Consistent with the Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology’s mission, the current special issue on psychophysiology and neuroscience in sport has brought together a variety of timely papers exploring the relationship between physiological processes and both sport performance and personal well-being. These final thoughts observe patterns noted among the papers in this issue, highlight future research directions, and most importantly, clarify where this emerging technology and its associated procedures currently stand in the evidence-based practice of clinical sport psychology.
Frank L. Gardner
In his recent article, Silva discussed the development of applied sport psychology as a profession (Silva, 1989). He termed this process “professionalization” and elaborated on issues that were identified as critical for continued growth of the field. The present paper is a reply to several issues raised by Silva. Specifically, in an effort to make a case advocating the need for further professionalization of sport psychology, Silva focused much of his criticism on practitioners trained in clinical psychology as often inappropriately (and unethically) engaging in the practice of sport psychology. In so doing, the interdisciplinary base of sport psychology and the pressing need for mutual respect, understanding, and true collaboration among practitioners of different educational backgrounds were not given adequate attention. The present paper suggests that the literature place greater attention on the issue of who is qualified to provide what service if practitioners of sport psychology are to truly enhance their own professionalism.
Frank L. Gardner
Frank L. Gardner
The development and acceptance of any scientific discipline requires an ever-expanding and maturing empirical base. Yet despite vast scientific progress in allied domains of professional psychology, the field of sport psychology has remained fairly stagnant in its research progress and has overlooked major advances that could aid in the advancement of the discipline. This article discusses important issues related to the lack of efficacy of the traditional and long assumed “gold-standard” interventions for the enhancement of athletic performance, and compares the field’s empirical base to sister disciplines in psychology. Further, the lack of empirical studies examining rate of change, moderators of change, and mediators (mechanisms) of change is discussed, and suggestions are provided for a new research agenda in sport psychology that could expand its professional credibility and enhance its overall scientific development.
Amy Gooding and Frank L. Gardner
Seventeen (17) members of three NCAA Division I men’s basketball teams completed measures of mindfulness and sport-related anxiety to examine the relationship between mindfulness, preshot routine, trait arousal, and basketball free throw shooting percentage. It was hypothesized that (a) mindfulness scores would predict game free throw shooting percentage, (b) practice free throw percentage (indicative of basic skill) would predict game free throw percentage, and (c) consistency in the length of prefree throw routine would predict game free throw percentage. Results indicate that levels of mindfulness significantly predict game free throw percentage and that practice free throw percentage also predicts game free throw percentage. Length and/or consistency of preshot routine were not predictive. Although not proposed as a hypothesis, a statistically significant relationship was also found between an athlete’s year in school (which reflects competitive basketball experience) and game free throw percentage. Together, these results clearly suggest that the combination of mindfulness, skill (practice free throw percentage), and competitive experience (year in school) all contribute to the prediction of competitive free throw percentage and that these variables are more central to successful free throw percentage at this level of competition than length/consistency of one’s preshot routine.
Brian V. Gallagher and Frank L. Gardner
The present study examined the relationship between cognitive vulnerabilities, coping strategy, and emotional response to athletic injury among 40 NCAA Division I injured athletes. It was hypothesized that the presence of early maladaptive schemas (EMS) and avoidant coping strategies would predict greater emotional distress among injured athletes. Early maladaptive schemas were assessed by the Young Schema Questionnaire-Short Form, which injured athletes completed upon injury. Coping strategies were measured by the Coping Response Inventory Adult Form, which was completed upon the completion of recovery. The Profile of Mood States was used to assess mood, and was completed during three phases of injury: upon injury, middle of rehabilitation, and upon recovery. As predicted, hierarchical multiple regression analysis demonstrate that EMSs and avoidance-focused coping were associated with higher levels of negative mood among injured athletes. The results also indicate that the relationship between EMS and mood vary based on the phase of injury, suggesting that different EMSs are differentially related to subtle differences in stressors encountered during each phase of the injury process.