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Emotions and Sport Performance: An Exploration of Happiness, Hope, and Anger

Tim Woodman, Paul A. Davis, Lew Hardy, Nichola Callow, Ian Glasscock, and Jason Yuill-Proctor

We conducted three experiments to examine the relationships between emotions and subcomponents of performance. Experiment 1 revealed that anger was associated with enhanced gross muscular peak force performance but that happiness did not influence grammatical reasoning performance. Following Lazarus (1991, 2000a), we examined hope rather than happiness in Experiment 2. As hypothesized, hope yielded faster soccer-related reaction times in soccer players. Experiment 3 was an examination of extraversion as a moderator of the anger-performance relationship. When angry, extraverts’ peak force increased more than introverts’. Results are discussed and future research directions are offered in relation to Lazarus’s framework.

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The Role of Athlete Narcissism in Moderating the Relationship Between Coaches’ Transformational Leader Behaviors and Athlete Motivation

Calum Alexander Arthur, Tim Woodman, Chin Wei Ong, Lew Hardy, and Nikos Ntoumanis

Leadership research that examines follower characteristics as a potential moderator of leadership effectiveness is lacking. Within Bass’s (1985) transformational leadership framework, we examined follower narcissism as a moderator of the coach behavior–coach effectiveness relationship. Youth athletes (male = 103, female = 106) from the Singapore Sports Academy (mean age = 14.28, SD = 1.40 years) completed the Differentiated Transformational Leadership Inventory (Callow, Smith, Hardy, Arthur, & Hardy, 2009), the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (Raskin & Terry, 1988), and indices of follower effort. Multilevel analyses revealed that athlete narcissism moderated the relationship between fostering acceptance of group goals and athlete effort and between high performance expectations and athlete effort. All the other transformational leader behaviors demonstrated main effects on follower effort, except for inspirational motivation.

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Not All Risks Are Equal: The Risk Taking Inventory for High-Risk Sports

Tim Woodman, Matt Barlow, Comille Bandura, Miles Hill, Dominika Kupciw, and Alexandra MacGregor

Although high-risk sport participants are typically considered a homogenous risk-taking population, attitudes to risk within the high-risk domain can vary considerably. As no validated measure allows researchers to assess risk taking within this domain, we validated the Risk Taking Inventory (RTI) for high-risk sport across four studies. The RTI comprises seven items across two factors: deliberate risk taking and precautionary behaviors. In Study 1 (n = 341), the inventory was refined and tested via a confirmatory factor analysis used in an exploratory fashion. The subsequent three studies confirmed the RTI’s good model–data fit via three further separate confirmatory factor analyses. In Study 2 (n = 518) and in Study 3 (n = 290), concurrent validity was also confirmed via associations with other related traits (sensation seeking, behavioral activation, behavioral inhibition, impulsivity, self-esteem, extraversion, and conscientiousness). In Study 4 (n = 365), predictive validity was confirmed via associations with mean accidents and mean close calls in the high-risk domain. Finally, in Study 4, the self-report version of the inventory was significantly associated with an informant version of the inventory. The measure will allow researchers and practitioners to investigate risk taking as a variable that is conceptually distinct from participation in a high-risk sport.

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Who Takes Risks in High-Risk Sport?: The Role of Alexithymia

Matthew Barlow, Tim Woodman, Caradog Chapman, Matthew Milton, Daniel Stone, Tom Dodds, and Ben Allen

People who have difficulty identifying and describing their emotions are more likely to seek out the experience of emotions in the high-risk domain. This is because the high-risk domain provides the experience of more easily identifiable emotions (e.g., fear). However, the continued search for intense emotion may lead such individuals to take further risks within this domain, which, in turn, would lead to a greater likelihood of experiencing accidents. Across three studies, we provide the first evidence in support of this view. In Study 1 (n = 762), alexithymia was associated with greater risk taking and a greater propensity to experience accidents and close calls. In Study 2 (n = 332) and Study 3 (n = 356), additional bootstrapped mediation models confirmed these relationships. The predictive role of alexithymia remained significant when controlling for sensation seeking (Study 1) and anhedonia (Study 2 and Study 3). We discuss the practical implications of the present model as they pertain to minimizing accidents and close calls in the high-risk domain.