Psychological momentum in sports is a series of high or low human performances that seem to defy statistical randomness, and instead is often attributed to a positive feedback system in the athlete’s physiology and psyche. Quantitative approaches have found some evidence of psychological momentum. We measured the throw speeds and accuracy of adult males throwing baseballs while subjecting them to verbal criticism (positive or negative). Our study of short-term momentum suggested evidence of psychological momentum only in top-performing university baseball players, and not in the lower-performing players or in nonathletes.
Jordan Golding, Aaron Johnson and Andrew T. Sensenig
Isobelle J.R. Biggin, Jan H. Burns and Mark Uphill
Research suggests elite athletes have an equal—or, in some circumstances, possibly higher—probability of developing mental ill-health as the general population. However, understanding of these issues among athletes and coaches remains largely limited. The perceptions of mental-health problems among 19 elite athletes and 16 coaches were explored using two concurrent three-round Delphi surveys whose responses were compared. Athletes and coaches expressed different opinions and experiences of mental ill-health among elite athletes. However, both groups felt the pressure athletes place on themselves is a significant contributing factor and that obsessional compulsive tendencies and anxiety may be particularly prevalent. While associated stigma was thought to be a barrier to seeking support, both groups felt sport and clinical psychologists would provide the most appropriate support, with coaches playing an important signposting role. Implications for athletes, coaches, and clinical and sport psychologists are explored and suggestions for future research are presented.
Ece Bekaroglu and Özlem Bozo
The purpose of the current study was to investigate the relationship between attachment styles, emotion regulation strategies, and their possible effects on health-promoting behaviors among those who participate (N = 109) versus those who do not participate in extreme sports (N = 202). Multiple mediation analyses were conducted to test the hypotheses. Different nonadaptive emotion regulation strategies mediated the relationship between insecure attachment styles and health-promoting behaviors in two groups of the current study. In the extreme sports group, lack of awareness about emotions and lack of goals while dealing with negative emotions mediated the relationship between anxious attachment style and health-promoting behaviors; and lack of goals while dealing with negative emotions mediated the relationship between avoidant attachment style and health-promoting behaviors. In participants who do not engage in extreme sports, lack of clarity about emotions mediated the relationship between anxious attachment style and health-promoting behaviors. Findings and their implications were discussed in the light of the literature.
Mike B. Gross, Andrew T. Wolanin, Rachel A. Pess and Eugene S. Hong
Michael B. Johnson
The primary purpose of the current article is to supply those who wish to attain employment as a sport psychologist within a university athletic department (SPAD) with relevant information. The content herein describes one clinician’s path to becoming a SPAD, from undergraduate education to current-day work. The author often receives requests (between six and ten a year) from aspiring sport psychologists for information on how he attained his position. The current article begins with a concise presentation of the author’s background. This is followed by a brief overview of his current work. What follows are succinct recommendations for those who seek similar positions, including thoughts on (a) training, (b) the idiosyncratic personality-work environment fit, and (c) developing efficacious interpersonal relationships with those responsible for hiring such positions.
Nicole T. Gabana, Jesse A. Steinfeldt, Y. Joel Wong and Y. Barry Chung
The present study explored the relationships among gratitude, sport satisfaction, athlete burnout, and perceived social support among college student-athletes in the United States. Participants (N = 293) from 16 different types of sports at 8 NCAA Division I and III institutions were surveyed. Results indicated gratitude was negatively correlated with burnout and positively correlated with sport satisfaction, suggesting that athletes who reported more general gratitude also experienced lower levels of burnout and greater levels of satisfaction with their college sport experience. Perceived social support was found to be a mediator in both relationships. Limitations and implications for research and practice are discussed.
Ryan Sides, Graig Chow and Gershon Tenenbaum
The purpose of this study was to explore adaptation through the manipulation of perceived task difficulty and self-efficacy to challenge the concepts postulated by the two-perception probabilistic concept of the adaptation phenomenon (TPPCA) conceptual framework. Twenty-four randomized performers completed a handgrip and putting task, at three difficulty levels, to assess their self-efficacy and perceived task difficulty interactions on motivations, affect, and performances. The TPPCA was partially confirmed in both tasks. Specifically, as the task difficulty level increased, arousal increased, pleasantness decreased, and the performance declined. There was no solid support that motivational adaptations were congruent with the TPPCA. The findings pertaining to the human adaptation state represent a first step in encouraging future inquiries in this domain. The findings clarify the notion of perceived task difficulty and self-efficacy discrepancy, which then provokes cognitive appraisals and emotional resources to produce an adaptation response.
