Stress and Coping Experiences of U.K. Professional Football Managers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Sofie Kent, Tracey Devonport, Rachel Arnold, and Faye Didymus
Guided by transactional stress theory, this study aimed to explore elite U.K. soccer coaches’ perceived stressors, the situational properties, appraisals, and coping during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study also aimed to explore any variation in stress experiences across football league standards A total of 13 professional first-team male U.K. association football coaches between 38 and 59 years of age (M = 43.00, SD = 6.94) participated in telephone (n = 5) or online (n = 8) semistructured interviews. Informed by the philosophical position of critical realism, Braun et al.’s six-phase approach to thematic analysis was used to generate competitive, organizational, and personal stressor themes. Deductive thematic analysis generated themes reflective of all situational properties of stressors identified by Lazarus and Folkman and an array of appraisal and coping strategies. Future research and recommendations for supporting coach performance and well-being post-COVID-19 pandemic are offered.
Encouraging Togetherness During a National Lockdown: The Influence of Relationship-Oriented Personal-Disclosure Mutual-Sharing on Team Functioning in Academy Soccer Coaches
Harry K. Warburton and Matthew J. Slater
The present study examined the influence of an online relationship-oriented personal-disclosure mutual-sharing (ROPDMS) intervention upon diverse measures of group functioning during a national lockdown. Twelve soccer coaches and one senior member of staff from a professional female soccer academy participated by openly disclosing and sharing unknown personal stories with one another. Social identity dimensions (in-group ties, cognitive centrality, and in-group affect), friendship identity content, social support, self-esteem, and a nonequivalent dependent variable were measured across four time points, while social validation was obtained immediately and 4 weeks after ROPDMS. Quantitative data revealed significant increases for in-group ties, cognitive centrality, and friendship identity content after ROPDMS, while the nonequivalent dependent variable did not significantly change. Qualitative data revealed that the coaching staff felt the session was worthwhile and enhanced aspects of team functioning. Online ROPDMS therefore appears to be a viable team-building method for practitioners seeking to strengthen social identity dimensions and friendship identity content during a national lockdown.
A Life-Span Approach to Understanding and Managing Choking With a Youth Athlete
Zoe Louise Moffat, Paul Joseph McCarthy, Lindsey Burns, and Bryan McCann
Life-span perspectives illustrate the critical features of development that clients experience; however, little evidence exists to illustrate how to integrate these approaches or use them in sport and exercise contexts. Attending to a clients’ developmental stage is a critical component of ethical and effective professional practice. We present an account of how we considered, selected, or dismissed components of life-span perspectives throughout the stages of service delivery with James, a youth sport athlete presenting with “choking” difficulties. The life-span approach offered a context to understand James’s presenting difficulty to determine the appropriateness and applicability of intervention, and acknowledged bias and experience of the psychologist.
Revisiting Perfectionism in High-Level Ballet: A Longitudinal Collective Instrumental Case Study
Sanna M. Nordin-Bates, Martin Aldoson, and Charlotte Downing
Using a case study design, we explored two ballet dancers’ perfectionism experiences via interviews and questionnaires at two time points 5 years apart. They represented the two types of “pure perfectionism” in the 2 × 2 model of perfectionism: a female representing pure personal standards perfectionism (high perfectionistic strivings, low perfectionistic concerns) and a male representing pure evaluative concerns perfectionism (low perfectionistic strivings, high perfectionistic concerns). The pure personal standards perfectionism dancer reported stable perfectionism across time, seemingly resilient to any perfectionistic concerns developing. She attributed this to her stable, grounded personality, also reporting autonomous motivation and performance success. The dancer representing pure evaluative concerns perfectionism reported increased perfectionistic strivings and lowered perfectionistic concerns over time; concurrently, his motivation became less controlled and more autonomous. He described the reasons in terms of improved basic psychological needs satisfaction and personal growth. Overall, autonomy might be important in mitigating perfectionism.
From Imaginative Experiments to Inventive Performances: On the Role of Creativity in the Developmental Experiences of Professional Ice Hockey Players
Ludvig Johan Torp Rasmussen and Simon Hovesen Dalsgaard
Despite an increasing interest in studying creativity in sport, previous research has primarily focused on in-game creative performance and employed research designs neglecting sport participants’ perspectives. Hence, this study explored professional athletes’ developmental experiences involving creativity. Semistructured retrospective interviews were conducted with eight ice hockey players performing in or retired from the National Hockey League, Kontinental Hockey League, or Swedish Hockey League. Players described 15 modalities of creative actions emerging when playing, practicing, and performing. Based on the players’ experiences, creativity led to augmented levels of enjoyment (i.e., elicited passion), development (i.e., enhanced potential), achievement (i.e., enriched in-game qualification), and fulfillment (i.e., extended career progression). Findings contribute to a more nuanced understanding of creativity in sport and provide novel insights on the role of creativity in the development and maintenance of expertise in sport and the nature and role of deliberate play and deliberate practice in developing creativity.
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.