Recent research has used self-determination theory to examine athlete burnout among adults. However, there is a dearth of theory-driven research investigating burnout among young athletes, particularly as it pertains to its sociological influences. With research suggesting that motives for sport (dis)continuation vary among athletes of different ages, this study assessed the utility of self-determination theory (SDT) and Coakley’s model for youth burnout while examining developmental differences. Participants included swimmers of ages 7–17. Analyses revealed a model that approached adequate ft indices and accounted for 70% of the burnout variance. Results supported utilizing these theories to understand youth burnout while accounting for developmental differences.
Brandonn S. Harris and Jack C. Watson II
Tracey J. Devonport and Andrew M. Lane
The present study used a mixed methods approach to evaluate the usage and perceived effectiveness of a 12-month coping intervention. Twelve junior national netball players followed an intervention that had two objectives: 1) to encourage the use of future-oriented coping across goal-oriented contexts and 2) to facilitate resource accumulation and maintenance by developing coping related competencies. Mentors and players maintained reflective diaries throughout the intervention and were contacted via telephone or e-mail every 2–3 months. In addition, players completed the Brief COPE measure at 1, 6, and 12 months. Eight players and 8 mentors completed postintervention interviews. Data indicated that following completion of the intervention, players perceived themselves to have a better understanding of when and how to use future-oriented coping. They also perceived enhanced psychosocial resources, and a more flexible approach toward goal pursuits. Recommendations for future research developments and the evaluation of coping interventions are presented.
Emmanouil Georgiadis and Irini Papazoglou
World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) is responsible for doping-free sporting contests and is the only sporting body posing relevant competition sanctions. While doping relates to various controversial attitudes and beliefs proposed in the past, the confirmation of a competition ban following a doping violation has many negative connotations for the lives of the athletes. This can elicit multiple significant and far-reaching implications for them and their close ones. Aiming to better understand these implications in an athlete’s life, 5 Greek male and female athletes having recently received a competition ban after a doping violation were interviewed. Qualitative analysis of the data showed that many important psychological, social, and financial implications follow such a sanction. Most importantly, these consequences may even contribute to indications of poor mental and physical health. Discussion of the results provides suggestions for the alleviation of the negative consequences following an involuntary sporting career pause or termination.
Jason Youngman and Duncan Simpson
Researchers have noted that when taken to an excessive level, exercise may become addictive. This study investigated the risk of exercise addiction for triathletes using the Exercise Addiction Inventory (EAI; Terry, Szabo, & Griffths, 2004). The sample consisted of 1,285 male and female triathletes, ranging in age from 18–70 years old. Results indicated that approximately 20% of triathletes are at risk for exercise addiction, and that training for longer distance races (i.e., Olympic, Half-Ironman, and Ironman) puts triathletes at greater risk for exercise addiction than training for shorter races (i.e., Sprint). No significant association was found between the risk for exercise addiction and the number of years of participating. However, as the number of weekly training hours increased, so did a triathlete’s risk for exercise addiction. At-risk triathletes need greater clinical attention, and further research should be conducted to help clinicians develop awareness and appropriate interventions.
Katherine A. Tamminen and Peter R.E. Crocker
This paper is a critical commentary on the article “Adaptation Processes Affecting Performance in Elite Sport” (Schinke, Battochio, Lidor, Tenenbaum, Dube, & Lane, 2012). We review relevant literature and highlight theoretical and conceptual concerns regarding Schinke et al.’s model, particularly regarding their characterization of adaptation as a process versus an outcome, and the role of appraisals, emotions, emotional regulation, coping, and Fiske’s (2004) core motives within their model of adaptation. Adaptation or adjustment among elite athletes is a valuable area of research in sport psychology; however, Schinke et al.’s model oversimplifies the adaptation process and has limited utility among sport psychology researchers and practitioners.
