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James Hardy, Ross Roberts and Lew Hardy

This study examined the effectiveness of a logbook and paperclip technique on awareness of the use and content of negative self-talk as well as the motivation to change negative self-talk. Participants (n = 73) completed a questionnaire measuring these variables, and were assigned to either a control, paperclip or logbook group. Participants performed three typical training sessions over a three-week period. The logbook group completed a self-talk logbook after each session whereas the paperclip group carried out a paperclip exercise during each session. Upon completion of the training sessions, the questionnaire was readministered. ANCOVAs revealed no significant differences between the groups for motivation to change and awareness of the content of negative self-talk. However, the logbook group had significantly greater awareness of their use of negative self-talk compared with the control group. A qualitative analysis of the logbook group’s use of negative self-talk provided insights into the situations that prompted negative self-talk, the content of the self-talk, and also the consequences of using negative self-talk. Collectively, the findings offer some support for the use of the logbook technique in the applied setting.

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Nichola Callow, Ross Roberts, Joy D. Bringer and Edel Langan

Two studies explored coach education imagery interventions. In Study 1, 29 performance coaches were randomly assigned to either an imagery workshop group (n = 13) or an imagery-reading comparison control group (n = 16). Pre and post intervention, coaches completed the CEAIUQ (Jedlic, Hall, Munroe-Chandler, & Hall, 2007) and a confidence questionnaire designed for the study. Further, coaches’ athletes completed the CIAIUQ (Jedlic et al., 2007) at pre and post intervention. Due to a poor response rate (n = 9), an exploratory case study approach was employed to present the data. Results revealed that, while all coaches found the workshop to be interesting and useful, with certain coaches, encouragement of specific aspects of imagery decreased as did confidence to deliver imagery. To overcome the limitations of Study 1, Study 2 employed a needs based approach. Five elite coaches completed a performance profile related to imagery and the CEAIUQ. Four individualized sessions were then conducted. Inspection of post intervention data indicated that the intervention increased encouragement of imagery use, imagery constructs identified as important by the individual coaches, and, when identified, confidence to deliver imagery. The results are discussed in terms of the importance of coach education from both an applied and research perspective.

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Danielle R. Bouchard, K. Ashlee McGuire, Lance Davidson and Robert Ross

One hundred forty-six abdominally obese adults age 60–80 yr were studied to investigate the interaction between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and obesity on functional limitation. Obesity was determined by fat mass (FM), CRF was determined by a maximal treadmill test, and functional limitation was based on 4 different tasks that are predictive of subsequent disability. Both FM (r = –.34, p ≤ .01) and CRF (r = .54, p ≤ .01) were independently associated with functional limitation in bivariate analysis. After further control for sex, age, and the interaction term (CRF × FM), FM was no longer independently associated with functional limitation (p = .10). Analyses were also based on sex-specific tertiles of FM and CRF. The referent group demonstrated significantly lower functional limitation than the low-CRF/low-FM and the low-CRF/high-FM groups (both p ≤ .05). These results highlight the value of recommending exercise for abdominally obese adults.

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Nichola Callow, Dan Jiang, Ross Roberts and Martin G. Edwards

Recent brain imaging research demonstrates that the use of internal visual imagery (IVI) or kinesthetic imagery (KIN) activates common and distinct brain areas. In this paper, we argue that combining the imagery modalities (IVI and KIN) will lead to a greater cognitive representation (with more brain areas activated), and this will cause a greater slalom-based motor performance compared with using IVI alone. To examine this assertion, we randomly allocated 56 participants to one of the three groups: IVI, IVI and KIN, or a math control group. Participants performed a slalom-based driving task in a driving simulator, with average lap time used as a measure of performance. Results revealed that the IVI and KIN group achieved significantly quicker lap times than the IVI and the control groups. The discussion includes a theoretical advancement on why the combination of imagery modalities might facilitate performance, with links made to the cognitive neuroscience literature and applied practice.

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Ross Roberts, Mike Rotheram, Ian Maynard, Owen Thomas and Tim Woodman

The present investigation examined whether perfectionism might predict whether an athlete would suffer from the ‘yips’ (a long term movement disorder consisting of involuntary movements that affects the execution of motor skills). A sample of ‘yips’-affected individuals from golf, cricket, and darts as well as a sport-matched sample of non ’yips’-affected athletes completed the shortened version of Frost, Marten, Lahart, and Rosenblate’s (1990) multidimensional perfectionism scale (FMPS). Results revealed that three aspects of perfectionism (personal standards, organization, and concern over mistakes) were associated with a greater likelihood of suffering from the ‘yips’, indicating that ‘yips’ sufferers had an unhealthy perfectionism profile. The results highlight perfectionism as a possible antecedent of the ‘yips’ experience within sport.

