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Siobhain McArdle and Phil Moore

This article highlights four key principles of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and proposes situations where these tenets would be relevant from an applied sport psychology perspective. To achieve this aim, a case study of an athlete with a dysfunctional perfectionist mindset is employed. We conclude with possible research directions in applied sport psychology informed by CBT. These recommendations include the need to further develop an evidence based formulation system and the relevance of building a repertoire of “evidence-based” behavioral experiments to improve practice.

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Paul McCarthy, Frank D. Perry, Derek Schwandt, and Wade Gilbert

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Martin Camiré, Pierre Trudel, and Tanya Forneris

Whether life skills are developed through sport greatly depends on how coaches create suitable environments that promote the development of youth (Gould & Carson, 2008). The purpose of this study was to examine, using Gould and Carson’s (2008) model of coaching life skills, the philosophies and strategies used by model high school coaches to coach life skills and how to transfer these life skills to other areas of life. Interviews were conducted with both coaches and their student-athletes. Results indicated that coaches understood their student-athletes preexisting make up and had philosophies based on promoting the development of student-athletes. Results also demonstrated that coaches had strategies designed to coach life skills and educate student-athletes about the transferability of the skills they learned in sport. Although variations were reported, coaches and student-athletes generally believed that student-athletes can transfer the skills learned in sport to other areas of life. These results are discussed using Gould and Carson’s model and the youth development literature.

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Andrew P. Driska, Cindra Kamphoff, and Suzannah Mork Armentrout

Using the mental toughness framework of Jones, Hanton and Connaughton (2007), the authors interviewed thirteen highly-experienced swimming coaches in a two-part study to determine the specific mental toughness subcomponents present in mentally tough swimmers, and to examine the factors that led swimmers to develop mental toughness. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using methods outlined by Creswell (2007). While confirming eleven of thirteen subcomponents of mental toughness previously identified by Jones et al. (2007), the participants identified (a) “coachability” and (b) “retaining psychological control on poor training days” as previously unidentified subcomponents of mental toughness. In the second part of the study, the authors identified six higher-order themes describing how both the coach and the swimmer acted to develop mental toughness in the swimmer. Implications for researchers, swimming coaches, and sport psychology consultants are discussed.

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Jörn Köppen and Markus Raab

Belief in streaks—known as a hot (or cold) hand in sports—is a common element in human decision making. In three video-based experiments, we investigated the belief–behavior relationship and how allocation decisions in volleyball are affected by the expertise of participants measured in years of experience. The participants watched video sequences of two volleyball players in which the base rates of these players were kept constant. In addition, one player showed a hot hand (or cold hand), which was manipulated by length and perfection. Results showed that participants of different expertise levels were sensitive to all kinds of streaks, allocated more/less balls to the hot/cold player and reported strong beliefs in the hot or the cold hand. Developing tactics can benefit from this line of research.

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Diane M. Culver, Wade Gilbert, and Andrew Sparkes

A follow-up of the 1990s review of qualitative research articles published in three North American sport psychology journals (Culver, Gilbert, & Trudel, 2003) was conducted for the years 2000–2009. Of the 1,324 articles published, 631 were data-based and 183 of these used qualitative data collection techniques; an increase from 17.3% for the 1990s to 29.0% for this last decade. Of these, 31.1% employed mixed methods compared with 38.1% in the 1990s. Interviews were used in 143 of the 183 qualitative studies and reliability test reporting increased from 45.2% to 82.2%. Authors using exclusively quotations to present their results doubled from 17.9% to 39.9%. Only 13.7% of the authors took an epistemological stance, while 26.2% stated their methodological approach. We conclude that positivist/postpositivist approaches appear to maintain a predominant position in sport psychology research. Awareness of the importance of being clear about epistemology and methodology should be a goal for all researchers.

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Laura Jonker, Marije T. Elferink-Gemser, Ilse M. de Roos, and Chris Visscher

Reflection is considered a key factor in expert learning and refers to the extent to which individuals are able to appraise what they have learned and to integrate these experiences into future actions, thereby maximizing performance improvements. We assessed the relation between self-reported reflection at baseline and attainment (i.e., international vs. national level) 2.5 years later in 52 elite youth athletes. A Mann-Whitney U test showed that those who became senior internationals scored highest on reflection during their junior years compared with those who only attained senior national status. More specifically, athletes who made the transition from junior national to senior international level had higher reflection scores than their peers who did not reach international status and had similar scores to those who were internationals as juniors. These results emphasize the value of reflection in elite youth athletes to attaining senior international status later in development.

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Stewart A. Vella, Lindsay G. Oades, and Trevor P. Crowe

This paper describes the validation of The Differentiated Transformational Leadership Inventory (DTLI) within a participation youth sports context. Three hundred and twenty-two athletes aged between 11 and 18 years completed the DTLI. Using a confirmatory factor analysis, the DTLI yielded an underlying factor structure that fell short of cut-off criteria for adjudging model fit. Subsequent theory-driven changes were made to the DTLI by removing the ‘high performance expectations’ subscale. Further data-driven changes were also made on the basis of high item-factor cross-loadings. The revised version of the DTLI was subjected to confirmatory factor analysis and proved to be a good fit for the obtained data. Consequently, a Differentiated Transformational Leadership Inventory for Youth Sport has been suggested for use within the participation youth sport context that contains 22 items, and retains six subscales.