The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effectiveness of a life development intervention on career transition adjustment in retired professional athletes. Intervention (n = 32) and control groups (n = 39) were recruited for this study, both of which contained recently retired male professional soccer players. Data were collected on measures of career termination adjustment and coping with transitions, and the intervention group also participated in a life development intervention package. Results revealed significant postintervention treatment group differences on career transition adjustment in favor of the life development intervention, while significant within-group differences on career transition adjustment over time were also achieved for the intervention group. Results are discussed in relation to the personal and developmental costs of pursuing performance excellence.
The Effect of a Life Development Intervention on Sports Career Transition Adjustment
Investigating Coaching Behaviors During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case Study Within a Case Study
Jonathan Glen, Julie Gordon, and David Lavallee
The purpose of this case study is to offer reflections for both applied researchers and practitioners on our experiences of investigating coaching behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The case is based on the delivery of remote, online tennis coaching sessions to children over a period of 3 weeks. Questionnaire, observation, and focus group data were collected from tennis players, coaches, and parents/guardians. Analyses revealed similarities and differences with previous investigations measuring coaching behaviors, as well as the perceived effectiveness of sports coaching in an online environment. Novel insights and recommendations for applied researchers and practitioners in sport and exercise psychology are highlighted, including the importance of staying connected during the pandemic, keeping players and parents motivated, and creativity. The authors consider the context of conducting a case study into coaching behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic itself, and conclude by providing reflections on our case study within the case study of COVID-19. These include enhanced communication (as it was easier to connect with each other), the nature of the online delivery improving presession preparation, and the research process being relatively more straightforward to implement, all due to barriers being removed as a direct result of COVID-19 quarantine, stay-at-home restrictions.
Personal Goal Management Intervention and Mood States in Soccer Academies
Raphaël Laurin, Michel Nicolas, and David Lavallee
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a personal goal-based intervention on positive and negative moods among young athletes at a soccer academy. Study participants (N =22) were randomized into either a treatment group, which participated in a personal goal-management program (Bouffard, Labelle, Dubé, & Lapierre, 1999), or a neutral-task control group. Participants’ mood states were measured every 3 weeks. Results indicated significant postintervention group differences in positive and negative moods states, with the treatment group reporting higher levels of positive moods and lower levels of negative moods. A significant within-group difference over time was also found for the treatment group, indicating an increase in positive mood states and decrease in negative mood states as the program progressed. Findings from this study are used to inform recommendations for sport psychology interventions that use specific goal management procedures to facilitate positive emotional states among young athletes.
Developing Communication and Organization Skills: The ELITE Life Skills Reflective Practice Intervention
Martin Ian Jones, David Lavallee, and David Tod
The aim of the current study was to evaluate the ELITE intervention as a method of increasing the perceived use of communication and organization skills in young people. The participants were three male field hockey players and two female tennis players from a British university. We used a series of single subject, multiple baselines, with minimal meaningful harm and benefit criteria and SMDall effect sizes to evaluate the ELITE intervention. The results revealed no meaningful harm from participating in the program, and the tennis players showed meaningful benefits. SMDall effect sizes all demonstrated that the intervention had a positive effect. Post intervention interviews indicated that participants valued the targeted life skills, and the program was enjoyable. Implications of this study suggest that scholars and practitioners can use the ELITE intervention to increase life skills in young people.
Burnout in Sport: A Systematic Review
Kate Goodger, Trish Gorely, David Lavallee, and Chris Harwood
The purpose of the present review was to provide an up-to-date summary of the burnout-in-sport literature. The last published reviews were in 1989 (Fender) and 1990 (Dale & Weinberg). In order to appreciate the status of current knowledge and understanding and to identify potential future directions, the authors conducted a synthesis of published work using a systematic-review methodology. Findings comprised 3 sections: sample characteristics, correlates, and research designs and data collection. A total of 58 published studies were assessed, most of which focused on athletes (n = 27) and coaches (n = 23). Correlates were grouped into psychological, demographic, and situational factors and were summarized as positively, negatively, indeterminate, and nonassociated with burnout. Self-report measures and cross-sectional designs have dominated research. The authors conclude by summarizing the key findings in the literature and highlighting the gaps that could be filled by future research.
Account-Making: A Model for Understanding and Resolving Distressful Reactions to Retirement from Sport
J. Robert Grove, David Lavallee, Sandy Gordon, and John H. Harvey
In this paper, we examine the account-making model of Harvey, Weber, and Orbuch (1990) as a framework for understanding negative reactions to retirement from competitive sport. Theoretical aspects of the model are first summarized, and a case study is then presented to illustrate the central role of account-making in the adjustment process for an Olympic gold medallist. We conclude by suggesting ways that sport psychology consultants can facilitate account-making and thereby help athletes to cope with distressful reactions to retirement.
Coping With the Effects of Fear of Failure: A Preliminary Investigation of Young Elite Athletes
Sam S. Sagar, David Lavallee, and Christopher M. Spray
Coping with stress is an important element in effective functioning at the elite level in sports, and fear of failure (FF) is an example of a stressor that athletes experience. Three issues underpin the present preliminary study. First, the prevalence of problems attributed to FF in achievement settings. Second, sport is a popular and significant achievement domain for children and adolescents. Third, there is a lack of research on FF in sport among this population. Therefore, the objectives of the study were to examine the effects of FF on young athletes and to find out their coping responses to the effects of FF. Interviews were conducted individually with nine young elite athletes (5 males, 4 females; ages 14–17 years). It was inferred from the data that FF affected the athletes’ well-being, interpersonal behavior, sport performance, and schoolwork. The athletes employed a combination of problem-focused, emotion-focused, and avoidance-focused coping strategies, with avoidance strategies being the most frequently reported.
Development and Psychometric Evaluation of the Sport Psychology Attitudes—Revised Form: A Multiple Group Investigation
Scott B. Martin, Michael Kellmann, David Lavallee, and Stephen J. Page
Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to develop a revised form of the Attitudes Toward Seeking Sport Psychology Consultation Questionnaire (ATSSPCQ; Martin, Wrisberg, Beitel, & Lounsbury, 1997). The 50-item ATSSPCQ was administered to 533 athletes (M = 18.03 ± 2.71). Exploratory alpha factor analysis with varimax rotation produced four factors: (a) stigma tolerance, (b) confidence in sport psychology consultation, (c) personal openness, and (d) cultural preference. The new questionnaire, the Sport Psychology Attitudes - Revised form (SPA-R), was then administered to 379 United States, 234 United Kingdom, and 443 German athletes (M = 20.37 ± 5.13). Confirmatory factor analysis demonstrated the factorial validity of the four-factor model for the SPA-R for male and female athletes, late adolescent
Sources of Strain among Elite UK Track Athletes
Jane McKay, Ailsa G. Niven, David Lavallee, and Alison White
Following the theoretical framework of Lazarus and Folkman (1984), recently adapted to sport (Fletcher, Hanton, & Mellalieu, 2006), 12 elite UK track athletes (M age = 22.7; SD = 2.4 years) participated in semistructured interviews to identify sources of strain. Inductive content analysis identified 11 general dimensions of sources of strain from 664 meaning units, which were subsequently categorized into competitive, organizational, and personal domains. Several sources of strain (e.g., competitive concerns, pressure to perform) were consistent with previous research supporting the suggestion that a core group of stressors may be evident across sports although several sources of strain appeared to be more pertinent to track athletes (e.g., social evaluation and self-presentation concerns) highlighting the need to consider group differences.