In the current study NCAA Division I student-athletes (n = 2,440) completed a Web-based survey assessing their willingness to seek mental skills training, perceptions of the potential benefits of mental training for their team, and support of possible roles for a sport psychology consultant at their institution. Multiple chi-square tests revealed significant (p < .001) dependence of respondents’ ratings on gender, sport type (individual vs. team), prior experience with a sport psychology consultant, and perceived effectiveness of prior experience (low, moderate, high). Generally, females were more receptive than males, individual and team sport athletes were interested in different types of mental skills, athletes with prior consulting experience were more open than those with none, and athletes with highly effective prior experience were more receptive than those with less effective experience. These findings extend previous research examining collegiate student-athletes’ attitudes toward sport psychology consulting and provide several important insights for consultants conducting mental skills training for NCAA Division I level athletes.
NCAA Division-I Student-Athletes’ Receptivity to Mental Skills Training by Sport Psychology Consultants
Craig A. Wrisberg, Duncan Simpson, Lauren A. Loberg, Jenny L. Withycombe, and Ann Reed
The Playing Tough and Clean Hockey Program
Larry Lauer and Craig Paiement
The Playing Tough and Clean Hockey Program was developed to teach youth hockey players ages 12 and older to play within the rules and enhance their ability to respond positively to their negative emotions (i.e., through emotional toughness). Hockey players were taught cognitive and emotional skills within a 3 R’s routine to decrease aggressive acts. Three youth ice hockey players identified as frequently exhibiting aggressive behaviors participated in 10 sessions. A single-subject design was used to analyze participants’ aggressive behaviors as well as emotional toughness. Results reveal slight improvements in all participants, with the largest reductions in retaliatory and major aggressive acts. Several key implications for practice are provided including the use of routines and managing emotional responses.
A Qualitative Exploration of Substitutes’ Experiences in Soccer
Bernadette Woods and Joanne Thatcher
The purpose of this study was to conduct a qualitative exploration of the substitute role in an attempt to uncover detailed understanding of soccer players’ experiences. Twenty soccer substitutes were individually interviewed. Inductive content analysis revealed that they experienced mainly negative organizational, person and competitive factors as substitutes, with fewer positive experiences. Organizational factors were: receiving short notice, segregation, poor coach communication, inactivity and restricted preparation. Person factors were: dissatisfaction with status, self-presentation and impression motivation concerns, reduced control over performance and coach’s decisions, reduced motivation to prepare, negative emotions and elevated state anxiety. Positive responses were: role acceptance, remaining focused, enthusiastic and confident and performing well. Sport psychologists, team-mates and coaches should be aware of these experiences and how they can help substitutes cope with their role.
Team Building through Mutual Sharing and Open Discussion of Team Functioning
Matthew Pain and Chris Harwood
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.
Video Games, Competition and Exercise: A New Opportunity for Sport Psychologists?
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.
Youth Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior: Challenges and Solutions
Volume 23 (2009): Issue 3 (Sep 2009)
College Athletic Directors’ Perceptions of Sport Psychology Consulting
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.
Development of the Coaching Issues Survey (CIS)
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.
“It’s Not My Fault; It’s Not Serious”: Athlete Accounts of Moral Disengagement in Competitive Sport
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.