James K. Luiselli, Neelima G. Duncan, Patrick Keary, Elizabeth Godbold Nelson, Rebecca E. Parenteau and Kathryn E. Woods
We evaluated several behavioral coaching procedures with two young adults who had intellectual and developmental disabilities and were preparing for a Special Olympics track event. The primary dependent measure was their time running a 100 m sprint. Following a baseline phase, the athletes were coached to improve sprint times through different combinations of goal setting, performance feedback, positive reinforcement, and video modeling. In a sequential design, the average sprint time of both athletes was lower during intervention conditions compared with baseline. Following intervention, they ran faster than their baseline average in competition at a regional Special Olympics event. We discuss intervention and research issues in behavioral coaching of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Lael Gershgoren, Edson Medeiros Filho, Gershon Tenenbaum and Robert J. Schinke
This study was aimed at capturing the components comprising shared mental models (SMM) and the training methods used to address SMM in one athletic program context. To meet this aim, two soccer coaches from the same collegiate program were interviewed and observed extensively during practices and games throughout the 2009–2010 season. In addition, documents (e.g., players’ positioning on free kicks sheet) from the soccer program were reviewed. The data were analyzed inductively through a thematic analysis to develop models that operationalize SMM through its components, and training. Game intelligence and game philosophy were the two main operational themes defining SMM. Moreover, four themes emerged for SMM training: (a) the setting, (b) compensatory communication, (c) reinforcement, and (d) instruction. SMM was embedded within a more comprehensive conceptual framework of team chemistry, including emotional, social, and cognitive dimensions. Implications of these conceptual frameworks are considered for sport psychologists and coaches.
Jeffrey J. Martin and Laurie A. Malone
Although sport psychologists have started to examine elite disability sport, studies of comprehensive mental skill use are rare. In the current study, we examined multidimensional imagery and self-talk, as well as comprehensive mental skills (i.e., coping with adversity, goal setting, concentration, peaking under pressure, being coachable, confident, and feeling free from worry). In addition to descriptive data, we also were interested in the ability of athlete’s mental skills to predict engagement (e.g., being dedicated). Fourteen elite level wheelchair rugby players from the United States participated, and results indicated that athletes employed most mental skills. We accounted for 50% of the variance in engagement with comprehensive mental skills (β = .72, p = .03) contributing the most to the regression equation, while imagery (β = -.02, p = .94) and self-talk (β = -.00, p = .99) were not significant. Athletes who reported using a host of mental skills (e.g., coping with adversity) also reported being engaged (e.g., dedicated, enthused, committed) to wheelchair rugby. Athletes reporting minimal mental skill use were less engaged.
Siobhain McArdle and Phil Moore
The aim of this pilot study was to explore disordered eating (DE) literacy in male and female athletes and to examine whether any gender differences were present. A related aim was to examine the moderating effect of gender on the relationship between indices of DE literacy and attitudes toward help-seeking for DE. A nonclinical sample of 133 (37% male) athletes from a variety of sports and competitive levels were recruited to complete an online questionnaire addressing a range of topics linked to DE literacy. Chi-square analysis indicated no significant gender differences on indicators of DE literacy. Findings from the survey revealed a number of beliefs conducive to low or inappropriate help-seeking for DE. The results highlight the importance of exploring DE literacy in athletes to develop more targeted interventions for this specific population.
Insa Nixdorf, Raphael Frank, Martin Hautzinger and Juergen Beckmann
Depression among elite athletes is a topic of increasing interest, but empirical data are rare. The present study aimed to provide insight into the prevalence of depressive symptoms among German elite athletes and possible associated factors. In an online survey of 162 athletes, we explored depressive symptoms, chronic stress, coping strategies and stress-recovery states. Results indicated an overall prevalence of 15% for depression among elite athletes (n = 99), and revealed higher levels of depressive symptoms among the individual athletes than the team athletes. Furthermore, correlation analyses showed a significant connection between high levels of depressive symptoms and high levels of chronic stress, negative coping strategies and negative stress-recovery states. Results indicate that the prevalence for depressive symptoms in elite athletes is comparable to that in the general German population. Moreover, exploratory analyses provide first indications of factors associated with depressive symptoms.