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Why Do Older Adults Play Golf? An Evaluation of Factors Related to Golf Participation by Older Adults

Brad J. Stenner, Amber D. Mosewich, and Jonathan D. Buckley

Golf is a popular sport for older adults, and is therefore an important source of physical activity. This study investigated the reasons for golf participation in an older population using the Golf Participation Questionnaire for Older Adults. The participants (N = 3,262, 82.5% male) completed the questionnaire online. The most important reasons for participation were fun, a pleasant playing environment, and competition, with reasons related to health being relatively less important. The female participants rated fun, a pleasant playing environment, and a feeling that participation made them part of a community as more important reasons for participating than males. Although health-related factors were identified as important reasons for golf participation in older adults, non-health-related factors were also more important. Strategies to promote golf participation by older adults, as a means of increasing physical activity, should emphasize aspects related to fun, a pleasant playing environment, and engagement in competition.

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Athletes’ Perceptions of Pragmatic Leadership in Youth Football Coaches

Kurtis Pankow, Amber D. Mosewich, and Nicholas L. Holt

The overall purpose of this study was to explore athletes’ perceptions of pragmatic leadership in award-winning Canadian youth football coaches. Using a qualitative description methodology, semistructured interviews were conducted with 15 men who had been coached by 5 award-winning youth football coaches. The coaches were classified as pragmatic leaders. Participants’ perceptions of the coaches’ leadership were grouped into 3 main themes: individualized consideration, accountability/responsibility, and solving problems by valuing unique contributions. Because leadership is a process of interpersonal influence, on a practical level these themes may account for key features of the coach–athlete relationship that arise from pragmatic leadership.

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The Development of Leadership in Model Youth Football Coaches

Kurtis Pankow, Amber D. Mosewich, and Nicholas L. Holt

The purpose of this study was to examine perceptions of leadership styles in model youth football coaches. Six award-winning youth football coaches participated, and each was interviewed twice. Within a qualitative descriptive framework, deductive analysis was completed to identify the coaches’ leadership styles, using the charismatic, ideological, and pragmatic model of outstanding leadership. Whereas pragmatic leadership behaviors were most frequently identified, all coaches appeared to have mixed leadership styles. Inductive analysis was then used to examine factors that influenced the coaches’ leadership development. Identified themes were role models, networks of coaches, experience and reflection, and formal, nonformal, and informal learning. These were consistent across all the coaches, regardless of leadership style. This study therefore provides new insights into the perceived use of pragmatic behaviors in mixed leadership styles in model youth sport coaches and indicates that similar factors contributed to their leadership development.

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The Development of Self-Compassion Among Women Varsity Athletes

Meghan S. Ingstrup, Amber D. Mosewich, and Nicholas L. Holt

The purpose of this study was to explore factors that contributed to the development of self-compassion among highly self-compassionate women varsity athletes. More specifically, the research question was: how did women varsity athletes with high self-compassion perceive they became self-compassionate? To purposefully sample participants, 114 women varsity athletes completed the Self-Compassion Scale (Neff, 2003b). Ten athletes with high self-compassion scores then participated in individual interviews and a follow-up second interview. Data were analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis (Smith & Osborn, 2003). Analysis produced three main themes that contributed to the development of self-compassion: (a) role of parents (seeking and receiving help from parents, parents teaching self-kindness, parents putting experiences in perspective); (b) gaining self-awareness; and (c) learning from others (peers, siblings, coaches, sport psychologists). These findings provide insights into the ways in which self-compassion can be learned and taught, and have implications for practitioners who work with women athletes.

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Exploring the Relationship Between Mental Toughness and Self-Compassion in the Context of Sport Injury

Karissa L. Johnson, Danielle L. Cormier, Kent C. Kowalski, and Amber D. Mosewich

Helping athletes cope effectively with injury is likely of great interest to many sport stakeholders. Mental toughness is one psychological factor positively associated with resilience and sport performance, though stubborn persistence through injury might not always be conducive to adaptive athlete outcomes. Self-compassion—a balanced, nonjudgmental approach in relating to oneself when experiencing suffering—might help circumvent these pitfalls and complement injury recovery. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between mental toughness and self-compassion in a sport injury context. This study consisted of 2 phases—phase I quantitatively assessed the relationships between mental toughness, self-compassion, and other psychological constructs, while phase II used qualitative interviews to corroborate and inform these findings. In phase I, competitive athletes who were injured at the time of data collection (n = 81) completed mental toughness, self-compassion, coping resources, self-esteem, and self-criticism questionnaires. Self-compassion was positively correlated with mental toughness (r = .48, P < .01), coping resources (r = .54, P < .05), and self-esteem (r = .60, P < .01). Self-compassion and self-criticism were negatively correlated with each other (r = –.52, P < .01). Results from hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that self-compassion was a significant predictor of mental toughness (ΔR 2 = .07, P < .01), coping resources (ΔR 2 = .10, P < .01), and self-criticism (ΔR 2 = .06, P < .01), beyond the effects of self-esteem. Four injured athletes who scored above the median on mental toughness and self-compassion measures were interviewed in phase II. Thematic analysis generated 2 themes: (1) self-compassion grants access to wise mental toughness and (2) mental toughness helps activate self-compassionate actions during injury. These findings are consistent with recent research and suggest that both mental toughness and self-compassion can work together to help athletes cope with sport injury.

