Observation provides applied sport psychologists with a direct assessment of client behavior within the sporting environment. Despite the unique properties and the insightful information that observation allows, it has received limited literary attention within the applied sport psychology domain. The current study aimed to explore and further understand the observation practices of current trainee practitioners. All participants were enrolled on a training program toward becoming either a chartered psychologist (BPS) or an accredited sport and exercise scientist (BASES). In total, five focus groups were conducted and analyzed using an interpretative phenomenological approach (IPA; Smith, 1996). Four superordinate themes emerged: value of observation, type of observation, challenges of observation, and suggestions for observation training. Results demonstrate the increased value that observation brings to effective service delivery and intervention. Specifically, informal observation is commended for its propensity to build greater contextual intelligence and to develop stronger client relationships.
Emily A. Martin, Stacy Winter, and Tim Holder
Zeljka Vidic, Mark St. Martin, and Richard Oxhandler
This mixed methodology study investigated the effects of a ten session mindfulness-based intervention on a women’s collegiate basketball team’s (n = 13) perceived stress, athletic coping resources, and perceptions of the mindfulness intervention. Quantitative results showed a progressive decrease in stress and an increase in athletic coping skills over the course of the intervention. Qualitative results indicated the mindfulness intervention was beneficial in various aspects of the athletes’ lives in the form of improved awareness, control, focus, presence and relaxation. These results suggest that mindfulness training may be an effective approach in assisting college athletes attain benefits in both sport and life.
Matt Dicks, Chris Pocock, Richard Thelwell, and John van der Kamp
Peter Gröpel and Jürgen Beckmann
Researchers suggests that a pre-performance routine (PPR) can improve performance in competitions. The effectiveness of left-hand contractions, a PPR to trigger facilitative cortical processes for skilled motor performance, was tested in two studies. In Study 1, gymnasts competing at the German university championships in artistic gymnastics performed their routines with or without the PPR. In Study 2, gymnasts performed the balance beam exercise either using the PPR or the control task (right-hand contractions) under simulated competition pressure. The qualification performance (Study 1) and the pressure-free performance (Study 2) were controlled. In both studies, participants in the PPR group performed better than control participants. The results indicate that left-hand contractions may be a useful PPR in the field.
John F. Mathers
Success on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Tour requires a specific blend of perceptuomotor abilities, technical proficiency, tactical awareness and mental skills. This case study describes the competitive structure of professional tennis and outlines the program of mental skills delivered to a professional tennis player over a 3-year period. The program embraced five stages: (1) education; (2) assessment/profiling; (3) mental skill learning; (4) application of mental skills in context and (5) evaluation, and was associated with some positive outcomes. This case study provides some possible guidelines for sport psychologists who may wish to provide consultancy services within professional tennis.
Thomas Davies, Dave Collins, and Andrew Cruickshank
Despite substantial research in golf on preshot routines, our understanding of what elite golfers are or potentially should be focusing on beyond this phase of performance is limited. Accordingly, interviews were conducted with elite-level golfers and support practitioners to explore what golfers are and should be attending to before competition and between shots and holes. Results pointed to a number of important and novel processes for use at macro (i.e., precompetition) and meso (i.e., between shots and holes) levels, including the role of shared mental models across team members.
Mark W. Bruner, Ian D. Boardley, Veronica Allan, Christopher Forrest, Zachary Root, and Jean Côté
Social identity has been found to play a salient role in regulating teammate behavior among youth participating in a range of sports (Bruner, Boardley, & Côté, 2014). This study aimed to better understand social identity by examining how it may influence intrateam moral behavior specifically in competitive youth ice hockey. Thirty-six male and female competitive youth ice hockey players from nine teams participated in narrative interviews. Using a thematic narrative analysis, three distinct narratives were identified: (1) family-oriented team narrative, (2) performance-oriented team narrative, and (3) dominance-oriented team narrative. Within each of the narratives, a reciprocal relationship between social identity and intrateam moral behavior was reported such that young athletes’ social identities developed through team membership may influence and be influenced by their moral behavior toward teammates. Collectively, the results extend previous research by providing an in-depth qualitative understanding of social identity and intrateam moral behavior in youth sport.
Editor’s Note: The Bulletin Board provides current news and information about the field of sport psychology. Featured is news from professional organizations, announcements of upcoming conferences and events, information about innovative developments in teaching and consulting in sport psychology, web resources, job and career opportunities in sport psychology, and names in the news. The success of the Bulletin Board depends, in large, upon the information provided by you. Please send information for possible inclusion in the Bulletin Board to: Rich Neil Ph.D., Cardiff School of Sport, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cyncoed Road, Cardiff, CF23 6XD, United Kingdom. Telephone: 44-2920-205-815; Fax: 44-2920-416-768; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading TSP Bulletin Board. Thanks for your support.
Andrew G. Wood, Jamie B. Barker, and Martin J. Turner
Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT; Ellis, 1957) is a psychotherapeutic approach receiving increasing interest within sport. REBT is focused on identifying, disputing, and replacing irrational beliefs (IBs) with rational beliefs (RBs) to promote emotional well-being and goal achievement. This study provides a detailed case outlining the application and effect of seven one-to-one REBT sessions with an elite level archer who was experiencing performance-related anxiety, before and during competition. The case also offers an insight into common misconceptions, challenges, and guidance for those who may consider applying REBT within their practice. Data revealed meaningful short and long-term (6-months) reductions in IBs and improvements in RBs, self-efficacy, perception of control and archery performance. The case supports the effective application of REBT as an intervention with athletic performers, promoting lasting changes in an athlete’s ability to manage their cognitions, emotions and behaviors in the pursuit of performance excellence.