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Jessica Ross and Peter D. MacIntyre

Flow is a desirable state of consciousness and absorption in an optimally challenging activity. Prior research has investigated individual differences in flow. The present study investigates flow by contrasting physical versus mental activities, using a mixed-methods, sequential explanatory design. The sample from the quantitative phase included 205 undergraduate university students assessed on measures of personality, difficulties in emotion regulation, and flow. The big-five traits intellect and conscientiousness, as well as the emotion regulation subscale “lack of emotional clarity” predicted flow during mental activities, but unexpectedly no variables significantly predicted physical flow activities. The second phase used semi-structured interviews with 10 participants. Analyses of the interviews helped further explain the statistical findings, revealing four main themes: role of stress, source of guilt, presence of others, and satisfaction and fulfillment. We conclude that flow is especially relevant in physical activities which have advantages over mental activities in opportunities to experience flow.

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Luke Wilkins, Jen Sweeney, Zoella Zaborski, Carl Nelson, Simon Tweddle, Eldre Beukes and Peter Allen

The purpose of the present study was to address perceptions towards Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in soccer. Twenty-four male, elite academy soccer players (M age = 20.04) completed a custom-made questionnaire which included education on CBT. The results found that: i) initially, only 8% of players had heard of CBT whilst only 4% of players knew what CBT was, ii) players strongly agreed that CBT should be offered to all players, iii) not knowing how/where to seek help was identified as the main barrier to CBT, iv) players indicated a preference for one-to-one and face-to-face CBT, as opposed to small-group or online-CBT, and v) players perceived they would receive most support from family/friends, and least support from teammates, if they were to undertake CBT. These findings demonstrate that whilst initial awareness and knowledge of CBT is low, general perceptions towards CBT are positive once athletes are educated on the area.

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Diane M. Wiese-Bjornstal, Kristin N. Wood, Amanda J. Wambach, Andrew C. White and Victor J. Rubio

The purpose of this study was to explore religiosity/spirituality (R/S) in coping with sport injuries, based on predictions of the integrated model of psychological response to the sport injury and rehabilitation process. A concurrent mixed methods design framed an online survey incorporating quantitative measures of R/S identification and commitment, health locus of control for sport injury, and ways of coping with sport injury, as well as qualitative open-ended questions about mechanisms through which R/S affected and was affected by coping with sport injuries. Participants included 49 physically active adults who experienced sport injuries, with 37 identifying as R/S. Quantitative findings among R/S participants showed religious commitment was a predictor of God health locus of control and positive religious coping. Quantitative results relative to differences between R/S and no-R/S participants showed that those self-identified as R/S relied on a God health locus of control and utilized active coping more so than did those self-identified as no-R/S, whereas no-R/S participants relied more than did R/S participants on an internal health locus of control. Thematic analyses exploring qualitative data revealed three main themes characterizing mechanisms through which R/S affected and was affected by coping with sport injuries: positive, negative, and no R/S coping strategies and effects. Findings support the predictions of the integrated model of psychological response to the sport injury and rehabilitation process and provide evidence-bases for clinical and counseling interventions that reflect cultural competence in accommodating patient or client R/S during recovery from sport injury.

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Emily Kroshus, Sara P.D. Chrisman, Jeffrey J. Milroy and Christine M. Baugh

Purpose: Assess whether athletes with a prior concussion diagnosis are more likely to continue play with a possible concussion. Additionally, explore whether reasons for concussion under-reporting are different among athletes with a prior concussion when compared to other athletes. Methods: Cross-sectional survey of 328 collegiate athletes. Results: Athletes with a prior concussion diagnosis had significantly greater relative risk of continuing play while symptomatic of a possible concussion during their most recent season compared to athletes without prior concussion diagnosis. Significant differences exist in the reasons that athletes provided for not reporting by history of concussion. Conclusions: Findings suggest that learning may have occurred as a result of the prior diagnosis; however, this learning did not appear to result in safer reporting behavior. Additional research is necessary to clarify why athletes who have been previously diagnosed with a concussion are more likely to continue playing while experiencing concussion symptoms.

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Anne Holding, Jo-Annie Fortin, Joëlle Carpentier, Nora Hope and Richard Koestner

Retirement from competitive sports significantly influences former athletes’ well-being. We propose that disengaging from the former athletic career is a crucial factor in retired athletes’ adaptation. Using the theoretical framework of Self-Determination Theory (SDT) we propose that sport motivation at the career peak and motivation for retirement are important determinants of athletes’ disengagement progress from a terminated athletic career. We also seek to examine how motivation for retirement and disengagement progress predict retired athletes’ well-being. Using a mixed-retrospective/prospective longitudinal design we followed 158 government-supported elite athletes who had recently retired from an athletic career. In two online surveys administered 1.5 years apart, retired athletes reported on motivation, disengagement, and well-being. Results suggested that SDT motivation factors are important predictors for elite athletes career disengagement and well-being in retirement. The clinical implications of these findings for athletic career transition and support programs are discussed.

