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Swimming Coaches’ Perceptions of Sexual Exploitation in Sport: A Preliminary Model of Role Conflict and Role Ambiguity

Joy D. Bringer, Celia H. Brackenridge, and Lynne H. Johnston

Bringer, Brackenridge, and Johnston (2002) identified role conflict and ambiguity as an emerging theme for some swimming coaches who felt under increased scrutiny because of wider concerns about sexual exploitation in sport (Boocock, 2002). To further understand this emerging theme, 3 coaches who had engaged in sexual relations with athletes, or had allegations of abuse brought against them, took part in in-depth interviews. Grounded theory method (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) was adopted to explore how these coaches responded differently to increased public scrutiny. The findings are discussed in relation to how sport psychologists can help to shape perceptions of coaching effectiveness that are congruent with child protection measures. Reflective practice is proposed as one method by which coaches may embed child and athlete protection in their definition of effective coaching, rather than seeing it as an external force to which they must accommodate.

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Using Narrative Therapy in Sport Psychology Practice: Application to a Psychoeducational Body Image Program

Trisha Leahy and Rachel Harrigan

Narrative therapy is a form of therapeutic intervention underpinned by a philosophy of language proposing that meaning is socially constructed through language. Power relations and social and personal contexts are understood as central to the construction of meaning. Narrative therapy represents an approach to therapeutic practice that assumes that people experience problems in their lives when the dominant stories, which they or others have constructed of their lives, do not sufficiently represent their lived experience. In this article we provide an exposition of narrative therapy, its philosophical influences and key processes. We demonstrate key tenets in action via a psychoeducational intervention attempting to facilitate positive body image with a team of 15 elite young women athletes. Anonymous, written, evaluative feedback of the seven-session program suggests a generally positive outcome. Narrative therapy can be a useful addition to the repertoire of clinical skills of sport psychologists.

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Volume 20 (2006): Issue 3 (Sep 2006)

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Applying Sport Psychology: Four Perspectives.

Michelle Joshua

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Coping and Emotion in Sport

Christina Johnson

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Examining the Direction of Imagery and Self-Talk on Dart-Throwing Performance and Self Efficacy

Jennifer Cumming, Sanna M. Nordin, Robin Horton, and Scott Reynolds

The study investigated the impact of varying combinations of facilitative and debilitative imagery and self-talk (ST) on self-efficacy and performance of a dart-throwing task. Participants (N = 95) were allocated to 1 of 5 groups: (a) facilitative imagery/facilitative ST, (b) facilitative imagery/debilitative ST, (c) debilitative imagery/facilitative ST, (d) debilitative imagery/debilitative ST, or (e) control. Mixed-design ANOVAs revealed that performance, but not self-efficacy, changed over time as a function of the assigned experimental condition. Participants in the debilitative imagery/debilitative ST condition worsened their performance, and participants in the facilitative imagery/facilitative ST condition achieved better scores. These findings demonstrate that a combination of facilitative imagery and ST can enhance performance whereas debilitative imagery and ST can hamper it.

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Guidelines for Delivering Personal-Disclosure Mutual-Sharing Team Building Interventions

Nicholas L. Holt and John G.H. Dunn

The overall purpose of this study was to provide professional guidance to practitioners who may wish to deliver Personal-Disclosure Mutual-Sharing (PDMS) team building activities. First we replicated and evaluated a PDMS intervention previously used by Dunn and Holt (2004). Fifteen members (M age = 25.4 yrs) of a high performance women’s soccer team provided evaluative data about the intervention they received via reflective interviews. Benefits of the PDMS activity were enhanced understanding, increased cohesion, and improved confidence. Guidelines for professionals who may wish to use this team building approach are provided in terms of (a) establishing group communication practices during the season, (b) delivering the meeting, and (c) demonstrating contextual sensitivity.

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A Qualitative Study of Moral Reasoning of Young Elite Athletes

Thierry Long, Nathalie Pantaléon, Gérard Bruant, and Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville

Based on game reasoning theory (Shields & Bredemeier, 2001) and related research, the present study aimed at describing young elite athletes’ perceptions of rules compliance and transgression in competitive settings, as well as the underlying reasons for these actions. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 young elite athletes. The qualitative analysis showed that respect and transgression of rules in competitive settings were perceived to depend upon the athletes’ individual characteristics (e.g., desire to win), their social environment (e.g., coach’s pressure, team norms), sports values and virtues (e.g., fair play, the effort ethic), and modern sports rewards (e.g., media recognition, financial rewards). These results confirmed and expanded game reasoning theory and illustrated moral disengagement mechanisms (Bandura et al., 1996) in the sport domain.

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Sport Psychology Consultants’ Experience of Using Hypnosis in Their Practice: An Exploratory Investigation

Jason S. Grindstaff and Leslee A. Fisher

The purpose of this study was to explore sport psychology consultants’ experiences of using hypnosis in their practice. Specifically a better understanding of hypnosis utilization as a performance enhancement technique in applied sport psychology was sought. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with six sport psychology consultants (all PhDs) who each possessed training and experience related to hypnosis. Analysis of the interview data revealed a variety of major themes and subthemes related to the guiding interview questions: (a) hypnosis training and experience, (b) stereotypes and misconceptions related to hypnosis, (c) utilizing hypnosis as a performance enhancement technique, (d) advantages and disadvantages of using hypnosis with athletes, and (e) cultural considerations related to using hypnosis.

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Sport Psychology in Practice

Rob Smith