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Charlotte Woodcock, Mark J.G. Holland, Joan L. Duda, and Jennifer Cumming

The aim of the current study was to extend previous research by Holland and colleagues (2010) into the required psychological qualities of young talented rugby players by considering the perceptions and supportive role of influential others. Perceptions of players’ parents (n = 17), coaches (n = 7), and sport administration staff (SAS; n = 2) were explored through focus group discussions. Findings show that these influential others considered the same 11 higher order themes for psychological qualities previously identified as desirable by players. Their views on how they assisted in developing these player psychological qualities were classified into three higher-order themes, namely progressive development, professional environment, and performance environment. Specific behaviors contributing to each context and deemed helpful by influential others were discussed in terms of ecological systems theory (Bonfenbrenner, 1977). Recommendations for future research and applied implications for consultants are subsequently offered.

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Artur Poczwardowski and Clay P. Sherman

Sport psychology service delivery (SPSD) heuristic (Poczwardowski, Sherman, & Henschen, 1998) included key components of applied work. Nevertheless, the complexities of sport psychology consulting need an even broader representation. In individual, semistructured interviews, 10 experienced sport psychology consultants explored the usefulness of the original heuristic and newly added elements in their professional practice. Inductive analysis (Lincoln & Guba, 1985) resulted in a total of 2409 meaning units that were grouped into 127 lower-order themes and 32 higher-order themes that were used to clarify, expand, and revise the SPSD model as interpreted by the participants. Based on the new elements (i.e., consultant-client relationship, the consultant variables, the client variables, immersion, and the goodness of fit) and two meta-themes (i.e., interrelation and person-focused values), a newly configured heuristic is proposed (SPSD-Revised). Future researchers will benefit from different research methods and diversified conceptualizations of sport psychology service delivery to account for professional practice variables in various contexts.

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Cathryn B. Lucas-Carr and Vikki Krane

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Jarred F. Parkes and Clifford J. Mallett

Recent research has identified optimism as an underlying mechanism of mental toughness (Coulter, Mallett, & Gucciardi, 2010). To further understand what elements of mental toughness can be developed, the current study evaluated the utility of an optimism intervention that employed cognitive-behavioral techniques (e.g., identifying automatic thoughts; testing accuracy of thoughts) to retrain attributional style. Seven male rugby players who were competing in first grade club rugby participated in the intervention. The effectiveness of the program was partially evaluated via self-reports of the Sport Attributional Style Scale (Hanrahan, Grove, & Hattie, 1989). Qualitative data were also collected via a focus group and semistructured interviews. The quantitative results provided minimal support for the utility of the intervention; there was evidence to suggest participants’ attributions became more external for negative events. The qualitative data suggested that participants (a) developed greater resilience in the face of adversity, (b) were more confident in their sport, and (c) developed a more optimistic explanatory style for negative events. The qualitative findings support the utility of a cognitive-behavioral based attribution retraining intervention for developing optimism in rugby players. The data also supported the flexible use of external attributions for negative events.

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Lucie Finez, Sophie Berjot, Elisabeth Rosnet, and Christena Cleveland

One hundred and three athletes participated in a motor task that was ostensibly designed to detect their physical ability (high ego-threatening condition) or provide pretesting data for an upcoming study (low ego-threatening condition) and were then given the opportunity to claim handicaps that could impair their performance on this task. Extending previous findings that high self-handicappers (i.e., athletes who scored high on the self-handicapping scale) and low self-esteem athletes engage in claimed self-handicapping in high ego-threatening conditions, the results reveal that they may also engage in this strategy in low ego-threatening conditions. In the low ego-threatening condition, athletes’ self-esteem and self-handicapping tendency explained together 33% of the handicaps they claimed.

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In the article by Matthew A. Pain, Chris Harwood, and Rich Anderson titled “Pre-Competition Imagery and Music: The Impact on Flow and Performance in Competitive Soccer” appearing in TSP 25(1) June 2011, the first line of the abstract should read “This article describes an intervention on the precompetition routines of soccer players during a 19-week phase of a competitive season.” We regret the error.

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Caroline Wakefield and Dave Smith

Imagery is one of the most widely-researched topics in sport psychology. Recent research has been focused on how imagery works and how to apply it to have the greatest possible performance effect. However, the amount of imagery needed to produce optimal effects has been under-researched, particularly in relation to the PETTLEP model of imagery (Holmes & Collins, 2001). This study examined the effects of differing frequencies of PETTLEP imagery on bicep curl performance, using a single-case design. Following a baseline period, participants completed PETTLEP imagery 1×/week, 2×/week, or 3×/week in a counterbalanced pattern. Results indicated that PETTLEP imagery had a positive effect on performance. In addition, as the frequency of imagery increased, a larger performance effect was apparent. These results support the notion that PETTLEP imagery can lead to strength gains if performed at least 1× per week, but that completing imagery more frequently may be more effective.

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Judy L. Van Raalte, Albert J. Petitpas, Lisa Krieger, Carla Lide, Cassaundra Thorpe, and Britton W. Brewer

Issues related to sexuality, sexual orientation, and romantic relationships have received attention in the sport psychology literature. An area that has not been addressed, however, is that of romantic relationships among sport teammates. Such intrateam romantic relationships may have certain benefits but can also be disruptive to teams and team functioning. The purpose of this manuscript is to (a) address issues related to intrateam romantic relationships, and (b) to propose strategies for sport psychology consultants to consider and use when working with teams when intrateam romantic relationships develop. Specifically, sport psychology consultants who encounter intrateam romantic relationships may find it valuable to consider family system models as a theoretical framework for intervention, clearly identify the client, determine the willingness of those involved to consult, and assess their own abilities to effectively intervene and to receive supervision for such interventions. A well-defined, credible approach may help sport psychology consultants to succeed in complex circumstances and gain the trust, respect, and cooperation of the coaches, teams, and athletes with whom they work.