In the current study National Collegiate Athletic Association D-I athletic directors (n = 198) and presidents (n = 58) were asked to rate their perceptions of the benefits of various sport psychology services and their support of possible roles for a sport psychology consultant (SPC). Participants gave higher ratings for (a) services that were performance-related (e.g., dealing with pressure) than for those that were life-related (e.g., preventing burnout) and (b) a role for a SPC that involved the provision of services but not a full-time staff position or interactions with athletes at practices and competitions. Results indicated that while administrators acknowledge the potential benefits of sport psychology services, some remain reticent to employ them on a full-time basis. Future research is recommended with administrators that have employed SPCs full-time to determine their perceptions of the impact of sport psychology services on their student-athletes.
NCAA Division-I Administrators’ Perceptions of the Benefits of Sport Psychology Services and Possible Roles for a Consultant
Craig Wrisberg, Jenny Lind Withycombe, Duncan Simpson, Lauren A. Loberg, and Ann Reed
A Phenomenological Investigation of Gymnasts’ Lived Experience of Imagery
Phillip G. Post and Craig A. Wrisberg
The authors would like to extend their gratitude to the ten gymnasts participating in this study. Their willingness to share their time and experiences made this research project possible.
Phenomenological interviews were conducted with ten female collegiate gymnasts (M age = 22.2; SD = 1.68 yr) to determine their lived experience of sport imagery. Qualitative analysis of the interview data revealed a total of 693 meaning units and produced a final thematic structure consisting of five major dimensions: preparing for movement; mentally preparing; feeling the skill; controlling perspective/speed/effort; and time and place. Among the results not reported in previous studies were athletes’ manipulations of imagery speed for various purposes, the incorporation of abbreviated body movements during imagery to accentuate the feel of the action, correcting inadvertent mistakes in an imaged performance, and the imaging of upcoming segments of a serial skill during execution. The findings extend previous sport imagery research and provide suggestions for sport psychology consultants working with elite gymnasts.
The Relation of Coaching Context and Coach Education to Coaching Efficacy and Perceived Leadership Behaviors in Youth Sport
Philip Sullivan, Kyle J. Paquette, Nicholas L. Holt, and Gordon A. Bloom
This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
The purposes of this study were to examine how coaching context and level of coaching education were related to coaching efficacy and, subsequently, how coaching efficacy was related to perceived leadership behaviors in youth sports. One hundred and seventy-two youth sport coaches completed the Coaching Efficacy Scale and Revised Leadership Scale for Sports. Structural equation modeling revealed that coach education significantly affected the multidimensional construct of coaching efficacy whereas coaching context did not. Coaching efficacy predicted perceived leadership behaviors comprising training and instruction, positive feedback, social support, and situational consideration. These findings question the issue of coaching efficacy as a factor that may distinguish between coaches at different organizational contexts but highlight the importance of coach education training for improving coaching efficacy in youth sport.
Volume 25 (2011): Issue 4 (Dec 2011)
Alleviation of Choking Under Pressure in Elite Golf: An Action Research Study
Denise M. Hill, Sheldon Hanton, Nic Matthews, and Scott Fleming
The study examined the effect of an evidence-based intervention on choking in golf. It is informed by the work of Hill, Hanton, Matthews and Fleming (2010a) that explored the experiences of elite golfers who either choked or excelled under pressure. The perceptions of elite golf coaches who worked with both ‘chokers’ and those who excelled, were also considered. It revealed that choking may be alleviated through the use of process goals, cognitive restructuring, imagery, simulated training and a pre/postshot routine. The present study incorporated each strategy into an intervention that was introduced to two professional golfers (aged 22) who choked under pressure regularly. Through an action research framework the impact of the intervention was evaluated over a ten month period via qualitative methods. The results indicated the intervention alleviated the participants’ choking episodes and so provides information that can be of use to practitioners working with golfers who choke.
Inside Sport Psychology
Patricia L. Laguna
Machiavellianism in Children in Dutch Elementary Schools and Sports Clubs: Prevalence and Stability According to Context, Sport Type, and Gender
Paul Baar and Theo Wubbels
The majority of research on children’s peer aggression has focused exclusively on the school context. Very few studies have investigated peer aggression in sports clubs. The prevalence and stability of peer aggression, prosocial behavior, and resource control strategies for children participating in three types of sports (martial arts, contact, and noncontact sports) were examined in two contexts: the sports club and the elementary school. We distinguished aggressive children with (i.e., Machiavellians) and without prosocial tendencies (i.e., coercive-aggressive children). Self-reports about experiences in the two contexts where gathered from 1,425 Dutch elementary school students (717 boys and 708 girls, fourth to sixth grade, mean age 11.25 years) who were participating in a sports club. We found roles for resource control strategies to be rather stable across contexts. The findings did not provide support for the “enhancement” assumption in these contexts with regard to martial arts participants.
Perfectionism and Burnout Within Intercollegiate Sport: A Person-Oriented Approach
John K. Gotwals
This study investigates the functional nature of perfectionism in sport through a person-oriented comparison of healthy and unhealthy perfectionist athletes’ levels of burnout. A sample of 117 intercollegiate varsity student-athletes (M age = 21.28 years, SD = 2.05) completed measures that assessed multidimensional sport-based perfectionism and athlete burnout indices (i.e., reduced accomplishment, sport devaluation, and emotional/physical exhaustion). Cluster analysis revealed that the sample could be represented by four theoretically meaningful clusters: Parent-Oriented Unhealthy Perfectionists, Doubt-Oriented Unhealthy Perfectionists, Healthy Perfectionists, and Non-Perfectionists. Intercluster comparisons revealed that healthy perfectionists reported (a) lower levels on all athlete burnout indices in comparison with both doubt-oriented unhealthy perfectionists and nonperfectionists and (b) lower levels of emotional/physical exhaustion in comparison with parent-oriented unhealthy perfectionists (all ps < .05). The degree to which findings fit within perfectionism/burnout theory and can serve as an example for research with enhanced relevancy to applied sport psychology contexts is discussed.
Psychological Qualities of Elite Adolescent Rugby Players: Parents, Coaches, and Sport Administration Staff Perceptions and Supporting Roles
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.
Revisions to the Sport Psychology Service Delivery (SPSD) Heuristic: Explorations With Experienced Consultants
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.