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Rosemary A. Arthur, Nichola Callow, Ross Roberts and Freya Glendinning

This study is part of a program of research investigating coaches delivering psychological skills (PS). Here, 3 studies feature an original conceptualization of coaching PS and the development and validation of 2 questionnaires capturing the coaching of PS. The authors conducted a qualitative investigation to establish a conceptual framework that included the fundamental coaching of PS behaviors (CPS-F) and the needs-supportive coaching of PS (CPS-NS). They then tested the factor structure of 2 subsequently developed questionnaires via a Bayesian structural equation modeling approach to confirmatory factor analysis across 2 samples and ran tests of invariance, concurrent, discriminant, and predictive validity. The CPS-F questionnaire showed an excellent fit for a 3-factor model, whereas the CPS-NS demonstrated an excellent single-factor fit. Significant relationships with theoretically related constructs suggested concurrent, discriminant, and predictive validity. The findings are expected to significantly further research into our understanding of coaches coaching PS.

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Benjamin D. Jones, Tim Woodman, Matthew Barlow and Ross Roberts

Despite a plethora of research on moral disengagement and antisocial behavior, there is a dearth of literature that explores personality in the context of these undesirable attitudes and behaviors. We provide the first examination of personality, specifically narcissism, as a predictor of moral disengagement and antisocial behavior in sport. Given that narcissism is negatively related to empathy and positively related to feelings of entitlement, it is more likely for narcissists to disengage morally and to behave antisocially. We thus hypothesized that narcissism would predict antisocial behavior via moral disengagement. Across 12 team contact sports (n = 272), bootstrapped mediation analyses confirmed this indirect effect, which remained significant when controlling for motivational climate, social desirability, sex and sport type. Coaches and practitioners would do well to consider the darker side of personality in targeting moral disengagement and its behavioral consequences in team sports.

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Ross Roberts, Nichola Callow, Lew Hardy, Tim Woodman and Laura Thomas

Two studies examined the interactive effects of different visual imagery perspectives and narcissism on motor performance. In both studies participants completed the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI-40: Raskin & Hall, 1979) and were assigned to either an internal visual imagery or external visual imagery group. Participants then performed a motor task (dart throwing in Study 1 and golf putting in Study 2) under conditions of practice, low self-enhancement, and high self-enhancement. Following completion of the respective tasks, participants were categorized into high and low narcissistic groups based on their NPI-40 scores. In both studies, high narcissists using external visual imagery significantly improved performance from the low to the high self-enhancement condition, whereas high narcissists using internal visual imagery did not. Low narcissists remained relatively constant in performance across self-enhancement conditions, regardless of perspective. The results highlight the importance of considering personality characteristics when examining the effects of visual imagery perspectives on performance.

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Ross Roberts, Nichola Callow, Lew Hardy, David Markland and Joy Bringer

The purpose of this research was to amend the Vividness of Movement Imagery Questionnaire (VMIQ; Isaac, Marks, & Russell, 1986) in line with contemporary imagery modality and perspective conceptualizations, and to test the validity of the amended questionnaire (i.e., the VMIQ-2). Study 1 had 351 athletes complete the 3-factor (internal visual imagery, external visual imagery, and kinesthetic imagery) 24-item VMIQ-2. Following single-factor confirmatory factor analyses and item deletion, a 12-item version was subject to correlated traits / correlated uniqueness (CTCU) analysis. An acceptable fit was revealed. Study 2 used a different sample of 355 athletes. The CTCU analysis confirmed the factorial validity of the 12-item VMIQ-2. In Study 3, the concurrent and construct validity of the VMIQ-2 was supported. Taken together, the results of the 3 studies provide preliminary support for the revised VMIQ-2 as a psychometrically valid questionnaire.

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Michelle Seanor, Robert J. Schinke, Natalia B. Stambulova, Kristoffer Henriksen, Dave Ross and Cole Giffin

Olympic-medal performances represent peak accomplishments in athlete development. Seanor, Schinke, Stambulova, Ross, and Kpazai identified environmental factors in a high-performance Canadian trampoline sport environment that developed decorated Olympic medalists. The current intrinsic case study was authored to further highlight the idiosyncrasies of a high-performance trampoline environment (re)presenting stories garnered from this localized Canadian sport environment. Through guided walks, a mobile method of conversational interviews, three contextual experts who are engaged in the development of Olympic athletes provided tours of their sport environment. Each contextual expert’s guided walk played out uniquely in relation to his or her ascribed role (i.e., Olympic coach, assistant coach, and Olympic champion). Three main themes were identified through interpretive thematic analysis: creating lift (subthemes: facility design, sport-culture paragons), providing a tailwind (subthemes: establishing athlete–coach partnerships, team interactions), and soaring onto the Olympic podium (subthemes: preparing athletes to be untethered, competitive collaboration). Each theme is presented through three portrait vignettes, with discrete vantages derived from each contextual expert to illuminate the context from idiosyncratic ascribed roles within the environment. These stories create a rich (re)presentation of a high-performance sport environment through the interplay of the contextual experts’ narratives, their surrounding context, and their Olympic-podium accomplishments.