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The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive

Sandra E. Short and Frazer Atkinson

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The Mental Athlete

Sandra E. Short and Michael S. Silbernagel

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Is What You See Really What You Get? Athletes’ Perceptions of Imagery’s Functions

Sandra E. Short, Eva V. Monsma, and Martin W. Short

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Athletes’ Perceptions of a Coach Who Faked Confidence

Barrett Wilson, Sandra E. Short, and Martin W. Short

This experimental study examined differences in athletes’ perceptions of a coach who faked confidence. The participants (n = 29) were elite hockey players from the Dallas Stars organization and North Dakota men’s hockey program. They completed a questionnaire after watching a video of a coach draw up a neutral zone forecheck. Participants then read a short scenario that explained that the coach was faking his confidence regarding his knowledge about the strategy he presented. The athletes then completed the same set of questions again. Paired-sample t-tests compared the athletes’ ratings before and after they were told that the coach was faking his confidence. The questions were about coach’s confidence (in general), the coach’s confidence in the strategy he presented, and the athlete’s perception that the coach would be confident in his ability to explain a different strategy. All values significantly decreased (p = .00) after the participants were told that the coach was faking confidence. From the qualitative data, three dimensions (i.e., confidence, knowledge, and presentation style) were prominent. These qualitative results provide insight as to why the athletes’ perceptions of the coach changed from positive (e.g., athletes’ perceived the coach was confident) to negative (e.g., athletes’ perceived that the coach was not confident) after finding out the coach was faking his confidence. Coaches should be aware that they can effectively fake confidence. However, if a coach were to fake it and “get caught,” then they should know that the athletes’ perceptions of them may become negative quickly.

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College Soccer Players’ Perceptions of Coach and Team Efficacy

Frazer Atkinson, Sandra E. Short, and Jeffrey Martin

The authors examined the relationships among athletes’ perceptions of their coaches’ and their team’s efficacy in a sample of 271 college soccer players (M = 19.84 years, SD = 1.42). Athletes’ perceptions of their coaches’ efficacy were assessed using a modified version of the Coaching Efficacy Scale (CES), and perceptions of team efficacy were assessed using the Collective Efficacy Questionnaire for Sport (CEQS). A canonical correlation analysis between the variants formed by the CES subscales and the CEQS subscales was statistically significant, Wilks’s criterion λ = .440, F(20, 883.17) = 12.40, p < .001. Significant canonical loadings indicated that athletes’ perceptions of their coaches’ being confident in their ability to motivate (β = −.78) and provide successful game strategies (β = −.49) to the team were the most predictive of the athletes’ confidence in their team’s ability to prepare (β = −.58), persist (β = −.13), and unite (β = −.36) during competition. The authors provide practical implications for coaches looking to enhance coaching and team efficacy that are linked directly to their findings.

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The Relationship between Efficacy Beliefs and Imagery Use in Coaches

Sandra E. Short, Matthew Smiley, and Lindsay Ross-Stewart

This study examined the relationship between coaching efficacy and imagery use. Eighty-nine coaches completed the Coaching Efficacy Scale and a modified version of the Sport Imagery Questionnaire. Results showed significant positive correlations among the coaching efficacy subscales and imagery functions. Regression analyses showed that the significant predictor for game strategy efficacy was CG imagery. Predictors for motivation efficacy included career record and MG-M imagery. MG-M imagery and total years of coaching were the significant predictors for total efficacy scores and character building efficacy. The only significant predictor for teaching technique efficacy was CS. The results replicate and extend the relationships found between efficacy and imagery for athletes and show that imagery also may be an effective strategy to build and maintain coaching efficacy.

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The Effect of Imagery Function and Imagery Direction on Self-Efficacy and Performance on a Golf-Putting Task

Sandra E. Short, Jared M. Bruggeman, Scott G. Engel, Tracy L. Marback, Lori J. Wang, Anders Willadsen, and Martin W. Short

This experiment examined the interaction between two imagery functions (Cognitive Specific, CS; and Motivation - General Mastery, MG-M) and two imagery directions (facilitative, debilitative) on self-efficacy and performance in golf putting. Eighty-three participants were randomly assigned to one of 7 conditions: (a) CS + facilitative imagery, (b) CS + debilitative imagery, (c) MG-M + facilitative imagery, (d) MG-M + debilitative imagery, (e) CS imagery only, (f) MG-M imagery only, (g) no imagery (stretching) control group. A 3 (imagery direction) X 3 (imagery function) X 2 (gender) ANCOVA with pretest scores used as the covariate was used. Results showed a main effect for performance; means were higher for the facilitative group compared to the debilitative group. For self-efficacy, there was a significant imagery direction by imagery function by gender interaction. These findings suggest imagery direction and imagery function can affect self-efficacy and performance and that males and females respond differently to imagery interventions.