This study explored which strength and conditioning (S&C) coaching behaviors and characteristics are perceived as effective by elite athletes and how these influence the athletes. A secondary aim was to consider the development and usefulness of vignettes to elicit new knowledge. Ten elite athletes reflected on scenarios presented in vignettes. Resulting themes were divided into the processes and factors influencing athletes and how the athletes are affected. The athletes considered these themes effective because the coach had built an environment of trust and respect. How coaches might influence athletes were divided into cognitive influences and behavioral influences. The results are discussed in light of current sport coaching literature, and the way vignettes enhance the richness of the data collection is reflected on. Practically, the results suggest that S&C coaches can build trust and respect to influence athletes’ development through effective instruction, communication, and motivation.
Christoph Szedlak, Matthew Smith, Melissa Day and Bettina Callary
Moira Lafferty and Caroline Wakefield
The aim of this study was to explore female student athletes’ participation in initiation activities, specifically to examine whether activities in the United Kingdom followed trends similar to those reported elsewhere. A sample of 8 female athletes representing both traditional and nontraditional team and individual sports (M age = 20 yr 3 mo, SD = 1 yr 3 mo) who met inclusion criteria of having taken part in an initiation ceremony consented to participate in a semistructured interview. Thematic content analysis resulted in the emergence of 6 higher order themes represented by 2 general dimensions: the initiation event and initiation outcomes. Findings indicated that female student athletes’ initiation activities encompassed discrete stages as they moved from team newcomers to accepted team members. Of particular concern is the direct and indirect role of alcohol in these events and the health and behavioral risks.
Paul A. Sellars, Stephen D. Mellalieu and Camilla J. Knight
This study explored stakeholders’ perceptions of Welsh adolescent participation in rugby union. A Straussian grounded-theory approach was adopted and data collection was conducted via semistructured interviews with 15 individuals involved in Welsh adolescent rugby union. Data were analyzed through open and axial coding procedures and theoretical integration. Stakeholders perceived that continued rugby participation resulted from a positive evaluation of one’s participation in the sport and one’s ability to cope with the demands experienced throughout transitions during adolescence. Overall, the findings provide a substantive grounded theory of stakeholders’ perceptions of continued adolescent participation in Welsh rugby union, and applied implications, in an aim to promote continued sport participation.
Paul A. Davis, Louise Davis, Samuel Wills, Ralph Appleby and Arne Nieuwenhuys
The present study examines cricketers’ perceptions of emotional interactions between competitors. Semistructured interviews with 12 male professional cricketers explored experiences (i.e., emotions, cognitions, behaviors) relating to incidents during competition where they or an opponent attempted to evoke an emotional reaction (e.g., sledging). Cricketers described their use of sledging as aggressive actions and verbal interactions with the aim of disrupting concentration and altering the emotional states of opponents. They described experiencing a variety of emotions (e.g., anxiety, anger) in response to opponents’ attempts at interpersonal emotion regulation; linguistic analyses indicated that both positive than negative emotions were experienced. A range of strategies in response to competitors’ deliberate attempts at interpersonal emotion regulation were outlined. The present study extends previous research investigating interpersonal emotion regulation within teams by indicating that professional cricketers are aware of the impact of cognitions and emotions on performance and attempt to negatively influence these factors in competitors.
Carolyn E. McEwen, Laura Hurd Clarke, Erica V. Bennett, Kimberley A. Dawson and Peter R.E. Crocker
The purpose of this study was to examine elite Canadian individual-sport athletes’ experiences with an Olympic team-selection process. Six nonselected Canadian individual-sport athletes who were attempting to qualify for the Olympics took part in 3 semistructured interviews during the Olympic team-selection process, after they gained knowledge of their selection status, and after the Olympic Games. Data were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Three major themes emerged from the interpretation of the athletes’ experiences: (a) pursuing and expressing the Olympic athlete identity; (b) navigating the Olympic team-selection process: expectations, barriers, and tensions; and (c) moving on: reactions, life-goal reinvestment, and athletic-goal adjustment. Participants’ experiences were shaped by personal motivation and social expectations, with changes shifting across the 3 interview periods. Athletes attempted to manage the discontent of nonselection through processes of positive reappraisal, athletic-goal adjustment, and accentuating other life goals and identities.
