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.
Andrew P. Driska, Cindra Kamphoff, and Suzannah Mork Armentrout
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.
Sandrine Isoard-Gautheur, Emma Guillet-Descas, and Pierre-Nicolas Lemyre
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.
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.
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.
Charlotte Woodcock, Joan L. Duda, Jennifer Cumming, Lee-Ann Sharp, and Mark J.G. Holland
Drawing from the experiences of the authors in developing, conducting, and evaluating sport psychology interventions, several considerations are highlighted and recommendations offered for effective psychometric assessment. Using the Test of Performance Strategies (TOPS; Thomas, Murphy, & Hardy, 1999) as a working example, opportunities for bias to undermine a measure’s validity and reliability are discussed with reference to a respondent’s four cognitive processes: (a) comprehension, (b) retrieval, (c) decision-making, and (d) response generation. Further threats to an instrument’s psychometric properties are highlighted in the form of demand characteristics athletes perceive in the environment. With these concerns in mind, several recommendations are made relating to the process of questionnaire administration and how possible compromises to the psychometric soundness of measures used in applied interventions can be minimized.
Kyle J. Paquette and Philip Sullivan
Multiple conceptual frameworks support the link between coaches’ attitudes and behaviors, and their effect on a variety of athlete outcomes, such as performance, motivation, and athlete self-perceptions. The present study explored the relationships among coaches’ attitudes and behaviors, with respect to psychological skills training (PST), and the beliefs of their athletes. One hundred and fifteen coaches completed PST attitude (SPA-RC-revised) and behavior measures, while 403 athletes completed two perception measures (CCS and SCI). Structural Equation Modeling showed that the proposed relationships were statistically significant, except for the pathway between coaches’ attitudes and their behaviors. Results support the disconnect between coaches’ attitudes and behaviors previously established in PST research, as well as the theoretical links between coaches’ behaviors and athletes’ perceptions (i.e., evaluation of their coach and self-confidence).
Andrea J. Becker
The primary purpose of this study was to examine basketball players’ experiences of being coached during a turnaround season. Participants included eight collegiate men’s basketball players (ages 18–23) and one staff member representing an NCAA Division I program at a large university in the United States. All participants were involved with the basketball program during back-to-back seasons in which the team experienced a losing record (14–17) followed by a coaching change, and then a winning record (22–8) and conference championship. Semistructured interviews (lasting between 30–90 min) were conducted and transcribed verbatim. Analyses of the transcripts revealed 631 meaning units that were further grouped into lower and higher order themes. This led to the development of five major dimensions which encompassed these basketball players’ experiences of being coached during this extraordinary turnaround season including their (a) Experiences of Coach’s Personality Characteristics; (b) Experiences of Coach’s Philosophy, System, and Style of play; (c) Experiences of His Coaching Style; (d) Experiences of the Practice Environment; and (e) Experiences of How Coach Influenced Us.