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Counseling Goals of Athletes During Injury Rehabilitation: A Descriptive Analysis

Jacob R. Schlierf, Trevor S. Jaskiw, Britton W. Brewer, and Judy L. Van Raalte

Although goal setting is widely recommended for sport injury rehabilitation, little is known about the content of the goals set by athletes with injuries. Toward this end, a qualitative content analysis was performed on the goals and barriers to goal attainment identified by 163 intercollegiate student athletes (117 men and 46 women) participating in counseling interventions during sport injury rehabilitation. Most of the 956 goals set (84%) contained a physical element. A physical barrier was identified for 49% of the goals. Economic, cognitive, emotional, and social elements were noted as both goals and barriers. Goal content did not change significantly over the course of rehabilitation. Most goals were specific, process, short term, and positively phrased. The findings provide a detailed description of the types and qualities of counseling goals set by athletes during injury rehabilitation, offering professionals insight into the wide range of concerns expressed by athletes with injury during counseling.

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Effects of Neurofeedback Training on Frontal Midline Theta Power, Shooting Performance, and Attentional Focus With Experienced Biathletes

Thomas Toolis, Andrew Cooke, Marko S. Laaksonen, and Kerry McGawley

Frontal midline theta power (FMT) has been associated with superior rifle shooting performance. Our experiment examined whether electroencephalographic-based training could increase FMT, shooting performance, and attentional focus in highly trained/elite biathletes. Participants (n = 28; age, M = 21.7, SD = 2.3) were assigned to a control group or an intervention group (with 3 hr of neurofeedback training). FMT increased from baseline during the neurofeedback training sessions (p ≤ .05). However, there were no Group × Pre–post training (test) interactions for FMT or shooting performance (p > .05). There was a small Group × Test effect for attentional focus (p = .07, η p 2 = .12 ), indicating a potential benefit of neurofeedback training. Superior shooters were more proficient at increasing FMT during neurofeedback training, but this did not translate to greater improvements in shooting performance. Our findings suggest that the effects of neurofeedback training are transient and do not necessarily benefit performance.

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A Narrative Review of Heart Rate Variability as a Good Index of Psychophysical Health in Athletes and in Biofeedback Training

Carlo Pruneti, Simone Ferrari, and Sara Guidotti

Stress is a psychophysical condition that causes an impairment in athletes’ performance by causing an increase in sympathetic activity and an autonomic imbalance. The current methods for the measurement of psychophysiological stress introduce the use of the heart rate variability as a useful index of the well-being of these people. The heart rate variability corresponds to the time intervals between consecutive heartbeats, such as an irregularity in the normal sinus heart rhythm whose variability is due to the control exercised by a complex system of mechanisms, including the respiratory control system, and provides information about the activity of the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system. This review aims at summarizing the promising results, despite small amount, of the recent literature on the efficacy of heart rate variability biofeedback on the autonomic imbalance and psychophysical well-being of athletes as well as cognitive and motor performance.

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Volume 17 (2023): Issue 1 (Mar 2023)

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Exploring the Sport–Alcohol Relationship: A Longitudinal Qualitative Study of Student-Athlete Drinking Following the Transition out of University

Mark Jankowski, Sarah Partington, Nick Heather, and Elizabeth Partington

The purpose of this study was to provide new knowledge about the temporal and contextual aspects of the alcohol–sport relationship. Eight U.K. student-athletes completed the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test in their final year at university, 18 months, and 30 months after graduation. They also completed semistructured interviews about their drinking motives, behaviors, and life circumstances. Results showed that participants reduced their alcohol consumption after leaving university, but despite the onset of some adult responsibilities, most were still drinking at hazardous levels. After university, drinking took place with old friends, new colleagues, and new sporting teammates. At all time points, social drinking motives were the most prevalent. Findings demonstrate a relationship between alcohol and sport that is cemented at university but continues beyond it. Targeted interventions to reduce the role of alcohol in the social experience of sport are needed to support long-term athlete health.

