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Dany J. MacDonald, Jean Côté, Mark Eys, and Janice Deakin

Sport has been identified as a context in which youth encounter positive and negative experiences. However, relatively little is known about the factors that lead to positive and negative personal development among sport participants. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of enjoyment and motivational climate on positive and negative personal development of team sport participants. A sample of 510 athletes between the ages of 9 and 19 completed questionnaires on positive and negative personal development, enjoyment, and motivational climate. Stepwise multiple regression analyses examined the effects of enjoyment and motivational climate on the personal development of the athletes. Results demonstrated that positive experiences in sport were most strongly predicted by affiliation with peers, self-referenced competency, effort expenditure, and a task climate. Negative experiences were most strongly predicted by an ego climate and other-referenced competency. Results suggest that creating an environment that encourages peer affiliation and personal achievement can result in the positive personal development of youth sport participants.

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Dana K. Voelker, Dan Gould, and Michael J. Crawford

The purpose of this study was to gain a thorough understanding of the high school sport captaincy experience. Thirteen university freshmen (7 males, 6 females) who were high school sport captains the previous year participated in 60—90 min semistructured interviews. Hierarchical content analysis of the data revealed that the majority of participants believed that their captainship experience was positive, but also cited difficult aspects such as having responsibility/being held accountable, being scrutinized/meeting expectations, and staying neutral in conflict situations. The majority of captains also reported receiving little to no training from coaches for their captaincy role and indicated that they learned to lead largely from previous life experiences, such as by observing significant others and learning through trial and error. Results on perceived roles and duties, perceived effectiveness, attitudes toward formal leadership training, and recommendations for future captains are also provided. Implications for designing youth sport leadership development interventions and advancing research on youth leadership are discussed.

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Robert J. Schinke, Gershon Tenenbaum, Ronnie Lidor, and Randy C. Battochio

Adaptation is defined here as the end point in a process, when people respond in a positive manner to hardship, threat, and challenge, including monumental sport tests, such as international tournaments. Recently, there have been formal research investigations where adaptation has been considered as a provisional framework, with a more formal structure of pathways. Sport scholars have studied Olympic and professional athletes, provided support for a theoretical framework, and identified provisional substrategies for each pathway. In this article the authors situate adaptation within a larger discourse of related interventions, including coping and self-regulation. Subsequently, adaptation is proposed as a comprehensive intervention strategy for elite athletes during monumental sport environments.

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Zoe Knowles and David Gilbourne

The present article contemplates the future of reflective practice in the domain of applied sport psychology and, in so doing, seeks to engender further critical debate and comment. More specifically, the discussion to follow revisits the topic of ‘reflective-levels’ and builds a case for ‘critical reflection’ as an aspiration for those engaged in pedagogy or applied sport psychology training regimens. Assumptions and commentators associated with critical social science (e.g., Habermas, 1974; Carr & Kemmis, 1986), action research (e.g., Carr & Kemmis, 1986; Leitch & Day, 2000), and critical reflection (e.g., Morgan, 2007) suggest a number of foundation points from which critical reflection might be better understood. Finally, writing about ones-self via the processes of critical reflection and through reflective practice more generally are briefly considered in cautionary terms (Bleakley, 2000; du Preez, 2008). Auto-ethnography in sport (Gilbourne, 2002; Stone, 2009) is finally proposed as one potential source of illustration and inspiration for reflective practitioners in terms of both content and style.

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John Coumbe-Lilley

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Craig A. Wrisberg, Lauren A. Loberg, Duncan Simpson, Jenny L. Withycombe, and Ann Reed

In this study NCAA Division I coaches (n = 815) completed a Web-based survey assessing their willingness to encourage athletes to see a sport psychology consultant (SPC), their support of possible roles for a SPC at their institution and, for coaches with current access to a SPC at their institutions, their willingness to seek mental training services for a variety of purposes. The results indicated that coaches were more willing to encourage their athletes to see a SPC for performance issues than for personal concerns and were more supportive of making mental training services available to athletes and including a SPC among athletic department staff than allowing a SPC to be present at practices and competitions. Coaches with current access to a SPC were primarily interested in mental training for performance enhancement purposes and were more willing to seek the services if they had more frequent contact with the SPC and perceived the SPC to be effective. These findings extend previous research on athletes’ and coaches’ receptivity to mental training and provide several important insights for SPCs working with athletic personnel at the NCAA Division I level.

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Brendan Cropley, Sheldon Hanton, Andy Miles, and Ailsa Niven

This study offers an investigation into the concept of effective practice in applied sport psychology (ASP) with emphasis being placed upon the role that reflective practice may have in helping practitioners to develop the effectiveness of their service delivery. Focus groups (n = 2), consisting of accredited and trainee sport psychologists, were conducted to generate a working definition of effective practice, and discuss the concept of effectiveness development through engagement in reflective practices. The resulting definition encapsulated a multidimensional process involving reflection-on-practice. Initial support for the definition was gained through consensus validation involving accredited sport psychologists (n = 34) who agreed with the notion that although effectiveness is context specific it is related to activities designed to meet client needs. Reflective practice emerged as a vital component in the development of effectiveness, with participants highlighting that reflection is intrinsically linked to service delivery, and a key tool for experiential learning.

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Carrie Cheadle

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Carolina Lundqvist and Göran Kenttä

The purpose of this study was to psychometrically evaluate the Emotional Recovery Questionnaire (EmRecQ) and to describe athletes’ individual response patterns in five repeated assessments using the EmRecQ. Three samples were used. Samples 1 and 2 consisted of 192 and 379 (Mean age 16.4 years, SD = 0.7 and Mean age: 17.0 years, SD = 1.1) elite athletes from different sports. The third sample consisted of 20 (Mean age: 21.3, SD = 19.0) female elite basketball players. The EmRecQ is a 22-item questionnaire that assesses Happiness, Security, Harmony, Love, and Vitality. Results showed acceptable weighted omega reliability and construct reliability. Confirmatory factor analyses supported the a priori specified five-factor correlated model. Case profiles of repeated assessments revealed individual response patterns of the separate EmRecQ subscales that corresponded well with rated training load and total quality of recovery. The findings provide support for the EmRecQ’s psychometric properties and applied usefulness.