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Volume 38 (2024): Issue 2 (Jun 2024)

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Bulletin Board

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A Phenomenological Evaluation of the Psychological Factors That Influence Motorsports Performance

Christopher R. Hill, Kathleen T. Mellano, Haley B.P. Trujillo, and David P. Ferguson

Race car drivers not only face high-speed challenges but also need to manage complex team dynamics and sponsor relations and are exposed to unique fan access while competing. This study examines the unique psychological aspects of motorsports and how race car drivers currently train psychological skills to match these distinctive demands. Adopting a phenomenological approach, this study involved semistructured interviews with 11 professional race car drivers. The interviews focused on drivers’ psychological experiences during racing and their psychological preparation. Thematic analysis of the interview data revealed key psychological factors impacting performance. These included concentration, confidence, anxiety, managing emotional states, unique social aspects, and motivation. Drivers also had an interest in psychological-skills training but reported a lack of resources and consistent application. This study highlights the unique psychological challenges presented in motorsports, and the findings underscore the need for targeted psychological-skills training and resources for race car drivers.

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A Longitudinal Multicase Study About the Board-Game Format of an Educational Self-Talk Intervention

Vassilis Mathas, Philip Solomon-Turay, Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis, James Hardy, and Alexander T. Latinjak

This study explored goal-directed self-talk and its optimization through educational self-talk interventions, focusing on a novel sports-oriented board-game intervention. Examining a practitioner’s experiences and diverse participant profiles, including an elite tennis player, a recreational athlete, a football referee, and a tennis coach, the research employed four in-depth case studies. A unique aspect of this study involved intentional control transfer from practitioner to client, documented through a practitioner diary and postintervention interviews. Participants generally expressed appreciation for the intervention; however, the coach’s case necessitated bespoke adjustments, underscoring the importance of contextual sensitivity in applied practice. The educational self-talk intervention reportedly facilitated the analytical deconstruction of challenges, enhancing self-regulation through goal-directed self-talk. The study underscored the pedagogical merit of the board game and observed a substantive transfer of control from practitioner to participant over the intervention’s longitudinal trajectory. Detailed recommendations have been crafted for practitioners to implement the educational self-talk intervention effectively in their practice.

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The Inducers of an Elite Male Table Tennis Player’s Emotional Experience Throughout His Career: A Single Case Study Based on the Critical-Incident Method

Oriane Petiot, Gilles Kermarrec, Jérôme Visioli, and Guillaume Martin

Despite a growing interest in emotions in sport psychology, little has been written about the contextual elements triggering athletes’ emotional experience. This single case study aimed to analyze the inducers of an elite table tennis player’s emotional experience throughout his career. He was ranked among the 15 best players in the world, and his career spanned more than 20 years. Inspired by the critical-incident method, we conducted a lengthy interview with the player, during which he related the most significant moments of his career. The categorization of the 96 critical incidents collected highlighted four inducers of positive emotions and five inducers of negative emotions, emerging over five periods (exponential progression, first difficulties, major difficulties, second career, and end of career). These findings contribute to the development of an innovative single-case-study design, allowing an understanding of the contextual origin of athletes’ emotions over the long term. Finally, highlights are discussed and recommendations for the practice of sport psychology are formulated.

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Case-Conceptualization Practices in Sport and Performance Psychology

Matthew D. Bird, Elmer A. Castillo, and Patricia C. Jackman

Case conceptualization is an important stage in the sport and performance psychology (SPP) consulting process. The conceptualization of a case can influence a consultant’s understanding of the underpinning mechanisms contributing to a presenting concern, interventions selected to help a client, and the effectiveness of provided services. Guidelines for case conceptualization have been developed for SPP professionals, but little is known about how this activity is undertaken in practice. The purpose of this study was to investigate the case-conceptualization methods and approaches of certified SPP professionals. Fifty-two certified mental performance consultants completed an online qualitative survey exploring how they conceptualized cases. Our findings suggested that SPP consultants viewed case conceptualization as an ongoing process, something that helps a consultant understand a client’s presenting concerns and guide any intervention plans, a collaboration between client and consultant, and a way to evaluate the effectiveness of their practice.

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“It’s Necessary Work”: Stories of Competitive Youth Sport Coaches’ Developing Critical Praxes

Sara Kramers and Martin Camiré

In this study, nine Canadian competitive youth sport coaches’ challenges and successes in creating safer and more inclusive sport spaces were explored through individual pre- and postseason interviews and an in-season reflective portfolio of their coaching experiences. From a story analyst approach, the central narrative theme of “it’s my responsibility to enact change” was identified. A storyteller approach was then used to communicate the meanings of the central theme as accessible creative nonfiction composite stories: When is it okay to intervene?; burning out … it’s consuming me; and breaking through … it’s necessary work. Building on previous research, the findings demonstrate how coaches’ critical praxes shift on a continuum of awareness and advocacy. The creative nonfictions may be used by coach educators and mental performance consultants to help coaches and leaders in sport assess their critical praxes toward challenging social issues in sport and acting in ways that support advocacy and empowerment.

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Having Impact and Doing It Quickly: The Place for Brief and Single-Session Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies in Sport Psychology Practice

Darren Britton, Andrew G. Wood, and Tim Pitt

Cognitive-behavioral therapies and related approaches are highly prevalent within sport psychology practice. Traditionally, these approaches are delivered across interventions comprising multiple sessions. However, in the fast-paced environments in which many applied sport psychologists operate, practitioners are sometimes required to provide fast, effective, and impactful interventions to athletes at their point of need within a single session. Single-session integrated cognitive-behavioral therapy presents a potentially effective approach for practice wherein time is often at a premium, and there is frequently pressure to make an impact quickly to improve performance. In this article, we put forward a stimulus piece that contextualizes single-session integrated cognitive-behavioral therapy and overviews how sport psychology practitioners may use such techniques with athletes. We also put forth a call for more practitioners to report more idiographic case studies that feature the use of brief or single-session interventions to further build the evidence base for such approaches.

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Volume 38 (2024): Issue 1 (Mar 2024)

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Bulletin Board