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A Pre-Performance Routine to Alleviate Choking in “Choking-Susceptible” Athletes

Christopher Mesagno, Daryl Marchant, and Tony Morris

“Choking under pressure” is a maladaptive response to performance pressure whereby choking models have been identified, yet, theory-matched interventions have not empirically tested. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate whether a preperformance routine (PPR) could reduce choking effects, based on the distraction model of choking. Three “choking-susceptible”, experienced participants were purposively sampled, from 88 participants, to complete ten-pin bowling deliveries in a single-case A1-B1-A2-B2 design (A phases = “low-pressure”; B phases = “high-pressure”), with an interview following the single-case design. Participants experienced “choking” in the B1 phase, which the interviews indicated was partially due to an increase in self-awareness (S-A). During the B2 phase, improved accuracy occurred when using the personalized PPR and, qualitatively, positive psychological outcomes included reduced S-A and decreased conscious processing. Using the personalized PPR produced adaptive and relevant, task-focused attention.

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The Psychological Interface between the Coach-Created Motivational Climate and the Coach-Athlete Relationship in Team Sports

Alkisti Olympiou, Sophia Jowett, and Joan L. Duda

The study’s objective was to investigate the motivational significance of the coach-athlete relationship in team sports. 591 athletes completed the Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire (Newton, Duda, & Yin, 2000) to assess perceptions of the coach-created motivational climate and two Coach-Athlete Relationship Questionnaires to assess direct perceptions (Jowett & Ntoumanis, 2004) and meta-perceptions (Jowett, in press) of the relationship quality. Canonical correlation analyses revealed that the perceived task-involving features of the coaching climate, in which role importance, co-operation, and improvement are emphasized, were associated with experiencing higher levels of closeness, commitment, and complementarity with the coach. Perceptions of the ego-involving features of the coach-created environment which emphasizes punitive responses to mistakes, rivalry, and unequal recognition were associated with lower levels of perceived closeness, commitment, and complementarity with the coach. These results support the notion that the coach-athlete relationship has implications for the motivation of athletes participating in team sports.

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The Psychology of Teaching Physical Education

Lavon Williams

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Quality Counts: Critical Features for Neophyte Professional Development

Charlotte Woodcock, Hugh Richards, and Angus Mugford

The aim of the study was to examine and reflect on the learning experiences of a neophyte sport psychologist. Over a 9-week applied internship the first author kept a reflective diary that followed Boud’s (2001) three elements of journal writing. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith & Osborn, 2003) of the data identified 11 themes from the diary, 8 of which were contextualized in 3 self-narrative accounts, including the working environment, anxiety, confidence, being a performer, being a learner, relationships, feedback and practical content. Reflecting on these incidents the neophyte’s supervisor offers another perspective, and along with the narrative accounts, furthers our understanding of important factors, and indicates recommendations to ensure quality training for professional development.

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Volume 22 (2008): Issue 3 (Sep 2008)

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Athletes’ Perceptions of Coaching Effectiveness and Athlete-Related Outcomes in Rugby Union: An Investigation Based on the Coaching Efficacy Model

Ian D. Boardley, Maria Kavussanu, and Christopher Ring

This study examined the relationships between athletes’ perceptions of coaching effectiveness, based on the coaching efficacy model, and their effort, commitment, enjoyment, self-efficacy, and prosocial and antisocial behavior in rugby union. Participants were 166 adult male rugby-union players (M age = 26.5, SD = 8.5 years), who completed questionnaires measuring their perceptions of four dimensions of coaching effectiveness as well as their effort, commitment, enjoyment, self-efficacy, and prosocial and antisocial behavior. Regression analyses, controlling for rugby experience, revealed that athletes’ perceptions of motivation effectiveness predicted effort, commitment, and enjoyment. Further, perceptions of technique effectiveness predicted self-efficacy, while perceptions of characterbuilding effectiveness predicted prosocial behavior. None of the perceived coaching effectiveness dimensions were related to antisocial behavior. In conclusion, athletes’ evaluations of their coach’s ability to motivate, provide instruction, and instill an attitude of fair play in his athletes have important implications for the variables measured in this study.