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Self-Compassion in the Stress Process in Women Athletes

Amber D. Mosewich, Catherine M. Sabiston, Kent C. Kowalski, Patrick Gaudreau, and Peter R.E. Crocker

While self-compassion presents as a viable resource for managing difficult events in sport, little is known about how it functions in the stress process. In 2 studies with women university athletes (N = 122 and 131), the authors examined self-compassion as a prospective predictor of appraisal, coping, goal progress, and affect in a competition. Direct and indirect effects of self-compassion on aspects of the stress process were examined by testing full, partial, and moderated mediation models. Self-compassion plays a direct and indirect role in the stress process of competitive women athletes. Self-compassion significantly predicted higher control appraisals (Studies 1 and 2) and lower threat appraisals (Study 1), which explained coping tendencies of self-compassionate athletes. Sequential pathways linking appraisals and coping accounted for why athletes with higher self-compassion are more likely to have higher goal progress, more positive affect, and less negative affect. Overall, self-compassion promotes adaptive appraisals and coping.

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Self-Compassion: A Potential Resource for Young Women Athletes

Amber D. Mosewich, Kent C. Kowalski, Catherine M. Sabiston, Whitney A. Sedgwick, and Jessica L. Tracy

Self-compassion has demonstrated many psychological benefits (Neff, 2009). In an effort to explore self-compassion as a potential resource for young women athletes, we explored relations among self-compassion, proneness to self-conscious emotions (i.e., shame, guilt-free shame, guilt, shame-free guilt, authentic pride, and hubristic pride), and potentially unhealthy self-evaluative thoughts and behaviors (i.e., social physique anxiety, obligatory exercise, objectified body consciousness, fear of failure, and fear of negative evaluation). Young women athletes (N = 151; M age = 15.1 years) participated in this study. Self-compassion was negatively related to shame proneness, guilt-free shame proneness, social physique anxiety, objectified body consciousness, fear of failure, and fear of negative evaluation. In support of theoretical propositions, self-compassion explained variance beyond self-esteem on shame proneness, guilt-free shame proneness, shame-free guilt proneness, objectified body consciousness, fear of failure, and fear of negative evaluation. Results suggest that, in addition to self-esteem promotion, self-compassion development may be beneficial in cultivating positive sport experiences for young women.

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Applying Self-Compassion in Sport: An Intervention With Women Athletes

Amber D. Mosewich, Peter R.E. Crocker, Kent C. Kowalski, and Anita DeLongis

This study investigated the effects of a self-compassion intervention on negative cognitive states and selfcompassion in varsity women athletes. Athletes who self-identified as being self-critical were randomly assigned to a self-compassion intervention (n = 29) or attention control group (n = 22). The self-compassion intervention consisted of a psychoeducation session and writing components completed over a 7-day period. Measures of self-compassion, state self-criticism, state rumination, and concern over mistakes were collected pretreatment, at 1 week posttreatment, and at a 4-week follow-up. A mixed factorial MANOVA with follow-up post hoc tests demonstrated moderate-to-strong effects for the intervention at posttest and follow-up (Wilks’s Λ = .566, F (8, 42) = 4.03, p < .01, η2 = .43). The findings demonstrate the effectiveness of the self-compassion intervention in managing self-criticism, rumination, and concern over mistakes. Fostering a self-compassionate frame of mind is a potential coping resource for women athletes dealing with negative events in sport.

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Exploring Self-Compassion and Versions of Masculinity in Men Athletes

Nathan A. Reis, Kent C. Kowalski, Amber D. Mosewich, and Leah J. Ferguson

Despite a growing emphasis on self-compassion in sport, little research has focused exclusively on men athletes. The purpose of this research was to explore the interaction of self-compassion and diverse versions of masculinity on the psychosocial well-being of men athletes. The authors sampled 172 men athletes (M age = 22.8 yr) from a variety of sports, using descriptive methodology with self-report questionnaires. Self-compassion was related to most variables (e.g., psychological well-being, fear of negative evaluation, state self-criticism, internalized shame, reactions to a hypothetical sport-specific scenario) in hypothesized directions and predicted unique variance beyond self-esteem across most of those variables, as well as moderated relationships between masculinity and both autonomy and attitudes toward gay men. In addition, self-compassion was differentially related to inclusive and hegemonic masculinity. Our findings support self-compassion as a promising resource for men athletes to buffer emotionally difficult sport experiences.