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Leonardo Ruiz, Judy L. Van Raalte, Thaddeus France and Al Petitpas

More than 1,400 Latin American professional baseball players, age 16-21, are employed by 30 Major League Baseball (MLB) academies in the Dominican Republic. The popular press has highlighted scandals related to professional youth baseball player recruitment, selection, and exploitation in the academies, but little attention has been given to the academy experiences of youth baseball players from the perspective of the players themselves. For this research, 11 professional baseball players residing at an MLB Academy in the Dominican Republic participated in semi-structured interviews. Players described their transitions into the baseball academy system, their experiences in the academy, and their perceptions and expectations upon leaving or being released from the academy. Themes that emerged from the data included athletes’ hopes and dreams, stress, faith, and career transitions. Clinical implications of these findings for sport psychology practitioners are discussed.

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Alison R. Oates, Aaron Awdhan, Catherine Arnold, Joyce Fung and Joel L. Lanovaz

Adding haptic input may improve balance control and help prevent falls in older adults. This study examined the effects of added haptic input via light touch on a railing while walking. Participants (N = 53, 75.9 ± 7.9 years) walked normally or in tandem (heel to toe) with and without haptic input. During normal walking, adding haptic input resulted in a more cautious and variable gait pattern, reduced variability of center of mass acceleration and margin of stability, and increased muscle activity. During tandem walking, haptic input had minimal effect on step parameters, decreased lower limb muscle activity, and increased cocontraction at the ankle closest to the railing. Age was correlated with step width variability, stride length variability, stride velocity, variability of medial-lateral center of mass acceleration, and margin of stability for tandem walking. This complex picture of sensorimotor integration in older adults warrants further exploration into added haptic input during walking.

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Aubrey Newland, Rich Gitelson and W. Eric Legg

Given the challenge of consistent physical activity among aging adults, it is important to find ways to increase physical activity levels in this population. Participants in the Senior Olympic Games may extend their sport participation through the use of mental skills. This study examined the relationship between mental skills use by Senior Olympic Games participants and their grit, or passion and perseverance, toward a long-term goal. The participants in the Arizona Senior Olympic Games (n = 304) completed an online survey of mental skills use (Athletic Coping Skills Inventory) and grit (Grit Scale-Short). Based on the ongoing validity and reliability issues of the Grit Scale-Short, two regression models were examined, with consistency of interests (passion) and perseverance of effort (perseverance) as dependent variables. After controlling for age and sex, mental skills accounted for 15.2% of the variance in consistency of interests and 13.1% of the variability in perseverance of effort. The results are discussed in light of the findings.

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Seung-uk Ko, Gerald J. Jerome, Eleanor M. Simonsick and Luigi Ferrucci

Obstacle crossing, such as stepping over a curb, exerts additional demands on balance control, and therefore the study of usual-pace gait patterns associated with obstacle-crossing performance may provide additional insight into understanding falls and deterioration of gait in older adults. Participants included 432 adults aged 60–96 years (218 women). Participants who failed the obstacle-crossing task (n = 181) walked slower with smaller knee range of motion than participants who successfully completed the obstacle-crossing task (all ps < .001). Participants who failed the obstacle crossing reported a greater likelihood of falling in the previous year, more balance problems, lower walking ability, and needed longer time to complete 5 chair stands than those who passed the task (all ps < .05). Obstacle-crossing task may identify gait patterns in older adults who appear functionally intact, but who are nonetheless at risk of fall and balance problems.

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Jill Whitall, Nadja Schott, Leah E. Robinson, Farid Bardid and Jane E. Clark

In 1989, Clark and Whitall asked the question, “What is motor development?” They were referring to the study of motor development as an academic research enterprise and answered their question primarily by describing four relatively distinct time periods characterized by changes in focus, theories or concepts, and methodology. Their last period was named the process-oriented period (1970–1989). In hindsight, it seems clear that their last period could be divided into two separate historical time periods: the information-processing period (1970–1982) and the dynamical systems period (1982–2000). In the present paper, we briefly revisit the first three periods defined by Clark and Whitall, and expand and elaborate on the two periods from 1970 to the turn of the century. Each period is delineated by key papers and the major changes in focus, theories or concepts, and methodology. Major findings about motor development are also described from some papers as a means of showing the progression of knowledge.