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A Qualitative Investigation into Experiences of the Role Episode in Soccer

Stephen D. Mellalieu and Scott W. Juniper

This study explored the phenomenon of the role episode in sport. Performance profiles and interviews were conducted with 11 male collegiate soccer players to identify the factors that contributed to the formation of positive perceptions of role states and the consequences for the individual and team. Role clarity developed via a combination of learning through implicit experiences in the sport and explicit instruction from role senders. Role acceptance formed through the focal person’s perceptions of the assigned performance role and the role sender. Positive perceptions of role states were suggested to improve performance by enhancing individual and group-related variables, including role satisfaction, group cohesion, and collective efficacy. The findings highlight the significance of understanding the factors that contribute to a positive role episode in sport and present implications for future team-building interventions.

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Risk Factors for Heavy Drinking in College Freshmen: Athletic Status and Adult Attachment

Diana M. Doumas, Rob Turrisi, and Dale A. Wright

This study examined athletic status and adult attachment as risk factors for high-risk drinking in 249 freshmen. Results of hierarchical regression analyses indicated attachment avoidance was related positively to high-risk drinking for former high school and collegiate athletes, but related inversely to high-risk drinking for nonathletes. Further, athletes with high attachment avoidance reported the highest levels of heavy drinking and associated consequences. Findings suggest athletes with high attachment avoidance may use drinking as a coping strategy to manage discomfort associated with social situations and this strategy is likely an extension of patterns established in high school. Clinical implications include providing prevention programs for both high school and collegiate athletes, with an emphasis on targeting interpersonal avoidance and discomfort with relationships.

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The Sport Psychologist’s Handbook: A Guide for Sport-Specific Performance Enhancement

Tiz A. Arnold

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Sport Psychology Library - Bowling: The Handbook of Bowling Psychology

Christopher Mesagno

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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.