Judy L. Van Raalte, Staci R. Andrews, Allen E. Cornelius, Britton W. Brewer and Albert J. Petitpas
Although graduation rates for intercollegiate student-athletes in the United States have hit record highs in recent years, many student-athletes lag behind their nonathlete peers in terms of career readiness. The purpose of this research was to create and evaluate a theoretically grounded, evidence-based career development workshop for student-athletes. In Study 1, 28 college and university professionals reviewed the Career Self-Exploration for Student-Athletes Workshop Presenter’s Guide and online training videos. Workshop materials were revised based on feedback received. In Study 2, a national sample of 158 student-athletes participated in a controlled field trial. Results indicated that participating in the Career Self-Exploration for Student-Athletes Workshop enhanced student-athletes’ career self-efficacy relative to a control group. These findings suggest that the Career Self-Exploration for Student-Athletes Workshop, available online for free, can be used by campus professionals to enhance career development opportunities for student-athletes across geographic regions and resource availability levels.
Monna Arvinen-Barrow, Diarmuid Hurley and Montse C. Ruiz
This study documented the lived career-ending injury experiences among elite Irish rugby football union (IRFU) players. Three players took part in semistructured one-on-one interviews. Interpretative phenomenological analysis (Smith, 1996) revealed that the process of psychosocial injury rehabilitation and the subsequent transition process was for the most part a distressing one and evolved in a cyclical, yet stage-like (Heil, 1994), manner. The nature of the postinjury career transition appeared to be dependent on the interactional balance of participants’ psychosocial responses to injury, existing coping mechanisms, and other factors related to the injury and career transition process. Appropriate social support network, use of sport medicine and counseling professionals, as well as organizational officials are needed to best prepare elite rugby players for life outside of sport, and to ensure a healthy career transition (Taylor & Ogilvie, 1994) out of sport.
Brad Donohue, Ashley Dowd, Corey Philips, Christopher P. Plant, Travis Loughran and Yulia Gavrilova
Recruitment of participants into treatment outcome studies is an important and often challenging aspect of human research. Yet, there have been very few controlled trials that have examined methods of recruiting participants into clinical trials, particularly in populations that may be reluctant to pursue mental health intervention, such as athletes. In this study, 79 NCAA Division I, Club, and Intramural student-athletes volunteered to participate in a study to determine their interest in participating in one of two goal-oriented programs representing two arms in a clinical trial. These programs were aimed at reducing substance abuse and sexually transmitted infections, and improving mental health, relationships, and sport performance. The participants were randomly assigned to Standard Recruitment (SR) or Recruitment Engagement (RE). RE included a review of the aforementioned outcome study and implementation of strategies that were developed to motivate participants to engage in treatment. The SR condition involved a review of the aforementioned treatment outcome study only. After the recruitment interventions were implemented, participants were queried to report any negative consequences that may have occurred from their use of illicit drugs or alcohol. Participants who reported negative consequences were invited to participate in baseline assessment of the aforementioned outcome study. Results indicated that 11 (25.0%) of the participants in the RE condition provided their consent to participate, 9 (20.5%) of whom subsequently completed baseline assessment; only 2 (5.7%) of the SR participants provided their study consent and subsequently participated in baseline assessment for the clinical trial (p < .05). After the respective recruitment intervention was implemented, participants were administered psychometrically validated instruments to assess their overall psychiatric functioning and the extent to which their sport performance was negatively impacted by dysfunctional thoughts and stress. Participants in RE were more likely to report greater dysfunctional thoughts and stress interfering with their sport performance (and, to a lesser extent, greater psychiatric problems) than SR participants, suggesting RE may influence greater disclosure of problem behavior than SR, permitting the interviewers opportunities to empathize with the participants’ concerns. Results are discussed in light of their implications to treatment outcome research and clinical and counseling practice involving student-athletes.