Cassidy Preston and Jessica Fraser-Thomas
Performance success and positive development are goals of youth sport coaching that need not but often do find themselves in conflict with each other, yet there is a dearth of research that has inquired into the tensions between these 2 goals for sport coaches. Adopting an autoethnographic research design, this study explored the first author’s coaching experiences with a focus on his attempts to facilitate players’ personal development and the team’s performance success in a Canadian elite minor ice hockey context. Framed in a positive-youth-development approach, the first author’s philosophy and behaviors were informed by key tenants of achievement goal theory and self-determination theory. Three key areas were problematized: pursuing personal development and performance success, creating a task-oriented environment, and implementing autonomy-supportive behaviors. Practical implications for elite youth coaches and coach educations programs are discussed.
Nicholas Stanger, Ryan Chettle, Jessica Whittle and Jamie Poolton
This research examined whether prevalent preperformance (Study 1) and in-game (Study 2) emotions were associated with cognitive interference (i.e., thoughts of escape, task-irrelevant thoughts, and performance worries) and whether any effects were moderated by reappraisal and self-confidence. In Study 1, team-sport players’ preperformance anxiety positively, and excitement negatively, predicted cognitive interference during a competitive match. However, no moderating effects for reappraisal or confidence were revealed. In Study 2, badminton players’ in-game anxiety, dejection, and happiness positively predicted, whereas excitement negatively predicted, cognitive interference during a competitive match. Moreover, reappraisal and confidence moderated the relationships of excitement and happiness with task-irrelevant thoughts. The findings underscore the role that preperformance and in-game emotions can play in athletes’ thought processing during sport performance, as well as highlighting the importance of considering the effects of self-confidence and reappraisal on the role of in-game emotions in cognitive interference.
Janaina Lima Fogaca, Sam J. Zizzi and Mark B. Andersen
There is limited evidence for what characteristics of supervision delivery facilitate novice supervisees’ development. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between supervision-delivery approaches and the perceptions of service-delivery competence development in novice practitioners. The authors interviewed 9 supervisor–supervisee dyads before and after the academic term in which the supervisees had their first applied experiences. Supervisees also completed reflective journal entries regarding their supervisory experiences and development. Data analysis included constant comparative analysis and triangulation of qualitative results with a practitioner-skills inventory. Different approaches to supervision delivery seemed to contribute similarly to novice supervisees’ development. Supervisees developed in more areas when the dyads had consistent meetings, close supervisory relationships, feedback, and frequent opportunities for self-reflection and when supervisors adapted the delivery to the supervisees’ developmental levels. In addition, factors in supervisees’ background, practice, and supervision that contributed to perceptions of service-delivery competence are discussed.
While there have been increasing opportunities for sport psychology practitioners in cricket, there are concerns regarding employment practices in the field and the knock-on impact on the practitioners. The aim of this research was to explore the experiences, reflections, challenges, and opportunities perceived by practitioners regarding their own roles delivering sport psychology in elite cricket. Participants were 12 sport psychology practitioners (8 male and 4 female) purposively selected based on their experience working in cricket. Participants were interviewed to gain an understanding of their experiences working as sport psychology practitioners. The data were thematically analyzed, resulting in the emergence of 7 higher order themes: the role, perceptions of the psychologist, consultation approach, limiting factors, first-team environment, challenges faced, and proposed changes. Results suggest that there are similarities in the challenges experienced across professional clubs and at different levels in cricket. Broader challenges for the clubs, the national governing body, and the sport psychology profession also emerged.