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“Bouncing Back” from Adversity: Athletes’ Experiences of Resilience

Nick Galli and Robin S. Vealey

The purpose of this study was to explore athletes’ perceptions and experiences of resilience. Ten high-level athletes were interviewed regarding the most difficult adversities that they had ever had to overcome in sport. Richardson and colleagues’ (Richardson, Neiger, Jensen, & Kumpfer, 1990) resiliency model served as a guiding theoretical framework in the process of data collection and analysis. Inductive analysis (Patton, 2002; Thomas, 2006) was used to explore the data for key themes and patterns of relationships. Five general dimensions emerged that described the resilience experience of the athletes. These dimensions include breadth and duration, agitation, sociocultural influences, personal resources, and positive outcomes. A conceptual model of the resilience process as experienced by the athletes in this study is presented as a preliminary framework for future studies of resilience in sport.

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Effects of Self-Handicapping Strategies on Anxiety before Athletic Performance

Guillaume R. Coudevylle, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis, Jean-Pierre Famose, and Christophe Gernigon

The purpose of the present experiment was to examine whether the use of selfhandicapping strategies influences participants’ anxiety levels before athletic performance. Seventy-one competitive basketball players participated in the study. A repeated measures design was used, such that state cognitive and somatic anxiety intensity and direction were measured before and after participants were given the opportunity to self-handicap. Overall, participants reported their cognitive anxiety to be more facilitating after they had the opportunity to self-handicap. Thus, participants who were given the opportunity to self-handicap (i.e., use claimed and behavioral self-handicaps), reported greater increases in perceptions of cognitive anxiety as facilitating their performance. This study shows the importance of looking at anxiety direction, and not just anxiety intensity, when examining self-handicapping’s effects on anxiety. Implications for sport psychologists are proposed.

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An Exploratory Examination into the Effect of Absence Due to Hypothetical Injury on Collective Efficacy

Gregory C. Damato, J. Robert Grove, Robert C. Eklund, and Scott Cresswell

The effect of hypothetical injuries to pivotal and nonpivotal players on collective efficacy perceptions was studied in this exploratory investigation. A collective efficacy inventory was given to male soccer players (N = 194) from 12 semiprofessional teams, as well as a hypothetical scenario describing an injury to a pivotal or less pivotal player. Based on the PFA, the collective efficacy inventory was determined to have two factors: perseverance collective efficacy (PCE) and skills (physical) collective efficacy (SCE). Both PCE and SCE were subsequently analyzed to determine if the hypothesized loss of a player influenced such perceptions. Findings indicated that following the injury scenario, PCE perceptions only, significantly decreased following the loss of either player. PCE appears to be readily affected by player loss, whereas the results for SCE were more ambivalent. Future research, implications and limitations are discussed in detail.

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High Altitude Climbers as Ethnomethodologists Making Sense of Cognitive Dissonance: Ethnographic Insights from an Attempt to Scale Mt. Everest

Shaunna M. Burke, Andrew C. Sparkes, and Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson

This ethnographic study examined how a group of high altitude climbers (N = 6) drew on ethnomethodological principles (the documentary method of interpretation, reflexivity, indexicality, and membership) to interpret their experiences of cognitive dissonance during an attempt to scale Mt. Everest. Data were collected via participant observation, interviews, and a field diary. Each data source was subjected to a content mode of analysis. Results revealed how cognitive dissonance reduction is accomplished from within the interaction between a pattern of self-justification and self-inconsistencies; how the reflexive nature of cognitive dissonance is experienced; how specific features of the setting are inextricably linked to the cognitive dissonance experience; and how climbers draw upon a shared stock of knowledge in their experiences with cognitive dissonance.