Sport organizations have been noted as pivotal to the success or failure of athletes, and sport environments can impact the well-being and development of athletes. In this study, the authors explored stakeholders’ perceptions of how high-performance sport organizations support athlete development. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 18 stakeholders from the United Kingdom’s high-performance sport system and transcripts were analyzed using a semantic thematic analysis. Participants emphasized the importance of performance lifestyle advisors, sport psychologists, and financial assistance for promoting athlete development. Several stakeholders observed that despite the extensive support available to athletes, many do not engage with available support, and the prevalence of a performance narrative has led to an environment that discourages holistic development. It follows that sport organizations could develop alternative strategies for promoting athletes’ access to and engagement with available supports, while funding agencies might broaden existing funding criteria to include well-being or athlete development targets.
Zoë A. Poucher, Katherine A. Tamminen, and Christopher R.D. Wagstaff
Sinan Yildirim and Ziya Koruç
The current study focuses on the effect of transformational leadership on athletes’ performance in the mediation of psychological need satisfaction, burnout, competition anxiety, life satisfaction, and positive–negative affect. The sample consisted of 391 soccer players aged between 16 and 20 years. Six scales were used in this study: Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, Needs Satisfaction Scale, Athlete Burnout Measure, Satisfaction with Life Scale, Positive and Negative Affect Scale, and Sport Competition Anxiety Test. The method of Vallerand was preferred to measure performance, and structural equation modeling was employed to analyze data. The model data fit was also verified. It was found that the transformational leadership behaviors of coaches signally influence athletes’ performance either directly or indirectly. From another perspective, increasing the psychological health or well-being of athletes has important effects on sport performance.
Andrew P. Friesen
There has been an implied direct connection between the scholarly literature and applied practice. However, the sport and exercise psychology community is lacking an empirical account of what practitioners believe to have been the most impactful scholarly writings to their applied practice. The purpose of this study was to survey applied practitioners of their perceived most impactful scholarly writings to their professional practice. Surveys were returned from 532 participants solicited from the Association for Applied Sport Psychology membership, who were asked to identify their perceived most impactful book and journal article to their practice. Frequency statistics were calculated and presented for topic, type, title, author(s), year published, and journal. A total of 143 different books and 188 different articles across 84 different journals were reported. Implications for applied practice, teaching sport and exercise psychology, and research are presented.
Johannes Raabe, Elmer Castillo, and Johannes Carl
Although applied sport psychology services have traditionally been provided in athletic settings, there has been a trend toward a more general application across different performance domains and, in particular, with tactical populations (i.e., military, law enforcement, and firefighters). The purpose of the current study was to systematically review the existing research on mental qualities and techniques in tactical populations. A database search revealed 7,220 potentially relevant articles, which were screened by two independent reviewers based on predefined inclusion criteria. This systematic screening process helped to identify 49 articles for further analysis. The findings highlight the benefits of developing mental qualities and techniques among tactical populations, as they can help to nurture a range of positive cognitive, affective, and behavioral outcomes. Yet, this review also indicates gaps and limitations that need to be addressed in future research to gain a better understanding of the antecedents, mediators, and consequences of these psychological constructs.
Adson Alves da Silva, Gabriel Lucas Morais Freire, José Fernando Vila Nova de Moraes, Leonardo de Souza Fortes, Rodrigo Gustavo da Silva Carvalho, and José Roberto Andrade do Nascimento Junior
This study investigated the association of coping strategies burnout symptoms in 228 Under-20 Brazilian soccer players in a career transition phase and compared these variables with the occurrence of injuries and professionalization. The instruments used in the study were the Athlete Burnout Questionnaire and the Athletic Coping Strategies Inventory-28. Data analysis was conducted through generalized estimation equations, Pearson correlation, and multiple linear regression (p < .05). The results showed that coping was associated with physical and emotional exhaustion in both professional and nonprofessional players, and with a reduced sense of accomplishment only in young nonprofessional athletes who were in the career transition phase. It is concluded that young elite athletes who are in the transition phase of their career but have not signed a professional contract, use limited coping strategies and seem more exposed to stress (compared with those who have signed a contract), and are consequently more vulnerable to burnout symptoms.
Keita Kinoshita, Eric MacIntosh, and Shintaro Sato
Basic psychological needs (BPN) are a construct that helps clarify the psychological mechanism to reach desirable outcomes for youth athletes. When BPN are undermined, people should be less likely to thrive. As mental toughness (MT) can reduce the negative effects of stressors, MT may buffer the negative effects of maladaptive motivation. This study investigated the mediating role of thriving on the relationships between BPN thwarting and important outcomes for youth athletes’ positive functioning. It also examined the buffering effects of MT. One hundred eighty-eight Canadian youth athletes (M age = 15.51) answered an online survey. The results demonstrated that thriving was a significant mediator, and the indirect relationships were moderated by MT. The indirect associations were nonsignificant for youth with high MT. The findings demonstrated that MT might decrease the negative impacts of BPN thwarting on thriving and important outcomes for young athletes.
Tyler Makepeace, Bradley W. Young, and Scott Rathwell
This study explored the views of Canadian Masters athletes (MAs; M age = 51, range 38–62; three men and five women) from 12 sports (10 individual and two team sports) on sport psychology for performance, experiential, and lifestyle enhancement. Using Braun and Clarke’s procedures for thematic analysis, the authors interpreted data from semistructured interviews deductively in relation to five strategic themes in which psychological skills are applied for performance enhancement. Deductive results demonstrated MAs used goal setting, imagery, arousal regulation, concentration, and self-confidence to enhance performance and obtain competitive advantages. The authors also analyzed data inductively to reveal themes related to experiential and lifestyle factors. Inductive results showed that MAs “placed priorities on sport,” which involved cognitively justifying the priority and framing sport as an outlet and as the embodiment of the authentic self. Social strategies associated with continued sport pursuit included cultivation of supportive social environments, social contracts/negotiations, social signaling, and social accountability. Strategies “to fit sport in” included integrating/twinning, scheduling, and managing commitment. Managing age-related concerns involved mindfulness and compensation strategies. Results show how MAs uniquely apply sport psychology to enhance their performance and to support sport adherence.
Alexander T. Latinjak, Eduardo Morelló-Tomás, and Lucia Figal-Gómez
The aim of this article is to present an exploratory interview framework called #SportPsychMapping that can serve as guidance to practitioners in exploring the psychological reality of individuals and collectives. To meet their aim, in this article, the authors address (a) the context in which the exploratory interview framework was developed, (b) the theoretical structure used to select topics and questions, (c) the structure of the interview, (d) the topics and questions in the central section of the interview, (e) the summary section of the interview, and (f) different ways the exploratory interview framework has been applied. The hallmarks of #SportPsychMapping are the structure that includes an opening, central, and summary section; the central section, in which external variables, biopsychological states and traits, and psychological skills are explored; and the summary section, where an individual map is created with key concepts and phrases that reflect the interviewee’s main responses.