Volume 36 (2022): Issue 4 (Dec 2022)
“I Love What I Do; That’s The Bottom Line”: Theory of Women’s Career Attraction and Retention in Sport Psychology
Rena M.G. Curvey, Shannon C. White, Myles T. Englis, Katherine C. Jensen, Marissa K. Bosco, Mikaela E. Thompson, Candice N. Hargons, Samantha N. Leavens, and Emily A. Murphy
The increasing representation of women in the field of sport psychology in recent years is the direct result of pioneering female practitioners and scholars. Although the contributions of these women are often relegated to the pages of textbooks, the exploration of women’s professional experiences is essential to understanding what sources lead women to engaging in sport psychology. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to generate a theory that explored the factors that influence women’s attraction and retention to sport psychology. An interpretivist–constructivist paradigm and constructivist grounded theory methodology was used to guide semistructured interviews with 17 cisgender female sport psychology practitioners. The findings of this study were used to develop the theory of women’s career attraction and retention in sport psychology. The theory comprised three categories including (a) sources of attraction, (b) training and professional development, and (c) sources of retention. Study findings and professional implications are discussed throughout.
“Think Aloud” as a Facilitator of Self-Regulation in Golfers
Phil D.J. Birch, Beth Yeoman, and Amy E. Whitehead
Think Aloud (TA) has been used as a tool to promote self-regulation and reflection in coaches, yet it has not been employed in the same context to support athletes. The aim of the present study was to understand golfers’ perceptions of using TA at two time points: immediately postperformance and after a 6- to 8-week reflection period. Six golfers (five male, one female; age: M = 30.8 years, SD = 14.8; handicap: M = 6.92, SD = 3.9) used TA during the performance on six holes of golf and listened back to their TA audio. Using semistructured interviews and subsequent thematic analyses, we generated four themes: increased awareness, awareness of how behavior influences performance, disruption of thought processes and performance, and application to coaching. Preliminary evidence provides support for TA as a potential tool to promote self-regulation in golfers, which could be used to inform coaching interventions.
The Effects of an Exploratory Mindfulness Intervention on Collegiate Performance
Maya Trajkovski and Aubrey Newland
Although mindfulness has been suggested as a means to improve athletes’ performance, few studies have connected changes in mindfulness with improved performance. The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of an exploratory mindfulness intervention (MI) on performance using a mixed methods design. Thirty-four female National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) soccer athletes participated in a 12-week MI. Using the Mindfulness Inventory for Sport, athletic performance and self-perceived ability during the first three games of the season compared to the final three games of the season (August–November 2019) were analyzed using paired t tests. Postintervention focus groups explored athletes’ perceptions of the MI on performance. Mindfulness, shots per game, and self-perceived athletic ability increased after the MI. Six themes emerged from the focus groups: awareness, increased focus, letting-go mentality, skill acquisition, self-compassion, and team cohesion. Coaches and sport psychology practitioners may consider implementing similar MI to improve performance and overall athletic experiences.
“My Life Sucks Right Now”: Student-Athletes’ Pandemic-Related Experiences With Screen Time and Mental Health
Martin Camiré, Camille Sabourin, Eden Gladstone Martin, Laura Martin, and Nicolas Lowe
The COVID-19 pandemic, and associated stay-at-home orders, instigated far-reaching disturbances in the lives of student-athletes, which included school closures and sport cancellations. The purpose of the study was to examine first-hand student-athletes’ pandemic-related experiences with screen time and mental health. A total of 22 Canadian high school student-athletes were individually interviewed in 2021. Interviews occurred online via videoconferencing and were subjected to a reflexive thematic analysis, which led to the creation of three themes: (a) pandemic life is a major grind, (b) screen time during COVID times: I feel guilty, but what else can I do? and (c) mental health during COVID times: mostly pain, but there is a silver lining. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for research and practice as it pertains to formulating endemic initiatives best supporting the many student-athletes confronting the psychosocial aftereffects of having lived through a global pandemic.
Exploring the Relationship Between Athletes’ Perceptions of Their Team Motivational Climate and Their Sport Shame
Mario S. Fontana, Mary D. Fry, and E. Whitney G. Moore
Athletes have reported that they would experience shame while playing sport, both for their lack of preparation (process shame) and for their poor outcomes (result shame) during competition. The purpose of this study was to explore how motivational climate is related to athletes’ process and result shame. A survey was administered to 259 high-school track and field athletes before a practice 3 weeks into the season. Structural equation modeling showed that a perceived caring and task-involving motivational climate was positively related to athletes’ process shame and negatively related to their result shame. Perceptions of an ego-involving motivational climate were negatively related to athletes’ process shame and positively related to athletes’ result shame. The results highlight that caring and task-involving behaviors in coaches may help mitigate proneness to shame in athletes.
The Mediating Role of Self-Compassion on the Relationship Between Goal Orientation and Sport-Confidence
Arash Assar, Robert Weinberg, Rose Marie Ward, and Robin S. Vealey
The purpose of the present investigation was to explore the mediating role of self-compassion on the relation between goal orientation and sport-confidence, as well as exploring whether these factors differed between male and female student-athletes. To that end, a total of 418 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I student-athletes (M = 20.19, SD = 1.30) completed the Self-Compassion Scale (athlete version), the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire, and the Trait Sport-Confidence Inventory. Structural equation models suggest that task orientation has both a direct effect on sport-confidence and an indirect one through self-compassion. Furthermore, while there was no direct effect between ego orientation and sport-confidence, the results indicated an indirect effect through self-compassion. Moreover, a multigroup analysis indicated that the paths in the mediation model were moderated by gender. Based on these findings, it is recommended that coaches, sport psychologists, and other practitioners consider self-compassion training to enhance confidence among both ego-oriented and female athletes.
The Impact of an Online Sport Psychology Intervention for Middle-Distance Runners: Should Self-Regulation or Mindfulness Be Prioritized?
Jonathan Lasnier and Natalie Durand-Bush
The purpose of this study was to qualitatively examine the impact of an online self-regulation intervention (SI) and mindfulness intervention (MI) in improving exercise-induced-pain (EIP) management, mental performance (i.e., SI and MI), and mental health. A sample of 16 middle-distance runners who participated in an 8-week SI or MI was purposefully selected based on the participants’ high, moderate, and low pre–post intervention evolution scores. Findings, which were generated by performing a codebook thematic analysis, suggest that both the SI and MI positively impacted EIP management, mental performance, and mental health. EIP literacy enabled the participants from both interventions to more effectively manage EIP. Furthermore, screening for mental illness symptoms and referring athletes in a timely manner to appropriate mental health practitioners was perceived as essential for them to receive the care and support they needed. Finally, a hybrid delivery format may be the most effective when providing online sport psychology interventions.