Although applied sport psychology services have traditionally been provided in athletic settings, there has been a trend toward a more general application across different performance domains and, in particular, with tactical populations (i.e., military, law enforcement, and firefighters). The purpose of the current study was to systematically review the existing research on mental qualities and techniques in tactical populations. A database search revealed 7,220 potentially relevant articles, which were screened by two independent reviewers based on predefined inclusion criteria. This systematic screening process helped to identify 49 articles for further analysis. The findings highlight the benefits of developing mental qualities and techniques among tactical populations, as they can help to nurture a range of positive cognitive, affective, and behavioral outcomes. Yet, this review also indicates gaps and limitations that need to be addressed in future research to gain a better understanding of the antecedents, mediators, and consequences of these psychological constructs.
Johannes Raabe, Elmer Castillo, and Johannes Carl
Adson Alves da Silva, Gabriel Lucas Morais Freire, José Fernando Vila Nova de Moraes, Leonardo de Souza Fortes, Rodrigo Gustavo da Silva Carvalho, and José Roberto Andrade do Nascimento Junior
This study investigated the association of coping strategies burnout symptoms in 228 Under-20 Brazilian soccer players in a career transition phase and compared these variables with the occurrence of injuries and professionalization. The instruments used in the study were the Athlete Burnout Questionnaire and the Athletic Coping Strategies Inventory-28. Data analysis was conducted through generalized estimation equations, Pearson correlation, and multiple linear regression (p < .05). The results showed that coping was associated with physical and emotional exhaustion in both professional and nonprofessional players, and with a reduced sense of accomplishment only in young nonprofessional athletes who were in the career transition phase. It is concluded that young elite athletes who are in the transition phase of their career but have not signed a professional contract, use limited coping strategies and seem more exposed to stress (compared with those who have signed a contract), and are consequently more vulnerable to burnout symptoms.
Keita Kinoshita, Eric MacIntosh, and Shintaro Sato
Basic psychological needs (BPN) are a construct that helps clarify the psychological mechanism to reach desirable outcomes for youth athletes. When BPN are undermined, people should be less likely to thrive. As mental toughness (MT) can reduce the negative effects of stressors, MT may buffer the negative effects of maladaptive motivation. This study investigated the mediating role of thriving on the relationships between BPN thwarting and important outcomes for youth athletes’ positive functioning. It also examined the buffering effects of MT. One hundred eighty-eight Canadian youth athletes (M age = 15.51) answered an online survey. The results demonstrated that thriving was a significant mediator, and the indirect relationships were moderated by MT. The indirect associations were nonsignificant for youth with high MT. The findings demonstrated that MT might decrease the negative impacts of BPN thwarting on thriving and important outcomes for young athletes.
Tyler Makepeace, Bradley W. Young, and Scott Rathwell
This study explored the views of Canadian Masters athletes (MAs; M age = 51, range 38–62; three men and five women) from 12 sports (10 individual and two team sports) on sport psychology for performance, experiential, and lifestyle enhancement. Using Braun and Clarke’s procedures for thematic analysis, the authors interpreted data from semistructured interviews deductively in relation to five strategic themes in which psychological skills are applied for performance enhancement. Deductive results demonstrated MAs used goal setting, imagery, arousal regulation, concentration, and self-confidence to enhance performance and obtain competitive advantages. The authors also analyzed data inductively to reveal themes related to experiential and lifestyle factors. Inductive results showed that MAs “placed priorities on sport,” which involved cognitively justifying the priority and framing sport as an outlet and as the embodiment of the authentic self. Social strategies associated with continued sport pursuit included cultivation of supportive social environments, social contracts/negotiations, social signaling, and social accountability. Strategies “to fit sport in” included integrating/twinning, scheduling, and managing commitment. Managing age-related concerns involved mindfulness and compensation strategies. Results show how MAs uniquely apply sport psychology to enhance their performance and to support sport adherence.
Alexander T. Latinjak, Eduardo Morelló-Tomás, and Lucia Figal-Gómez
The aim of this article is to present an exploratory interview framework called #SportPsychMapping that can serve as guidance to practitioners in exploring the psychological reality of individuals and collectives. To meet their aim, in this article, the authors address (a) the context in which the exploratory interview framework was developed, (b) the theoretical structure used to select topics and questions, (c) the structure of the interview, (d) the topics and questions in the central section of the interview, (e) the summary section of the interview, and (f) different ways the exploratory interview framework has been applied. The hallmarks of #SportPsychMapping are the structure that includes an opening, central, and summary section; the central section, in which external variables, biopsychological states and traits, and psychological skills are explored; and the summary section, where an individual map is created with key concepts and phrases that reflect the interviewee’s main responses.
Travis S. Tilman
Tsz Lun (Alan) Chu and Trent A. Petrie
Time and access to teams may be limited for sport psychology professionals, particularly those working in the college sport setting. Thus, learning how to intervene with teams and individual athletes within short, defined timeframes becomes essential for working effectively in this environment. In this article, using de Shazer’s solution-focused brief therapy along with Weinberg and Williams’s steps of psychological skills training, the authors describe the development and implementation of a brief intervention under time-limited circumstances (15 days, 15 min/day) through a preseason training program with a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I women’s volleyball team. Then, they present data and evaluations based on the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory-28 and athlete feedback, which support program effectiveness. They further reflect on the program strengths (e.g., individualization) and challenges (e.g., limited coach involvement) to provide recommendations for intervening briefly, yet systematically and effectively, to maximize athletes’ psychological skills under constraints.