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Tracey Devonport, Andrew Lane, and Christopher L. Fullerton

Evidence from sequential-task studies demonstrate that if the first task requires self-control, then performance on the second task is compromised (Hagger, Wood, Stiff, & Chatzisarantis, 2010). In a novel extension of previous sequential-task research, the first self-control task in the current study was a sport psychology intervention, paradoxically proposed to be associated with improved performance. Eighteen participants (9 males, 9 females; mean age = 21.6 years, SD = 1.6), none of whom had previously performed the experimental task or motor imagery, were randomly assigned to an imagery condition or a control condition. After the collection of pretest data, participants completed the same 5-week physical training program designed to enhance swimming tumble-turn performance. Results indicated that performance improved significantly among participants from both conditions with no significant intervention effect. Hence, in contrast to expected findings from application of the imagery literature, there was no additive effect after an intervention. We suggest practitioners should be cognisant of the potential effects of sequential tasks, and future research is needed to investigate this line of research.

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Tracey J. Devonport and Andrew M. Lane

The present study used a mixed methods approach to evaluate the usage and perceived effectiveness of a 12-month coping intervention. Twelve junior national netball players followed an intervention that had two objectives: 1) to encourage the use of future-oriented coping across goal-oriented contexts and 2) to facilitate resource accumulation and maintenance by developing coping related competencies. Mentors and players maintained reflective diaries throughout the intervention and were contacted via telephone or e-mail every 2–3 months. In addition, players completed the Brief COPE measure at 1, 6, and 12 months. Eight players and 8 mentors completed postintervention interviews. Data indicated that following completion of the intervention, players perceived themselves to have a better understanding of when and how to use future-oriented coping. They also perceived enhanced psychosocial resources, and a more flexible approach toward goal pursuits. Recommendations for future research developments and the evaluation of coping interventions are presented.

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Tracey J. Devonport, Andrew M. Lane, and Kay Biscomb

Coping is highly relevant to performance in any domain where individuals strive to attain personally important goals. Thirty-three female national standard adolescent netball players participated in focus group and one-on-one interviews. Participants reported stressors experienced in not only sport, but also in other areas of life. They also reported coping strategies used and factors that might influence the stressor-coping process. Results identified stressors that derived from attempts to achieve highly important personal goals in different areas of daily life, including academic, sport, and social settings. Usage of future-oriented coping strategies such as planning, prioritizing, time-management, goal setting, and problem solving were associated with successfully managing multiple stressors and a sense of well-being. The present study illustrated the potential contribution of encouraging athletes to use future-oriented coping strategies when seeking the attainment of goals across domains. Future research should look to test the effectiveness of interventions designed to promote usage of future-oriented coping strategies.