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Youth Ice Hockey Coaches’ Perceptions of a Team-Building Intervention Program

Julie Newin, Gordon A. Bloom, and Todd M. Loughead

The purpose of the current study was to explain youth ice hockey coaches’ perceptions of the effectiveness of a team-building intervention program. Eight Peewee-level hockey coaches implemented the same team-building activities with their teams throughout the regular season. Data were gathered using 3 methods. Specifically, coaches answered questions on a pre- and post-intervention form after each team-building activity, coaches’ behaviors were observed by members of the research team, and each coach completed a semistructured exit interview after the completion of the regular season. Results highlighted the benefits of the team-building intervention program. Specifically, coaches felt athletes enjoyed this experience and improved or acquired a variety of important life skills and abilities. Coaches also felt that athletes bonded during activities and improved their abilities to work together as a group. Finally, coaches felt that their own personal communication skills improved.

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Volume 21 (2007): Issue 4 (Dec 2007)

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The College Athlete’s Guide to Academic Success: Tips from Peers and Profs

Cheryl Weiss

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The Development of a Culturally Appropriate Analogy for Implicit Motor Learning in a Chinese Population

Jamie M. Poolton, Richard S.W. Masters, and Jon P. Maxwell

Learning a motor skill by analogy can benefit performers because the movement that is developed has characteristics of implicit motor learning: namely, movement robustness under pressure and secondary task distraction and limited accrual of explicit knowledge (Liao & Masters, 2001). At an applied level the advantages are lost, however, if the heuristic that underpins the analogy conveys abstractions that are inappropriate for the indigenous culture. The aim of the current experiment was to redevelop Masters’s (2000) right-angled-triangle analogy to accommodate abstractions appropriate for Chinese learners. Novice Chinese participants learned to hit table tennis forehands with topspin using either a redeveloped, culturally appropriate analogy (analogy learning) or a set of 6 instructions relevant to hitting a topspin forehand in table tennis (explicit learning). Analogy learners accrued less explicit knowledge of the movements underlying their performance than explicit learners. In addition, a secondary task load disrupted the performance of explicit learners but not analogy learners. These findings indicate that a culturally relevant analogy can bring about implicit motor learning in a Chinese population.

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Enhancing the Evaluation of Effectiveness with Professional Judgment and Decision Making

Amanda Martindale and Dave Collins

On the basis of anecdotal evidence and media interest, the public profile of applied sport psychology is ever increasing in terms of its perceived impact on the performance of elite athletes and teams. In the profession, however, there is some concern over whether we are managing to concurrently match this pace empirically, through the evolution of scientific methods and mechanisms to evaluate the effectiveness of practice. This article considers requirements of the current evaluation climate and provides an overview of existing formal evaluation procedures. It is suggested that the evolving intricacies and complexities of applied sport psychology practice are neither fully captured nor represented by these procedures. Consequently, a framework of professional judgment and decision making (PJDM) is proposed from which to consider the evaluation of practice. In addition, methods and mechanisms for enhancing and building on our current evaluation procedures are offered.

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Essential Readings in Sport and Exercise Psychology

Diane Finley

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Flow Experience and Athletes’ Performance with Reference to the Orthogonal Model of Flow

Nektarios A. Stavrou, Susan A. Jackson, Yannis Zervas, and Konstantinos Karteroliotis

The purposes of the current study were to examine (a) the differences in Flow State Scale (FSS) subscales between the 4 experiential states of the orthogonal model (apathy, anxiety, relaxation, and flow), (b) the relationship between challenge, skills, and flow experience; and (c) the relationship between flow experience and athletes’ performance. Two hundred twenty athletes volunteered to participate in this study. Challenge of the game and skills of the athlete were measured before and after competition. Thirty minutes after the competition, the FSS was used to measure flow experience. In addition, subjective and objective measures of athletes’ performance were assessed. Athletes in the flow and relaxation states revealed the most optimal states, whereas the athletes in the apathy state showed the least optimal state. There were positive associations between athletes’ flow experience and their performance measures, indicating that positive emotional states are related to elevated levels of performance. On the other hand, there were low or no correlations between athletes’ performance and reported challenge of the game, whereas skills of the athlete were moderately correlated with flow. Multiple-regression analysis demonstrated significant prediction of athletes’ performance based on flow experience during competition. Future research should examine the relationship between flow, athletes’ performance, and additional dispositional and state variables.

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Improving the Delivery of Applied Sport Psychology Support through Reflective Practice

Brendan Cropley, Andrew Miles, Sheldon Hanton, and Ailsa Niven

This article offers an exploration of factors that influence the effectiveness of applied sport psychology delivery through reflection on a series of consulting experiences. Knowledge gained by a British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) trainee sport psychologist (Cropley), through a process of reflective practice during the first year of supervised experience, is presented around a number of themes that have emerged from current literature regarding the characteristics of effective service providers (A. Anderson, A. Miles, P. Robinson, & C. Mahoney, 2004). It is argued that reflection improves self-awareness and generates knowledge in action that can enhance the delivery of applied sport psychology. Support is therefore provided for the adoption of reflective practice as a tool for personal and professional development.

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Multiple Goal Orientations as Predictors of Moral Behavior in Youth Soccer

Luke Sage and Maria Kavussanu

The purpose of this study was to examine task-, ego-, and social-goal orientations as predictors of prosocial and antisocial behavior in youth soccer. Participants were 365 male (n = 227) and female (n = 138) youth soccer players M age = 13.4 years, SD = 1.8), who completed questionnaires measuring task and ego orientation; the goals of social affiliation, social recognition and social status; prosocial and antisocial behavior; and demographics. Regression analyses revealed that prosocial behavior was predicted positively by task orientation and social affiliation and negatively by social status. In contrast, antisocial behavior was predicted positively by ego orientation and social status and negatively by task orientation. Findings for task and ego orientation are consistent with previous work. Social-goal orientations explained further variance in prosocial and antisocial behavior, and their inclusion in future moral research is encouraged.

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Psychological Bases of Sport Injuries (3rd Ed.)

Lois Butcher-Poffley