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Lea-Cathrin Dohme, David Piggott, Susan Backhouse and Gareth Morgan

Research has identified psychological skills and characteristics (PSCs) perceived to facilitate talented youth athletes’ development. However, no systematic categorization or synthesis of these PSCs exists to date. To provide such synthesis, this systematic review aimed to identify PSCs perceived as facilitative of talented youth athletes’ development, group and label synonymous PSCs, and categorize PSCs based on definitions established by Dohme, Backhouse, Piggott, and Morgan (2017). PRISMA systematic-review guidelines were employed and a comprehensive literature search of SPORTDiscus, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, and ERIC completed in November 2017. Twenty-five empirical studies published between 2002 and 2017 met the inclusion criteria. Through thematic analysis, 19 PSCs were identified as facilitative of youth athletes’ development—8 were categorized as psychological skills (e.g., goal setting, social-support seeking, and self-talk) and 11 as psychological characteristics (e.g., self-confidence, focus, and motivation). The practical implications of these findings are discussed.

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Ashley M. Duguay, Todd M. Loughead and James M. Cook

The present study sought to address 2 limitations of previous athlete-leadership research: (a) Researchers have predominantly examined the shared nature of athlete leadership using aggregated approaches, which has limited our ability to examine differences in the degree of sharedness between teams, and (b) the limited availability of research related to dyadic predictors (i.e., qualities of the relation between 2 individuals) of athlete leadership. Therefore, social-network analysis was used to examine athlete leadership across multiple levels (i.e., individual, dyadic, and network) in 4 competitive female youth soccer teams (N = 68). Findings demonstrated differences in the degree to which athlete leadership was shared between the teams. Furthermore, multiple-regression quadratic-assignment procedures showed that skill nomination and formal leadership status were significant predictors of how often participants reported looking to their teammates for leadership.

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Zachary McCarver, Shelby Anderson, Justine Vosloo and Sebastian Harenberg

The purpose of the present study was to explore diversity characteristics and experiences of discrimination in certified mental-performance consultants (CMPCs). The results of a questionnaire (N = 260) indicated that CMPCs remain a rather homogeneous population (>80% White, heterosexual, and able-bodied). Female and non-White consultants were significantly more likely to experience discrimination in the field. The findings indicate that minorities remain underrepresented among CMPCs. In addition, the profession is in need of interventional strategies to prevent experiences of discrimination in applied sport psychology.

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Mike Stoker, Ian Maynard, Joanne Butt, Kate Hays and Paul Hughes

In previous research, multiple demands and consequences were manipulated simultaneously to examine methods for pressure training. Building on literature, in this study a single demand or consequence stressor was manipulated in isolation. Specifically, in a matched within-subject design, 6 international shooters (mean age 28.67 yr) performed a shooting task while exposed to a single demand (task, performer, environmental) or consequence (reward, forfeit, judgment) stressor. Perceived pressure, anxiety (intensity and direction), and performance were measured. Compared with baseline, manipulating demands did not affect pressure or anxiety. In contrast, pressure and cognitive anxiety significantly increased when judgment or forfeit consequence stressors were introduced. Thus, the findings lack support for manipulating demands but strongly support introducing consequences when pressure training. Compared with baseline, the judgment stressor also created debilitative anxiety. Hence, in terms of introducing a single stressor, judgment appeared most impactful and may be most effective for certain athlete populations.

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Philip D. Imholte, Jedediah E. Blanton and Michelle M. McAlarnen

The purpose of this study was to crystalize a single case of informal athlete leadership in Minor League Baseball (MiLB) during the 2015 season. Teammates and coaches of a Class A MiLB team voted for the highlighted participant as the best athlete leader on the team. The first author conducted 8 individual semistructured interviews with the participant, 2 coaches, and 5 teammates. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis and open-ended prompts based on leadership and athlete literature, the first author learned about the highlighted participant’s emergence as a leader on a team without formal leadership titles. Findings revealed 4 main themes: navigating personal on-the-field failure, fulfilling others’ expectations, helping teammates manage emotions, and fostering a fun working environment. Findings also indicated 1 foundational theme, having a philosophy, that grounded the 4 main themes. Implications for athlete leadership development and future directions for athlete leadership research are discussed.

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Britton W. Brewer, Adisa Haznadar, Dylan Katz, Judy L. Van Raalte and Albert J. Petitpas

The purpose of this research was to develop and evaluate a 5-min structured mental warm-up involving aspects of goal setting, imagery, arousal regulation, and positive self-talk. Results of a study that featured a pretest–posttest design with 101 male youth soccer players (Study 1) and a study that featured a repeated-measures experimental design with 29 female intercollegiate soccer players (Study 2) indicated that executing the mental warm-up was associated with significantly greater readiness to perform and to use mental skills to enhance performance. In Study 3, 30 male high school soccer players used the mental warm-up daily over a competitive season and rated it as acceptable (albeit less so than their physical warm-up) at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the season. The findings suggest that a mental warm-up is both acceptable to athletes and potentially useful in helping them prepare for training and competition.

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Trevor Cote, Amy Baltzell and Robert Diehl

The present study examined college tennis players’ experience of the 6-hr sport-tailored mindfulness- and self-compassion-based intervention Mindfulness Meditation Training for Sport 2.0 (MMTS 2.0). Nine college athletes participated in individual semistructured interviews. Interview results revealed that the athletes perceived the mindfulness and self-compassions skills as valuable tools to respond optimally to adversity through observing, accepting, and offering self-compassion toward negative internal states on and off the court. The mindfulness and self-compassion skills were described as creating enhanced ability to overcome challenges and improve focus on the court and an enhanced quality of life off the court, including self-reported well-being markers. The participants also noted several challenges in completing the program (i.e., discomfort meditating, lack of independent practice, and hectic schedule as a student-athlete). These findings provide insight into how the delivery of mindfulness and self-compassion skills in a time-limited environment helps male and female athletes combat competition distress.

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Courtney W. Hess, Stacy L. Gnacinski and Barbara B. Meyer

Despite advancements in sport-injury rehabilitation theory and intervention design, return-to-play outcomes remain suboptimal. To explore the current knowledge base in sport-injury rehabilitation, the authors use an existing framework to review and outline gaps in the sport-injury evidence base. Through the lens of this framework they highlight the dearth of literature exploring how professionals approach rehabilitation, which may be one of several factors contributing to persistently poor rehabilitation outcomes. To begin addressing the identified gap in practice, the authors hypothetically apply 3 established team-based approaches from other rehabilitation domains to a single sport-injury case study to provide concrete examples of how team-based practice approaches can be effectively used in the sport domain. Professional-practice implications are discussed alongside areas for future research.

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Ross Wadey, Kylie Roy-Davis, Lynne Evans, Karen Howells, Jade Salim and Ceri Diss

Despite recent conceptual, methodological, and theoretical advancements in sport-injury-related growth (SIRG), there is no research on sport psychology consultants’ (SPCs) experiential knowledge of working with injured athletes to facilitate SIRG. Toward this end, this study examined SPCs’ perspectives on facilitating SIRG to provide an evidence base for professional practice. Participants (4 female, 6 male; mean 19 years’ applied experience) were purposefully sampled and interviewed. Transcripts were thematically analyzed. Methodological rigor and generalizability were maximized through self-reflexivity and eliciting external reflections. Five themes were identified: Hear the Story, Contextualize the Story, Reconstruct the Story, Live the Story, and Share the Story. Findings offer practitioners a novel approach to working with injured athletes. Rather than focusing on returning to preinjury level of functioning, the findings illustrate how SPCs can work with injured athletes to help transform injury into an opportunity to bring about positive change.