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Stephanie J. Hanrahan

A group of students from the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts participated in a mental skills training program that focused on goal setting, self-confidence development, and team building. There were 13 two-hour sessions held over a 20-week period. The participants, cultural issues, and the basic structure of the program are described. The author’s observations regarding competition, displays of affection, collective values, and the importance of family and nature are provided. The participants qualitatively evaluated the program. Conclusions related to group process, program structure, and diversity are presented. These conclusions should be of value in terms of shaping future group mental skills training programs.

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Stephanie J. Hanrahan

This paper presents general considerations for working with athletes with disabilities and the usefulness and possible modification of specific mental skills for those athletes. Common concerns for athletes with specific disabilities are discussed. Specific disabilities are considered under the headings of amputees, blind and visually impaired, cerebral palsy, deaf and hearing impaired, intellectual disabilities, and wheelchair. Arousal control, goal setting, attention/concentration, body awareness, imagery, self-confidence, and precompetition preparation are discussed in terms of disability-specific issues as well as suggestions for application.

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Tshepang Tshube and Stephanie J. Hanrahan

The purpose of this paper is to present the status of coaching in Botswana, particularly key developments in policies and practice. In addressing this purpose, authors referred to the National Sport and Recreation Policy, the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC), the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC), and National Reports. The authors first give a brief overview of Botswana’s geo-political, cultural, and economic status. Following the contextualization of Botswana sports, the authors present available coach education programs and BNSC and BNOC plans regarding the development of coaches in Botswana. Topics include qualification, remuneration, and recruitment of coaches. In conclusion, the authors provide suggestions such as the development and implementation of coaches’ certification program and research.

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J. Robert Grove and Stephanie J. Hanrahan

Field hockey players (n=39) assessed their own psychological strengths and weaknesses by rank-ordering various mental skills. Coaches (n=5) who had daily contact with these athletes ranked the same skills on the basis of their perception of the players’ strengths and weaknesses. Comparisons indicated that the specificity of the skills being ranked influenced the amount of agreement between the responses of players and coaches. When general categories of skills were ranked, there was very little consistency between the groups. When specific skills within the general categories were ranked, there was considerable consistency between the groups. The results are discussed in relation to the nature of the questions asked when designing mental training programs. It is suggested that consultants should take care to identify potential problems in terms of specific skills rather than general categories. By doing so, they may increase the likelihood of agreement about mental training needs and increase their effectiveness. The issue of conducting selfassessments via rating-scale and rank-order formats is also addressed. Problems that the consultant may encounter in the use of a rating-scale format are noted, and the potential advantages of a rank-order format are discussed.

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Clifford J. Mallett and Stephanie J. Hanrahan

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a specific cognitive race plan on 100 m sprint performance. Twelve elite sprinters (11 male and 1 female) performed 100 m time trials under normal (control) conditions and then under experimental conditions (use of race cues). In the experimental condition, participants were asked to think about specific thought content in each of three segments of the 100 m. A multiple baseline design was employed. A mean improvement of 0.26 s was found. Eleven of the 12 participants showed improvement using the specific cognitive race plan (p < .005). Participants also produced more consistent sprint performances when using the cues (p < .01). Subjective evaluations made by the participants unanimously supported the use of the race plan for optimizing sprint performance. Environmental conditions, effort, and practice effects were considered as possible influences on the results.

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Stephanie J. Hanrahan, Rachel Pedro, and Ester Cerin

The purpose of this study was to determine if the use of structured self-reflection in community dance classes would influence achievement goal orientations, levels of intrinsic motivation, or perceived dance performance. The Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ) and the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) were modified slightly to reflect involvement in salsa dancing rather than sport and then were administered to 139 Latin dance students at the beginning and end of an 11-week term. The dance classes were divided into control and intervention groups, balanced in terms of sample size and level of instruction. The intervention group completed a salsa self-reflection form during or after class for 9 weeks. At the posttest all students rated their salsa performance and the intervention group evaluated the self-reflection process. Results indicate that although achievement goal orientations were not affected, structured self-reflection is perceived to be a positive tool and may be a useful technique to enhance perceived performance and maintain effort and perceived importance. The participants’ perceptions of the self-reflection process were positive, with no negative effects of engaging in the process reported.

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Stephanie J. Hanrahan, J. Robert Grove, and Richard J. Lockwood

This paper presents the development and implementation of a psychological skills training program for blind athletes. The structure of the program was based on the personal accounts of successful athletes and the results of studies using sighted athletes. Skills designed to give insight to the body/mind relationship, raise or lower arousal levels, maintain motivation, prepare for competition, and improve problem-solving abilities were introduced to the athletes. Participants completed a self-assessment of psychological skills to determine the skill areas they had strengths in and therefore should take advantage of as well as those mental skill areas in which they could improve. A qualitative evaluation of the program is presented and recommendations for future programs are discussed. Overall, few changes were needed to accommodate for the athletes’ visual impairments.

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Lana Jade McCloughan, Emma Louise Mattey, and Stephanie J. Hanrahan

Sporting participation is believed to aid the development of good social skills and promote positive values such as equality, cooperation, and respect. Nevertheless, some people have negative experiences in the sporting environment. The presence of homophobic bullying in sport has been increasingly acknowledged. The purpose of this paper is to critically discuss current views on coaches’ roles in homophobic bullying prevention in adolescent sport and provide an example of a program designed to upskill coaches in this important area. A review of the prevalence of homophobic bullying in sport is provided. The importance of the role of the coach in addressing bullying in adolescent sport is then discussed. Coach education and learning theory are examined and an example of a coach education workshop on homophobic bullying prevention is detailed. A summary of the evaluation completed by the coach participants of the education workshop is provided, with potential modifications to the workshop noted. The need for intervention is linked back to the literature in the conclusion.