Using a case study design, we explored two ballet dancers’ perfectionism experiences via interviews and questionnaires at two time points 5 years apart. They represented the two types of “pure perfectionism” in the 2 × 2 model of perfectionism: a female representing pure personal standards perfectionism (high perfectionistic strivings, low perfectionistic concerns) and a male representing pure evaluative concerns perfectionism (low perfectionistic strivings, high perfectionistic concerns). The pure personal standards perfectionism dancer reported stable perfectionism across time, seemingly resilient to any perfectionistic concerns developing. She attributed this to her stable, grounded personality, also reporting autonomous motivation and performance success. The dancer representing pure evaluative concerns perfectionism reported increased perfectionistic strivings and lowered perfectionistic concerns over time; concurrently, his motivation became less controlled and more autonomous. He described the reasons in terms of improved basic psychological needs satisfaction and personal growth. Overall, autonomy might be important in mitigating perfectionism.
Sanna M. Nordin-Bates, Martin Aldoson, and Charlotte Downing
Ludvig Johan Torp Rasmussen and Simon Hovesen Dalsgaard
Despite an increasing interest in studying creativity in sport, previous research has primarily focused on in-game creative performance and employed research designs neglecting sport participants’ perspectives. Hence, this study explored professional athletes’ developmental experiences involving creativity. Semistructured retrospective interviews were conducted with eight ice hockey players performing in or retired from the National Hockey League, Kontinental Hockey League, or Swedish Hockey League. Players described 15 modalities of creative actions emerging when playing, practicing, and performing. Based on the players’ experiences, creativity led to augmented levels of enjoyment (i.e., elicited passion), development (i.e., enhanced potential), achievement (i.e., enriched in-game qualification), and fulfillment (i.e., extended career progression). Findings contribute to a more nuanced understanding of creativity in sport and provide novel insights on the role of creativity in the development and maintenance of expertise in sport and the nature and role of deliberate play and deliberate practice in developing creativity.
Rena M.G. Curvey, Shannon C. White, Myles T. Englis, Katherine C. Jensen, Marissa K. Bosco, Mikaela E. Thompson, Candice N. Hargons, Samantha N. Leavens, and Emily A. Murphy
The increasing representation of women in the field of sport psychology in recent years is the direct result of pioneering female practitioners and scholars. Although the contributions of these women are often relegated to the pages of textbooks, the exploration of women’s professional experiences is essential to understanding what sources lead women to engaging in sport psychology. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to generate a theory that explored the factors that influence women’s attraction and retention to sport psychology. An interpretivist–constructivist paradigm and constructivist grounded theory methodology was used to guide semistructured interviews with 17 cisgender female sport psychology practitioners. The findings of this study were used to develop the theory of women’s career attraction and retention in sport psychology. The theory comprised three categories including (a) sources of attraction, (b) training and professional development, and (c) sources of retention. Study findings and professional implications are discussed throughout.
Phil D.J. Birch, Beth Yeoman, and Amy E. Whitehead
Think Aloud (TA) has been used as a tool to promote self-regulation and reflection in coaches, yet it has not been employed in the same context to support athletes. The aim of the present study was to understand golfers’ perceptions of using TA at two time points: immediately postperformance and after a 6- to 8-week reflection period. Six golfers (five male, one female; age: M = 30.8 years, SD = 14.8; handicap: M = 6.92, SD = 3.9) used TA during the performance on six holes of golf and listened back to their TA audio. Using semistructured interviews and subsequent thematic analyses, we generated four themes: increased awareness, awareness of how behavior influences performance, disruption of thought processes and performance, and application to coaching. Preliminary evidence provides support for TA as a potential tool to promote self-regulation in golfers, which could be used to inform coaching interventions.
Maya Trajkovski and Aubrey Newland
Although mindfulness has been suggested as a means to improve athletes’ performance, few studies have connected changes in mindfulness with improved performance. The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of an exploratory mindfulness intervention (MI) on performance using a mixed methods design. Thirty-four female National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) soccer athletes participated in a 12-week MI. Using the Mindfulness Inventory for Sport, athletic performance and self-perceived ability during the first three games of the season compared to the final three games of the season (August–November 2019) were analyzed using paired t tests. Postintervention focus groups explored athletes’ perceptions of the MI on performance. Mindfulness, shots per game, and self-perceived athletic ability increased after the MI. Six themes emerged from the focus groups: awareness, increased focus, letting-go mentality, skill acquisition, self-compassion, and team cohesion. Coaches and sport psychology practitioners may consider implementing similar MI to improve performance and overall athletic experiences.
Martin Camiré, Camille Sabourin, Eden Gladstone Martin, Laura Martin, and Nicolas Lowe
The COVID-19 pandemic, and associated stay-at-home orders, instigated far-reaching disturbances in the lives of student-athletes, which included school closures and sport cancellations. The purpose of the study was to examine first-hand student-athletes’ pandemic-related experiences with screen time and mental health. A total of 22 Canadian high school student-athletes were individually interviewed in 2021. Interviews occurred online via videoconferencing and were subjected to a reflexive thematic analysis, which led to the creation of three themes: (a) pandemic life is a major grind, (b) screen time during COVID times: I feel guilty, but what else can I do? and (c) mental health during COVID times: mostly pain, but there is a silver lining. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for research and practice as it pertains to formulating endemic initiatives best supporting the many student-athletes confronting the psychosocial aftereffects of having lived through a global pandemic.
Mario S. Fontana, Mary D. Fry, and E. Whitney G. Moore
Athletes have reported that they would experience shame while playing sport, both for their lack of preparation (process shame) and for their poor outcomes (result shame) during competition. The purpose of this study was to explore how motivational climate is related to athletes’ process and result shame. A survey was administered to 259 high-school track and field athletes before a practice 3 weeks into the season. Structural equation modeling showed that a perceived caring and task-involving motivational climate was positively related to athletes’ process shame and negatively related to their result shame. Perceptions of an ego-involving motivational climate were negatively related to athletes’ process shame and positively related to athletes’ result shame. The results highlight that caring and task-involving behaviors in coaches may help mitigate proneness to shame in athletes.
Arash Assar, Robert Weinberg, Rose Marie Ward, and Robin S. Vealey
The purpose of the present investigation was to explore the mediating role of self-compassion on the relation between goal orientation and sport-confidence, as well as exploring whether these factors differed between male and female student-athletes. To that end, a total of 418 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I student-athletes (M = 20.19, SD = 1.30) completed the Self-Compassion Scale (athlete version), the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire, and the Trait Sport-Confidence Inventory. Structural equation models suggest that task orientation has both a direct effect on sport-confidence and an indirect one through self-compassion. Furthermore, while there was no direct effect between ego orientation and sport-confidence, the results indicated an indirect effect through self-compassion. Moreover, a multigroup analysis indicated that the paths in the mediation model were moderated by gender. Based on these findings, it is recommended that coaches, sport psychologists, and other practitioners consider self-compassion training to enhance confidence among both ego-oriented and female athletes.