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Martin J. Turner and Jamie B. Barker

The use of rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) in sport psychology has received scant research attention. Therefore, little is known about how REBT can be adopted by sport psychology practitioners. This paper principally outlines how practitioners can use REBT on a one-to-one basis to reduce irrational beliefs in athletes. Guidance is offered on the introduction of REBT to applied contexts, the REBT process through which an athlete is guided, and offers an assessment of the effectiveness of REBT with athletes. It is hoped that this paper will encourage other practitioners to adopt REBT in their work and to report their experiences.

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Adam James Miles, Rich Neil, and Jamie Barker

The purpose of this study was to explore the stress, emotion, and coping (SEC) experiences of elite cricketers leading up to and on the day of their first competitive fixture of the season. Four elite male cricketers (M = 21.25, SD = 1.5) completed Stress and Emotion Diaries (SEDs) for the 7-day period leading up to and on the day of their first competitive fixture of the season. We then interviewed the cricketers to explore the content of the SEDs in more detail. We used semistructured interviews to glean insight into the stressors, cognitions, emotions, coping strategies, and behaviors. Inductive and deductive content data analysis provided a holistic and temporal exploration of the SEC process underpinned by the cognitive-motivational-relational theory of emotions (Lazarus, 1999). The results highlighted the ongoing and continuous nature of the SEC process while illustrating the coping strategies the cricketers used leading up to and on the day of competition.

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Jamie B. Barker and Marc V. Jones

The present paper reports the impact of hypnosis, technique refinement, and selfmodeling on the self-efficacy levels of a cricket leg-spin bowler. A single-subject (A-B) design was employed with the collection of 8 baseline data points and 16 post-intervention data points that included 8 data points collected 7 months after the intervention. The intervention comprised three aspects. Aspect one focused on using hypnosis and self-hypnosis to increase self-efficacy. Aspect two was based around refining the bowler’s technique, focusing on the run-up, head position, and follow-through. Aspect three focused on self-modeling through the use of an edited videotape. The results revealed a significant difference between pre and post-intervention self-efficacy levels. This positive change was maintained in the long-term follow-up data. Also an increase in bowling performance was noted across the intervention. A number of consultancy issues are presented surrounding the use of hypnosis as part of a multimodal intervention.

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Phyllis M. Windsor, Jamie Barker, and Paul McCarthy

This study evaluated the effects of a personal-disclosure mutual-sharing (PDMS) intervention on team cohesion and communication among 21 male professional soccer players from a top division club within the United Kingdom (UK) before an important match in the latter stages of a domestic cup competition. Data from the Group Environment Questionnaire (GEQ) and the British Scale for Effective Communication in Team Sports (BRSECTS) showed no statistically significant changes in cohesion or positive and negative communication from pre to postintervention (i.e., pretest to posttest); yet the team performed above their expectations in the important match only to lose in a penalty shoot-out. Social validation data further revealed that most players felt the intervention was worthwhile and benefitted the team by enhancing closeness, understanding of teammates, and communication. We discuss strategies and guidance for sport psychologists considering a PDMS intervention in the context of professional sport teams. Future research directions considering the effects of PDMS with other professional and youth UK sports, collective efficacy, and social identity is outlined.

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Andrew G. Wood, Jamie B. Barker, and Martin J. Turner

Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT; Ellis, 1957) is a psychotherapeutic approach receiving increasing interest within sport. REBT is focused on identifying, disputing, and replacing irrational beliefs (IBs) with rational beliefs (RBs) to promote emotional well-being and goal achievement. This study provides a detailed case outlining the application and effect of seven one-to-one REBT sessions with an elite level archer who was experiencing performance-related anxiety, before and during competition. The case also offers an insight into common misconceptions, challenges, and guidance for those who may consider applying REBT within their practice. Data revealed meaningful short and long-term (6-months) reductions in IBs and improvements in RBs, self-efficacy, perception of control and archery performance. The case supports the effective application of REBT as an intervention with athletic performers, promoting lasting changes in an athlete’s ability to manage their cognitions, emotions and behaviors in the pursuit of performance excellence.

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Chris G. Harwood, Jamie B. Barker, and Richard Anderson

This study examined the effectiveness of a longitudinal 5C coaching intervention (Harwood, 2008), focused on promoting behavioral responses associated with commitment, communication, concentration, control, and confidence in youth soccer players. Five players, their parents and a youth academy soccer coach participated in a single-case multiple-baseline across individuals design with multiple treatments. Following baseline, the coach received sequential education in the principles of each C subsequent to integrating relevant strategies in their coaching sessions. During the five intervention phases, players completed assessments of their behavior in training associated with each C, triangulated with observationbased assessments by the coach and the players’ parents. Results indicated psychosocial improvements with cumulative increases in positive psychosocial responses across the intervention for selected players. Changes in player behavior were also corroborated by parent and coach data in conjunction with postintervention social validation. Findings are discussed with respect to the processes engaged in the intervention, and the implications for practitioners and applied researchers.

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Andrew G. Wood, Jamie B. Barker, Martin Turner, and Peter Thomson

Research examining the effects of rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) on athletic performance is emerging. There is, however, a paucity of research exploring psychological interventions in specialized sport populations. The present study investigated the effects of a single REBT workshop, including intellectual and practical insight into the ABC(DE) framework, on psychological, physiological, and performance markers in an elite blind soccer team. From use of a within-participant pretest–posttest crossover design in an ecologically valid setting, data indicated small and immediate reductions in irrational beliefs, perceived helpfulness of preperformance anxiety, and physiological markers (i.e., systolic blood pressure) prior to a penalty-kick simulation. However, no substantial changes were shown in penalty-kick performance. In sum, although the findings elucidate some benefits of a single REBT workshop, the educational insight into the ABC(DE) framework was deemed insufficient for meaningful changes in outcome measures. Practical implications and recommendations for future researchers are discussed.

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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.