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Andrew Evans, Robert Morris, Jamie Barker, Tom Johnson, Zoe Brenan, and Ben Warner

This paper provides athlete and practitioner insights regarding a novel coping-oriented personal-disclosure mutual-sharing (COPDMS) intervention developed and administered in a youth soccer context. Participants were 18 male soccer athletes (mean age 17.29 ± 0.73 years) who belonged to the same professional academy in England. The COPDMS intervention comprised an initial sport psychology education session (Week 1), a session introducing COPDMS (Week 2), a COPDMS session (Week 4), and a follow-up session (Week 9). During the COPDMS session, athletes mutually shared personal stories and/or information about transitions as they approached a time when they would gain a professional contract or would be released from their soccer academy. Athletes communicated a range of contextually relevant demand and resource appraisals during the COPDMS session. Several athlete and practitioner insights about the COPDMS process and outcomes were provided that can guide future researchers and practitioners seeking to develop and deliver bespoke PDMS interventions in sport.

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Jamie B. Barker, Andrew L. Evans, Pete Coffee, Matt J. Slater, and Paul J. McCarthy

In a one group pretest-posttest design, 15 elite academy cricketers were exposed to two personal-disclosure mutual-sharing (PDMS) sessions during a preseason tour. Within PDMS1, athletes disclosed (via prepared speeches) relationship-oriented information and within PDMS2, mastery oriented information. Social identity, social identity content, and collective efficacy were measured at baseline (1 week before the tour), post-PDMS1, midpoint, and post-PDMS2, while social validation was also obtained after each intervention session. Quantitative data revealed significant increases in social identity and friendships identity content at post-PDMS1, and results identity content and collective efficacy at post-PDMS2. Qualitative social validation data highlighted the thoughts and feelings of the athletes before their speeches and supported the effectiveness of the PDMS sessions. In sum, the data suggest practitioners can develop team outcomes (e.g., a focus on results) through developing specific aspects of teams’ identities. Study limitations, practitioner guidelines, and areas for future research are discussed.

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Andrew L. Evans, Matthew J. Slater, Martin J. Turner, and Jamie B. Barker

The present study examined the effects of personal-disclosure mutual-sharing (PDMS) on a diverse set of group factors in a previously unexplored context. During a single bout of PDMS, 14 soccer-academy athletes voluntarily disclosed unknown personal stories to fellow teammates. Social identity, friendships identity content, results identity content, and collective efficacy were measured at baseline, post-PDMS, follow-up, and maintenance phases. In addition, team performance over the competitive season was assessed via goal difference and goal discrepancy. Data indicated that a short-term significant increase in friendships identity content and a sustained improvement in team performance occurred after the PDMS session, and social identity, results identity content, and collective efficacy remained elevated across all intervention phases. Data suggest that PDMS fosters immediate increases in aspects of team functioning that may exert a positive influence upon team performance. Future research would benefit from ascertaining the exact mechanisms in which PDMS encourages changes in team outcomes observed within the current study.

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Martin J. Turner, Marc V. Jones, David Sheffield, Matthew J. Slater, Jamie B. Barker, and James J. Bell

This study assessed whether cardiovascular (CV) reactivity patterns indexing challenge and threat states predicted batting performance in elite male county (N = 12) and national (N = 30) academy cricketers. Participants completed a batting test under pressure, before which CV reactivity was recorded in response to ego-threatening audio instructions. Self-reported self-efficacy, control, achievement goals, and emotions were also assessed. Challenge CV reactivity predicted superior performance in the Batting Test, compared with threat CV reactivity. The relationships between self-report measures and CV reactivity, and self-report measures and performance were inconsistent. A small subsample of participants who exhibited threat CV reactivity, but performed well, reported greater self-efficacy than participants who exhibited threat CV reactivity, but performed poorly. Also a small subsample of participants who exhibited challenge reactivity, but performed poorly, had higher avoidance goals than participants with challenge reactivity who performed well. The mechanisms for the observed relationship between CV reactivity and performance are discussed alongside implications for future research and applied practice.