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  • Author: Robert J. Schinke x
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Lael Gershgoren, Edson Medeiros Filho, Gershon Tenenbaum and Robert J. Schinke

This study was aimed at capturing the components comprising shared mental models (SMM) and the training methods used to address SMM in one athletic program context. To meet this aim, two soccer coaches from the same collegiate program were interviewed and observed extensively during practices and games throughout the 2009–2010 season. In addition, documents (e.g., players’ positioning on free kicks sheet) from the soccer program were reviewed. The data were analyzed inductively through a thematic analysis to develop models that operationalize SMM through its components, and training. Game intelligence and game philosophy were the two main operational themes defining SMM. Moreover, four themes emerged for SMM training: (a) the setting, (b) compensatory communication, (c) reinforcement, and (d) instruction. SMM was embedded within a more comprehensive conceptual framework of team chemistry, including emotional, social, and cognitive dimensions. Implications of these conceptual frameworks are considered for sport psychologists and coaches.

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Robert J. Schinke, Gershon Tenenbaum, Ronnie Lidor and Andrew M. Lane

Within this opportunity to dialogue in commentary exchange about a previously conceived adaptation model, published in the Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, we revisit the utility of our model (Schinke et al., 2012a) and consider Tamminen and Crocker’s (2014) critique of our earlier writing. We also elaborate on emotion and emotion regulation through explaining hedonistic and instrumental motives to regulate emotions. We draw on research from general and sport psychology to examine emotion regulation (Gross, 2010). We argue that when investigating emotion, or any topic in psychology, the process of drawing from knowledge in a different area of the discipline can be useful, especially if the existing knowledge base in that area is already well developed. In particular, we draw on research using an evolutionary perspective (Nesse & Ellsworth, 2009). Accounting for these issues, we clarify the adaptation framework, expand it, and arguably offer a model that has greater utility for use with athletes in relation to training and competition cycles and progressions throughout their career. We also clarify for the readership places of misinterpretation by the commentary authors, and perhaps, why these have resulted.

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Robert J. Schinke, Randy C. Battochio, Timothy V. Dube, Ronnie Lidor, Gershon Tenenbaum and Andrew M. Lane

Sport researchers have considered the processes that elite athletes undergo to achieve positive psychological adaptation during significant chronic stressors throughout sport careers and also, acute stressors within important competitions. This review contains a description of competitive and organizational stressors that can hamper an elite athlete’s pursuit of adaptation within the aforementioned circumstances, followed by an identification of the responses that together can foster the desired outcome of adaptation. The authors propose that there are four parts that contribute to an elite athlete’s positive psychological adaptation, presented as parts of a process: (a) the appraisal of stressors, (b) coping strategies, (c) self-regulation strategies, and (d) a consolidated adaptation response. Subsequently, athlete adaptation is considered through examples taken from anecdotal literature and formal research studies pertaining to elite athlete adaptation. Implications are discussed for sport psychologists, mental training consultants, sport scientists, coaches, and athletes.

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Robert J. Schinke, Randy C. Battochio, Nicole G. Dubuc, Shawn Swords, Gord Apolloni and Gershon Tenenbaum

Athletes employ a variety of adaptation strategies when adjusting to competitive environments. Fiske (2004) identified five core motives that facilitate human adaptation: (a) understanding, (b) controlling, (c) self-enhancement, (d) belonging, and (e) trusting. Recent qualitative analyses (Schinke, Gauthier, Dubuc, & Crowder, 2007) revealed that these motives correspond to particular adaptation strategies that professional athletes employ in stressful settings. The present study uses analysis of archival data (i.e., journalistic accounts) to explore the adaptation efforts of Canadian Olympic athletes (N = 103) as they prepared for and participated in summer (n = 35) and winter (n = 68) games. Contextual experts with extensive Olympic experience were enlisted to clarify the archival record. Findings revealed that the Olympic athletes used strategies corresponding to each of Fiske’s five motives, as well as numerous specific substrategies. Use of substrategies was consistent across athletes, regardless of Olympic experience, gender, or season (e.g., winter or summer games). Discussion explores the implications of adaptation strategies for Olympic athletes and their supporting staff.

