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.
Tyler Makepeace, Bradley W. Young, and Scott Rathwell
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.
Lukas Stenzel, Melissa Röcken, Simon Borgmann, and Oliver Stoll
The present case study describes the content and implementation of a blended psychological skills training, consisting of an app and workshops, with a group of athletes (N = 44) from a Bundesliga soccer academy in Germany. In a pre–post design, athletes completed different questionnaires at two measurement points. There was a significant increase in concentration and self-efficacy and more frequent recovery after the intervention. However, athletes showed equal competition anxiety levels and more frequent stress after the intervention. The app’s training time was brief (M = 14.36 min, SD = 18.17 min) over 9 weeks and did not moderate the intervention’s effects. A comparison between active users and nonusers indicates that the results found were due to the workshops. The qualitative feedback indicates that motivational functions should be added to a psychological skills training app and time slots should be created in athletes’ demanding schedules to ensure high user engagement.
Satoshi Aikawa and Hideaki Takai
Athletes believe imagery is essential for high-quality performance. It is essential to identify what type of imagery significantly contributes to performance. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between imagery ability and gymnastics performance, as well as self-efficacy and thoughts during competitions that are related to performance. Fifty-two gymnasts were recruited for this study. Participants were measured for imagery ability, self-efficacy, thoughts during competitions, and performance. Results indicated that skill imagery significantly predicts worry and disengagement in a negative manner, and mastery imagery is positively related to self-efficacy. Moreover, goal imagery has a significant positive relationship to self-efficacy, disengagement, confidence, and performance. In conclusion, the ability to easily image an ideal performance, such as the success of one’s performance or the image of a perfect performance, might increase confidence in the competition and lead to the success of the performance.
Veronique Richard, Justin Mason, Stacey Alvarez-Alvarado, Inbal Perry, Benoit Lussier, and Gershon Tenenbaum
The aim of the present study was to compare the effectiveness of a learned preperformance routine (PPR) with an intuitively developed one before a simulation race on advanced swimmers’ speed and motor efficiency, as well as self-efficacy and emotional regulation. In total, 46 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I swimmers were stratified to either the control (intuitively developed PPR) or the PPR condition, which included four instructional sessions aimed at developing a PPR. A simulated competitive race was organized before and after the intervention. For each simulation, speed and motor efficiency were measured during the race, and self-efficacy and emotions, after the completion of the race. Nonsignificant effects were revealed for speed, motor efficiency, and self-efficacy following the intervention. However, performing a learned PPR prior to racing significantly influenced the swimmers’ emotional state. These results provide some support for the effect of a PPR on emotional regulation prior to a swimming race.
Mentoring has been identified as an important antecedent for coaches’ professional and leadership development. I examined how the gender composition of head coach and assistant coach mentorship moderates the relationship between the quality of mentorship and assistant coaches’ leadership skills. The participants were 239 pairs of assistant and head coaches in U.S. college sports. The assistant coaches assessed the quality of mentorship with their head coaches, while the head coaches assessed their assistant coaches’ leadership skills. Mentorship quality was generally related to assistant coaches’ leadership skills, yet the relationships were positive and significant for dyads that involve female head coaches and not significant for dyads that involve male head coaches. The results indicate that gender composition may need to be considered in increasing the effectiveness of coaches’ mentorship. The findings inform the current practices in the implementation of mentoring for coaches’ leader development.