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“Think Aloud” as a Facilitator of Self-Regulation in Golfers

Phil D.J. Birch, Beth Yeoman, and Amy E. Whitehead

Think Aloud (TA) has been used as a tool to promote self-regulation and reflection in coaches, yet it has not been employed in the same context to support athletes. The aim of the present study was to understand golfers’ perceptions of using TA at two time points: immediately postperformance and after a 6- to 8-week reflection period. Six golfers (five male, one female; age: M = 30.8 years, SD = 14.8; handicap: M = 6.92, SD = 3.9) used TA during the performance on six holes of golf and listened back to their TA audio. Using semistructured interviews and subsequent thematic analyses, we generated four themes: increased awareness, awareness of how behavior influences performance, disruption of thought processes and performance, and application to coaching. Preliminary evidence provides support for TA as a potential tool to promote self-regulation in golfers, which could be used to inform coaching interventions.

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An Exploratory Investigation of Personality in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Phil D.J. Birch, Lottie Greenlees, and Benjamin T. Sharpe

Personality traits can provide insightful predictions relating to thoughts, feelings, and behavior. The aim of the present study was to examine differences in personality traits across in-game rank in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). A total of 95 CS:GO players from the United Kingdom and North America were classified using CS:GO in-game rank and grouped into high, moderate, and low in-game rank. The NEO-Five-Factor Inventory questionnaire was utilized to measure the Big Five Personality traits. Using one-way multivariate analysis of variance with follow-up tests of discriminant analysis, our main finding was that high in-game rank players reported significantly lower levels of neuroticism and significantly higher levels of conscientiousness than both moderate and low in-game rank players. The present study offers preliminary evidence elucidating personality differences across in-game rank in CS:GO players.

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Indexing Esport Performance

Benjamin T. Sharpe, Nicolas Besombes, Matthew R. Welsh, and Phil D.J. Birch

The assessment of an athlete’s performance can play a key role in determining their current state, their readiness to compete, the impact of an experimental manipulation, and/or the influence of an intervention. At present, there is limited empirical evidence stating the indicators that encapsulate individual performance within any esport. To identify the variables that are historically associated with indicating Counter-Strike: Global Offensive performance, a literature review was conducted. Identified variables were accumulated and presented to three technical expert panels composed of world-class esport athletes, researchers, and practitioners. We utilized a modified Delphi method to provide direction concerning the examination of performance in esports. The expert panelists presented numerous opinions on what encapsulates performance, considerations for best practices, and concerns associated with the semantics of performance. This study presents the opinions of various domain-specific experts and encourages the use of more explicit terminology when discussing performance measurement. It was the intention of the project to generate an open discussion rather than draw a unified conclusion on best practices.