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Randy C. Battochio, Robert J. Schinke, Mark A. Eys, Danny L. Battochio, Wayne Halliwell and Gershon Tenenbaum

Semistructured interviews were used in this study to learn about the challenges experienced by four groups of National Hockey League (NHL) players (N= 11): prospects (n= 3), rookies (n= 3), veterans (n= 2), and retirees (n= 3). The database is comprised of 757 meaning units grouped into 11 contextual challenges. From an additional quantitative analysis, the prospects and rookies emphasized challenges pertaining to scouting demands, training camp, increased athletic demands, team expectations, and earning team trust. The veterans spoke mostly of challenges including scouting demands, athletic demands, and team expectations. Retirees considered mostly challenges pertaining to team expectations, athletic demands, lifestyle, media demands, transactions, cross-cultural encounters, and playoffs. An expert panel ensured that the interview guide, data analysis, and the findings represented the participants’ experiences in the NHL. Recommendations for practitioners and researchers working with NHL players are proposed.

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Nicole G. Dubuc, Robert J. Schinke, Mark A. Eys, Randy Battochio and Leonard Zaichkowsky

Within the current study, the process of adolescent burnout is considered in relation to perceived contributors, symptoms, consequences, and subsequently, effective and ineffective coping strategies. Through case studies, the researchers sought the burnout experiences of three competitive female gymnasts. Participants were selected based on scores obtained from Raedeke and Smith’s (2001) Athlete Burnout Questionnaire. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the process, athlete data were considered in tandem with interviews from at least one parent and one coach. Transcribed data were segmented into meaning units, coded into a hierarchy of themes and verified by each respondent. Despite common trends among the participants, differences were also found in relation to symptoms, contributors, and the progression of the condition. Implications are provided for the athlete/parent/coach triad and also for sport psychologists.

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Randy C. Battochio, Robert J. Schinke, Danny L. Battochio, Wayne Halliwell and Gershon Tenenbaum

Through adaptation studies in elite sport, researchers can delineate the strategies that amateur and professional athletes employ during career transitions (e.g., promotion, relocation). Fiske (2004) identified five core motives as catalysts to adaptation: understanding, controlling, self-enhancement, belonging, and trusting, which were recently contextualized in sport as a result of one archival study examining the second hand experiences of National Hockey League (NHL) players. The purpose of the present study was to learn about the adaptation process of NHL players based on a first hand data source (i.e., semi-structured interview). A semi-structured open-ended interview guide was utilized to learn about the experiences of four groups of NHL players (n = 11): prospects (n = 3), rookies (n = 3), veterans (n = 2), and retirees (n = 3). There is an indication that adaptation strategies and sub-strategies vary according to the player’s career stage and the challenges related to seeking and maintaining a roster spot. The findings are also consistent with Fiske’s five core motives and earlier adaptation sub-strategies, in addition to uncovering three novel sub-strategies (i.e., understanding one’s performance, distraction control, and trusting player agents). Implications and recommendations are provided for sport researchers and practitioners.

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Robert J. Schinke, Stephanie Hanrahan, Duke Peltier, Ginette Michel, Richard Danielson, Patricia Pickard, Chris Pheasant, Lawrence Enosse and Mark Peltier

This study was designed to elucidate the pre-competition and competition practices of elite Canadian Aboriginal athletes. Elite Canadian Aboriginal athletes (N = 23) participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were segmented into meaning units by academic and Aboriginal community-appointed members, and verified with each respondent individually through mail and a password-protected website. Competition tactics were divided into three chronological stages, each with specific athlete strategies: (a) general training before competitions, (b) pre-competition week, and (c) competition strategies. The majority of the numerous strategies they reported could be considered as reflecting native traditions, appropriate attitudes/perspective, or standard sport psychology techniques. Suggestions are proposed for applied researchers and practitioners working with cultural populations, as well as how these strategies might be developed for use with other populations.