This article describes a team building intervention with a soccer team during a competitive season. Based on a mutual sharing paradigm we facilitated a series of four team meetings in which team functioning was openly discussed. These meetings were based upon highly structured performance reviews completed by players after each match and analyzed to provide the stimulus for discussion. We adopted a single-case, time series design with multiple pretests and posttests. A postintervention focus group was also conducted with the players. Results suggest the intervention led to improvements in perceptions of team functioning (cohesion, communication, and trust and confidence in teammates), training quality, self-understanding, player ownership and team performance. Players associated the meetings with themes of honesty, open team discussion, sharing of information, and improved communication. The results support the efficacy of team building interventions designed to encourage open discussion of team functioning.
Matthew Pain and Chris Harwood
The increasing influence of technology on sports and games is examined and the widespread popularity of video and computer games is identified as an opportunity for sport and exercise psychologists. Modern video and computer games can involve considerable physical activity and social competition and are thus a suitable subject for the application of sport psychology theories and intervention methods. A brief overview of some of the existing research from other fields on video and serious interactive games is presented. The advantages of studying competition, cooperation and exercise in video game play include application of existing theories to new areas, methodological research advantages, and new applied opportunities for practitioners. Sport and exercise psychologists are encouraged to research the long-term viability of studying important sport and exercise psychology topics such as aggression, teamwork and psychological skills using video game and related technologies.
Kelly A. Wilson, Jenelle N. Gilbert, Wade D. Gilbert, and Scott R. Sailor
Seventy-two college athletic directors (ADs) participated in a survey about (a) previous experience with sport psychology consultants (SPCs), (b) previous exposure to the field, and (c) attitudes toward sport psychology consulting. ADs were confused about appropriate training for SPCs, highlighted by the fact that 66.7% were unaware of any certification for SPCs. Although ADs’ attitudes toward SPCs did not differ based on previous experience with SPCs, there was a statistically significant difference between ADs who were aware of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and those who were unaware. Results demonstrate the need to educate potential employers regarding appropriate qualifications for SPCs. The discussion culminates with suggestions for future research and recommendations for enhancing effectiveness of outreach programs.
Betty C. Kelley and Timothy Baghurst
The Coaching Issues Survey (CIS) was developed to measure sport/coaching-specific issues that may produce stress within the coaching role and situation. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis revealed a four-factor structure with a sample of collegiate basketball coaches. The four separate, but related subscales of Win-Loss, Time-Role, Program-Success, and Athlete-Concerns demonstrated high internal consistency and good stability over time. The CIS was sensitive to gender differences and paralleled differences noted with stress and burnout measures. The CIS was quite predictive of stress appraisal and slightly predictive of burnout, providing evidence for construct validity as a personal/situational variable within the current theoretical conceptualizations of the stress and burnout process. The initial reliability and validity evidence suggests that the CIS can be a valuable measure of potentially problematic issues for coaches, facilitating the investigation of stress and burnout in coaching.
Karine Corrion, Thierry Long, Alan L. Smith, and Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville
This study was designed to assess athletes’ use of moral disengagement in competitive sport. We conducted semistructured interviews with 24 elite male and female athletes in basketball and taekwondo. Participants described transgressive behaviors in competitive situations and reasons for adopting such behaviors. Content analyses revealed that the eight moral disengagement mechanisms identified in everyday Life (i.e., moral justification, advantageous comparison, euphemistic labeling, minimizing or ignoring consequences, attribution of blame, dehumanization, displacement of responsibility, and diffusion of responsibility; Bandura, Barbaranelli, Caprara, & Pastorelli, 1996) were germane in sport. However, the most frequently adopted mechanisms in sport (i.e., displacement and diffusion of responsibility, attribution of blame, minimizing or ignoring consequences, and euphemistic labeling) differed somewhat from those considered most salient in everyday life (i.e., moral justification, advantageous comparison, and euphemistic labeling). Moral disengagement mechanisms linked to projecting fault onto others (“It’s not my fault”) and minimization of transgressions and their consequences (“It’s not serious”) appear to be especially prominent in sport. The findings extend the sport moral disengagement literature by showcasing athlete accounts of moral disengagement.
Anne Bowker, Belinda Boekhoven, Amanda Nolan, Stephanie Bauhaus, Paul Glover, Tamara Powell, and Shannon Taylor
The purpose of the current study was to conduct an examination of spectator (i.e., parental) behavior at youth hockey games in a large Canadian city. Using naturalistic observation methods, an event sampling procedure was used to code spectators’ comments. Of specific interest were the type of remarks made, who made them (i.e., males versus females), the intensity of those remarks and whether they varied by child age, gender, and competitive level. We were also interested in whether the majority of onlookers’ comments were actually directed at the players, on-ice officials, or fellow spectators. Five observers attended 69 hockey games during the 2006–2007 hockey season. There was a significant variability in the number of comments made, with an average of 105 comments per game. The majority of the comments were generally positive ones, directed at the players. Negative comments, although quite infrequent, were directed largely at the referees. Females made more comments than did males, although males made more negative and corrective comments, and females made mostly positive comments. Comments varied significantly as a function of gender and competitive level. Proportionally more negative comments were made at competitive, as opposed to recreational games. An interaction was found for female spectators as their comments varied as a function of both the competitive level and the gender of the players. Results of this study are in direct contrast to media reports of extreme parental violence at youth hockey games, and provide unique information about the role of parental involvement at youth sporting events.
Mark A. Eys, Todd M. Loughead, Steven R. Bray, and Albert V. Carron
Cohesion is an important small group variable within sport. However, the conceptualization and examination of cohesion have predominately been oriented toward adult populations. The purpose of the current study was to garner an understanding of what cohesion means to youth sport participants. Fifty-six team sport athletes (Mage = 15.63 ± 1.01 years) from two secondary schools took part in focus groups designed to understand participants’ perceptions of (a) the definition of cohesion and indicators of cohesive and noncohesive groups and (b) methods used to attempt to develop cohesion in their groups. Overall, the responses to part (a) yielded 10 categories reflecting a group’s task cohesion and 7 categories reflecting a group’s social cohesion. Finally, participants highlighted eight general methods through which their groups developed cohesion. Results are discussed in relation to a current conceptualization of cohesion and affiliation considerations within a youth sport environment.