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The MVP Model: From Phenomenology to Practice

Jens Omli

This article is an introduction to the MVP model, which focuses on the experience of competitive sport performance from a phenomenological stance, with particular emphasis on the influence of perceived success and failure. One premise of the MVP model is that sport performance is partially determined by the athlete’s interpretation of prior performances, which influences the trajectory and intensity of his or her phenomenological state. A second premise is that when the experiences described by athletes are analyzed together as a “layered picture,” these experiences tend to follow a pattern summarized by a sequence of six “competitive positions,” which can be arranged around a semicircumplex called the “Performance Dial.” The Performance Dial is an educational tool that can be used in consultations to facilitate communication between practitioners and athletes. The MVP model also serves as a framework within which sport psychology research findings can be understood in relation to the experience of sport performance, thereby increasing the applicability of sport performance research for practitioners.

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Performance Enhancement with Music in Rowing Sprint

Mária Rendi, Attila Szabo, and Tamás Szabó

The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of fast- and slow-tempo music on 500-m rowing sprint performances. Twenty-two rowers performed 500-m sprints 3 times: rowing without music, rowing to slow music, and rowing to fast tempo music. Strokes per minute (SPM), time to completion, (TTC), and rated perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded. Although RPE did not differ between the rowing conditions, TTC was shortest in the fast music condition. Further, shorter TTC was observed in the slow music condition in contrast to the control condition, indicating that slow music also enhanced performance. The strongest treatment effects emerged, however, in the examination of the SPM that were significantly higher during rowing to fast music in comparison with rowing to slow music or no music. These results suggest that fast music acts as an external psyching-up stimulus in brief and strenuous muscle work.

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Reducing Heavy Drinking in Intercollegiate Athletes: Evaluation of a Web-Based Personalized Feedback Program

Diana M. Doumas and Tonya Haustveit

This study evaluated the efficacy of a Web-based personalized feedback program aimed at reducing drinking in freshman intercollegiate athletes. The program was offered through the Athletic Department freshman seminar at a NCAA Division I university. Seminar sections were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: Web-based personalized feedback (WPF) or Web-based education (WE). Assessment measures were completed at baseline, 6 weeks, and 3 months. Athletes were classified as high-risk or low-risk drinkers based on baseline reports of binge drinking. Results indicated for high-risk athletes, students in the WPF condition reported significantly greater reductions in drinking and changes in beliefs about peer drinking than those in the WE condition. In addition, reductions in drinking were related to reductions in peer drinking estimates for athletes in the WPF group. Findings provide initial support for the efficacy of Web-based personalized feedback for reducing the quantity and frequency of heavy drinking in freshman intercollegiate athletes.

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The Role of Repression in the Incidence of Ironic Errors

Tim Woodman and Paul A. Davis

The role of repression in the incidence of ironic errors was investigated on a golf task. Coping styles of novice golfers were determined using measures of cognitive anxiety and physiological arousal. Following baseline putts, participants (n = 58) performed a competition putt with the opportunity to win UK£50 (approx. US$100). Before completing the competition putt participants were instructed to “land the ball on the target, but be particularly careful not to over-shoot the target.” The distance the ball traveled past the hole formed the measure of ironic effects. Probing of the coping style × condition interaction, F(2, 41) = 6.53, p < .005, revealed that only the repressors incurred a significant increase in ironic error for the competition putt. This suggests that the act of repressing anxiety has a detrimental performance effect.

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Self-Efficacy in Sport: Research and Strategies for Working with Athletes, Teams, and Coaches

Melissa A. Murray

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Sources of Strain among Elite UK Track Athletes

Jane McKay, Ailsa G. Niven, David Lavallee, and Alison White

Following the theoretical framework of Lazarus and Folkman (1984), recently adapted to sport (Fletcher, Hanton, & Mellalieu, 2006), 12 elite UK track athletes (M age = 22.7; SD = 2.4 years) participated in semistructured interviews to identify sources of strain. Inductive content analysis identified 11 general dimensions of sources of strain from 664 meaning units, which were subsequently categorized into competitive, organizational, and personal domains. Several sources of strain (e.g., competitive concerns, pressure to perform) were consistent with previous research supporting the suggestion that a core group of stressors may be evident across sports although several sources of strain appeared to be more pertinent to track athletes (e.g., social evaluation and self-presentation concerns) highlighting the need to consider group differences.

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Volume 22 (2008): Issue 1 (Mar 2008)

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Athletes’ Perceived Use of Information Sources When Forming Initial Impressions and Expectancies of a Coach: An Explorative Study

Andrew J. Manley, Iain Greenlees, Jan Graydon, Richard Thelwell, William C.D. Filby, and Matthew J. Smith

The study aimed to identify the sources of information that athletes perceive as influential during their initial evaluation of coaching ability. University athletes (N = 538) were asked to indicate the influence of 31 informational cues (e.g., gender, body language or gestures, reputation) on the initial impression formed of a coach. Following exploratory factor analysis, a 3-factor model (i.e., static cues, dynamic cues, and third-party reports) was extracted. Mean scores revealed that although static cues (e.g., gender, race or ethnicity) were rated as relatively unimportant during impression formation, dynamic cues (e.g., facial expressions, body language or gestures) and third-party reports (e.g., coaching qualifications, reputation) were viewed by athletes as influential factors in the formation of expectancies about coaches. Such findings have implications for the occurrence of expectancy effects in coach-athlete relationships and the way in which coaches seek to present themselves.

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Developmental Consulting in a Professional Football Academy: The 5Cs Coaching Efficacy Program

Chris Harwood

The purpose of this article is to present practitioners and applied researchers with specific details of a developmental sport psychology program and coaching intervention at a professional football (soccer) academy in Great Britain. Based on a positive youth development agenda, initial consulting work with players and parents focused on education and monitoring of the 5Cs of football: Commitment, communication, concentration, control, and confidence. This was subsequently followed up with an educational and behavioral coaching intervention related to integrating the 5Cs in training and practice situations. The 4-month program aimed to specifically enhance a coach’s efficacy in shaping positive psychological and interpersonal skills in young players ranging in age from 9 to 14 years. Six coaches responsible for the development of 95 young players were involved in the program. The results of the intervention are presented for each individual coach and supplemented by interview data. Insights are provided into the role, value, and methodology behind applying sport psychology in youth-sport settings.

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The Effects of Image Speed on the Performance of a Soccer Task

Jenny O and Krista J. Munroe-Chandler

The current study tested the timing element of the PETTLEP approach to motor imagery (Holmes & Collins, 2001) by examining the effects of 3 imagery conditions on the performance of a soccer dribbling task. The imagery conditions were also compared with physical-practice and control-group performance. Ninety-seven participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 5 conditions: real-time imagery, slow-motion imagery, slow motion concluded with real-time imagery, physical practice, or control. Results indicated that all 4 experimental groups significantly improved time and error performance to the same degree after the intervention. The control group significantly improved time but not error performance from pre- to post-intervention. The results of the current study provide inconclusive findings related to the timing element of the PETTLEP approach to motor imagery, however, and do suggest that slow motion might be a viable imagery characteristic. Limitations regarding the examination of slow-motion imagery, possible implications of its use, and suggestions for future image-speed research are discussed.