revealed a negative cognitive and emotional pattern for all golfers. Furthermore, 11 participants reported focusing either internally or on possible mistakes. The results contribute to an understanding of the yips in golf and provide a starting point for further investigations into possible interventions for the yips.