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Cross-Cultural Adaptation of the Urdu Version of Rosenbaum Concussion Knowledge and Attitude Survey—Student Version in Pakistan

Masood Mahfooz, Young-Eun Noh, and Eng Wah Teo

Evaluating athletes’ knowledge of and attitudes toward sports-related concussions is important. However, there is limited research involving South Asian athletes, partly due to the lack of a valid and reliable tool. This study, therefore, aimed to translate and validate the Rosenbaum Concussion Knowledge and Attitude Survey—Student Version, an established tool used to measure knowledge and attitude toward concussion, into Urdu. Rosenbaum Concussion Knowledge and Attitude Survey—Student Version was translated into Urdu using the standard guidelines and then completed by 369 athletes participating in contact sports at different universities in Pakistan. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed on the Concussion Attitude Index items to examine the underlying factorial structure. Construct validity of Concussion Attitude Index factors was also investigated using convergent and discriminant validity. The results showed that the Urdu version of the Rosenbaum Concussion Knowledge and Attitude Survey—Student Version has good psychometric properties and is a valid and reliable tool for evaluating Urdu-speaking athletes’ knowledge of and attitudes toward concussions.

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The Role of Athlete Leadership Quality in the Characteristics of Team Resilience in Elite Soccer Teams: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Mediation of Team Identification

Miguel A. López-Gajardo, Inmaculada González-Ponce, Tomás García-Calvo, Edgar Enrich-Alturo, and Francisco M. Leo

We present two studies examining the relationship between athlete leadership quality and team resilience and explored the mediating effect of team identification. In Study 1, 194 soccer players (M age = 18.50, SD = 4.49) from eight national teams participated. Structural equation modeling showed cross-sectionally that the four types of athlete leadership qualities were positively related to the characteristics of resilience and negatively to vulnerability under pressure. Team identification was shown to be a mediator of these relationships. Study 2, with four different time-points, involved 208 young soccer players (M age = 16.05, SD = 3.39) from two professional clubs (i.e., La Liga). Cross-lagged panel models revealed that task leadership quality (Times 1–2) was positively related to the characteristics of resilience (Times 3–4) and negatively to vulnerability under pressure (Times 3–4). However, team identification did not mediate these relationships. Therefore, practitioners should consider the perceptions of leader quality to achieve benefits during competition.

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Volume 16 (2022): Issue 4 (Dec 2022): JCSP Special Issue Living and Embracing Intersectionality in Sport

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“No Days Off”: Using Self-Determination Theory to Better Understand Workaholism in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Coaches

Kim Tolentino, Tucker Readdy, and Johannes Raabe

Workaholism (i.e., working excessively and compulsively) is associated with negative physical, psychological, and social consequences. Researchers have previously examined antecedents of workaholism, but the experiences of sport coaches have not yet been investigated. This study explored (a) differences in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I coaches’ workaholism, as well as need satisfaction and frustration based on gender, coaching role, gender of athletes coached, age, and years of coaching experience; and (b) how coaches’ perceptions of their three basic psychological needs are associated with tendencies to work excessively and compulsively. A total of 873 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I coaches participated in the research. Data analyses revealed significant differences in participants’ workaholism as well as need satisfaction and frustration. Structural equation modeling indicated a significant relationship between reported levels of workaholism and perceptions of the three needs. Findings illustrate the importance of basic psychological needs in preventing coaches’ workaholism and maintain optimal functioning.

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Tackle Your Feelings: Experience of Help-Seeking for Mental Well-Being Concerns in Professional Rugby Union Players

Deirdre Lyons, Philip Clarke, and Robert C. Dempsey

Limited research into professional rugby union players’ experiences of seeking formal support for their mental health exists, despite comparable rates of mental health issues among elite rugby players with the general population. This qualitative study explored professional players’ actual experiences of accessing Rugby Players Ireland’s mental well-being service, via separate focus group discussions with professional players (n = 5) and player development managers (n = 4) who refer players into the service. An inductive reflexive thematic analysis identified three themes detailing players’ (a) journey to disclosure of their mental health difficulties, (b) their expectations and engagement with the well-being service, and (c) participants’ reflections on mental health experiences in a high-performance environment. Embedding mental health as a key component of player development in high-performance environments, improving mental health literacy, normalizing mental health experiences, and encouraging help-seeking would help promote player well-being and support holistic development alongside sporting performance.