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The Dark Side of Flow: A Qualitative Study of Dependence in Big Wave Surfing

Sarah Partington, Elizabeth Partington, and Steve Olivier

Flow has been described within sport psychology as an optimal state underpinning peak performance. However, the consequences of experiencing flow may not always be beneficial. One negative consequence might be that of contributing to dependence on the activity that interacts with, or is associated with, the flow experience. This study explored the dichotomous consequences of flow, using case studies of big wave surfers. Fifteen elite surfers completed in-depth, semistructured interviews. It seems clear from the results that the surfers experienced positive consequences of flow. However, they also exhibited symptoms of dependence on surfing. It is suggested that there may be an association between the experience of dimensions of flow and the compulsion to engage in an activity. Some specific recommendations for further research into the relationship between flow and exercise dependence are made.

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Doing Sport Psychology: A Youth Sport Consulting Model for Practitioners

Amanda J. Visek, Brandonn S. Harris, and Lindsey C. Blom

While there are significant benefits to be gleaned from the delivery of sport psychology services to youth athletes, there does not appear to be a sport psychology consulting model that adequately addresses the unique needs and organizational structure of a youth sport population. The authors have both integrated and extended the current paucity of literature in an attempt to provide sport psychology practitioners with an inclusive youth sport consulting model. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to introduce the Youth Sport Consulting Model (YSCM) which serves as an educational framework for guiding and supporting sport psychology practitioners in the implementation and delivery of sport psychology services for young athletes and their sport organizations.

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Mental Skills for Equestrian Athletes (DVD)

Amy Kaufmann

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Psychological Characteristics and Their Relation to Performance in Professional Golfers

Julien E. Bois, Philippe G. Sarrazin, Julien Southon, and Julie C. S. Boiché

This study investigated the psychological characteristics of professional golfers and their relation to golf performance. The aims of the study were (a) to provide descriptive data on professional golfers, (b) to test possible differences between successful and unsuccessful players and (c) to estimate whether psychological characteristics could predict golf performance. The data were collected from 41 male professional golfers the day before an official competition. Results revealed that players who made the cut were characterized by higher scores on performance-approach goal, cognitive and somatic anxiety, relaxation strategies, attentional control, emotional control and lower score on performance-avoidance goal. Subsequently, a multiple regression analysis revealed that higher cognitive anxiety, more frequent use of relaxation strategies and emotional control strategies were associated with better player’s ranking at the end of the competition.

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Structured Self-Reflection as a Tool to Enhance Perceived Performance and Maintain Effort in Adult Recreational Salsa Dancers

Stephanie J. Hanrahan, Rachel Pedro, and Ester Cerin

The purpose of this study was to determine if the use of structured self-reflection in community dance classes would influence achievement goal orientations, levels of intrinsic motivation, or perceived dance performance. The Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ) and the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) were modified slightly to reflect involvement in salsa dancing rather than sport and then were administered to 139 Latin dance students at the beginning and end of an 11-week term. The dance classes were divided into control and intervention groups, balanced in terms of sample size and level of instruction. The intervention group completed a salsa self-reflection form during or after class for 9 weeks. At the posttest all students rated their salsa performance and the intervention group evaluated the self-reflection process. Results indicate that although achievement goal orientations were not affected, structured self-reflection is perceived to be a positive tool and may be a useful technique to enhance perceived performance and maintain effort and perceived importance. The participants’ perceptions of the self-reflection process were positive, with no negative effects of engaging in the process reported.

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Volume 23 (2009): Issue 1 (Mar 2009)

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Coaching Efficacy and Volunteer Youth Sport Coaches

Deborah L. Feltz, Teri J. Hepler, Nathan Roman, and Craig Paiement

The Coaching Efficacy Scale (CES) measures beliefs coaches have to affect the learning and performance of their athletes. While previous research has provided support for the model of coaching efficacy and the CES as an adequate measure of the construct, these studies have used paid high-school and college coaches. It is possible that the factor structure of the CES may not replicate for volunteer youth sport coaches. The purpose of this study was to explore coaching efficacy sources used by volunteer youth sport coaches. In addition, the validity of the CES was examined, using a 5-point condensed rating scale, among volunteer youth sport coaches before exploring the sources. The study involved 492 volunteer youth sport coaches from various team sports. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the CES had an acceptable fit to the data. The sources of coaching efficacy were examined via multivariate multiple regression and canonical correlation. Results indicated that more confident coaches had more extensive playing and coaching backgrounds, felt their players improved more throughout the season, and perceived more support than did less confident coaches, particularly in regard to technique and game strategy efficacy.

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The Effects of Centering on the Free-Throw Shooting Performance of Young Athletes

Karen Haddad and Patsy Tremayne

The present study investigated the effectiveness of a centering breath on the free throw shooting percentage of young athletes age 10–11 years. A convenience sample was used involving young representative basketball players (juniors who were trialed, selected, and identified as the most talented basketball players in their age group). They consisted of 2 females and 3 males (M = 10 years and 7 months, SD = 6months), from a basketball stadium located in Sydney, Australia. The participants trained at least twice a week and played representative games against other metropolitan associations on the weekends. A single subject multiple-baseline design was used, and through the use of visual inspection the centering breath was shown to be a useful tool for improving all participants’ performance to varying degrees. The findings indicate that it may be advantageous to explore the effectiveness of centering or other psychological skills in a variety of sport skills (closed versus open), and for children of different age groups.

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Effects of Musically-Induced Emotions on Choice Reaction Time Performance

Daniel T. Bishop, Costas I. Karageorghis, and Noel P. Kinrade

The main objective of the current study was to examine the impact of musically induced emotions on athletes’ subsequent choice reaction time (CRT) performance. A random sample of 54 tennis players listened to researcher-selected music whose tempo and intensity were modified to yield six different music excerpts (three tempi × two intensities) before completing a CRT task. Affective responses, heart rate (HR), and RTs for each condition were contrasted with white noise and silence conditions. As predicted, faster music tempi elicited more pleasant and aroused emotional states; and higher music intensity yielded both higher arousal (p < .001) and faster subsequent CRT performance (p < .001). White noise was judged significantly less pleasant than all experimental conditions (p < .001); and silence was significantly less arousing than all but one experimental condition (p < .001). The implications for athletes’ use of music as part of a preevent routine when preparing for reactive tasks are discussed.

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A Note from the Editor

Ian Maynard