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Is Self-Confidence a Bias Factor in Higher-Order Catastrophe Models? An Exploratory Analysis—A Critique

Gershon Tenenbaum and Betsy Becker

The current paper criticizes the concept, research methodology, data analyses, and validity of the conclusions made in Hardy, Woodman, and Carrington’s (2004) article published in this journal. In their repeated-measures analysis of data from the performances of 7 golfers, they did not examine changes in performance scores on successive holes. Instead, Hardy et al. used several ANOVA models to examine how performance varied with respect to somatic and cognitive anxiety level and self-confidence interaction. By doing so, their findings produced effects which we argue to be conceptually and empirically limited. We also address problems associated with dichotomization of continuous variables, measurement errors when splitting data, eradication of random significant effects, cell sizes in segmental quadrant analysis, and correlation between somatic and cognitive anxiety. We believe these difficulties prevent any reliable conclusions and/or generalizations from being made.

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Concurrent Verbal Protocol Analysis in Sport: Illustration of Thought Processes During a Golf-Putting Task

Luis Calmeiro and Gershon Tenenbaum

The purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility of concurrent verbal protocols to identify and map thought processes of players during a golf-putting task. Three novice golfers and three experienced golfers performed twenty 12-foot putts while thinking aloud. Verbalizations were transcribed verbatim and coded using an inductive method. Content analysis and event-sequence analysis were performed. Mapping of thought sequences indicated that experienced players’ cognitive processes centered on gathering information and planning, while beginners focused on technical aspects. Experienced players diagnosed current performance aspects more often than beginners did and were more likely to use this information to plan the next putt. These results are consistent with experienced players’ higher domain-specific knowledge and less reliance on step-by-step monitoring of motor performance than beginners. The methods used for recording, analyzing, and interpreting on-line thoughts of performers shed light on cognitive processes, which have implications for research.

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The Psychological Experience of Athletes With Vocal Cord Dysfunction

Tonya Nascimento and Gershon Tenenbaum

Exercise-induced vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) is a respiratory dysfunction where athletes’ vocal cords close prematurely, causing partially or fully obstructed air-flow. Due to a resulting severe decrement in performance and lack of efficacious treatments, this study aimed to discover some of the psychological experiences of athletes with VCD symptoms. Semistructured interviews were conducted with five athletes from three different sports and two mothers of participants. Data were coded for meaningful units and themes by the researcher and one independent rater. Ten psychological facets were derived. Based on the data from these five participants, athletes with VCD may have several common psychological experiences, which may possibly be a result of the breathing disorder. The first seven facets highlight that athletes with VCD may be at risk for burnout. The facets identified are a starting point for sport personnel to plan their treatment and support of athletes in their care.

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Observations of Behavioral Violations as Crisis Indicators in Competition

Michael Bar-Eli and Gershon Tenenbaum

Twenty-two basketball experts observed 53 male basketball players (ages 15–16) during a tournament. They observed behaviors that violated the rules and classified them as minor or major violations as well as called or uncalled by the officials. In addition, they coded the exact time of each of the four categorized violations and assigned it to one of six time phases defined by Bar-Eli (1984) with respect to psychological crisis vulnerability. Non-parametric statistical analysis indicated that more frequent violations were observed in the end phase of the second half than in the other five phases. Overall, minor violations were more frequent than major ones, although major violations were more likely to occur in the second half than in the first half, particularly in the end phase. Uncalled violations were more frequent than called ones. The called violations in the main phases were relatively less frequent than in the beginning and ending phases, whereas the reverse was true for uncalled violations. The results are discussed in relation to the concept of the psychological performance crisis.

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The Role of Change in Athletes’ Careers: A Scheme of Change for Sport Psychology Practice

Roy David Samuel and Gershon Tenenbaum

Throughout their careers, athletes may encounter various changes that interfere with their existing “athletic status quo.” During these transitional periods, change can occur in diverse levels of the athletic experience. In this paper we introduce a “scheme of change for sport psychology practice” (SCSPP) to describe typical characteristics of athletes’ change-events and processes. The SCSPP focuses on: (a) the stages that unfold as athletes encounter and address changes in their careers, and (b) the psychological-therapeutic process that might facilitate an effective personal change. The process of change is evaluated in terms of its meaning and significance for athletes, the associated decisions athletes make, and fluctuations in cognition and affect. In addition, we describe a therapeutic framework that includes a number of processes of change as interventions, which may facilitate consultants’ attempts to guide athletes who experience change-events, and factors that moderate these attempts. Avenues for research and practical implications are also provided.

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Athletes’ Decision-Making in Career Change-Events

Roy David Samuel and Gershon Tenenbaum

This study examined decision-making processes in response to athletic career change-events (e.g., injury, field position change). Athletes’ (N = 338) initial strategic decisions whether to address or ignore a change-event, and their subsequent decisions whether to make the required change were measured using the Change-Event Inventory (Samuel & Tenenbaum, 2011b). Athletes reported a high tendency of making a strategic decision to consult with others, which could be predicted from the event’s perceived significance and availability of professional support. Athletes also reported a high tendency of making a subsequent decision to change, which could be predicted from the helpfulness of support, motivation for change, and certain coping strategies. The two types of decisions were related. Perceived outcome of the change process and athletes’ motivation could also be accurately predicted. In conclusion, to effectively cope with change-events athletes need to feel involved, be in control, and make independent decisions that reflect their genuine needs and wishes.

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Verbal Communication in Doubles Tennis: An Analysis of Close Games

Domagoj Lausic, Selen Razon, and Gershon Tenenbaum

The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in verbal communication between doubles tennis teams during close game situations. Verbal messages exchanged between team players were recorded by means of audiotapes and videotapes. Recorded communication data were coded and analyzed using the Discussion Analysis Tool software (DAT; Jeong, 2003). Results indicated that most of the verbal communication included action (i.e., 34%) and emotional statements (i.e., 34%). Winning teams communicated twice as many messages than losing teams. Specifically, during the close games they won, winning teams communicated significantly more than losing teams. Losing teams used more communication patterns in close games they won relative to the ones they lost. Winning and losing teams also used distinct communication patterns during the close games they won relative to the ones they lost. These distinct communication patterns may have in turn improved the winning teams’ coordination and thereby increased their likelihood of winning.

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Psychological Aspects of Training in European Basketball: Conceptualization, Periodization, and Planning

Ronnie Lidor, Boris Blumenstein, and Gershon Tenenbaum

The purpose of this article is to examine how phase-specific psychological interventions were used in an annual training program of elite male basketball players. Psychological intervention introduced to elite athletes during their training program reflects the aims of each critical phase of the program, namely the preparation, competition, and transition phases. In addition, while conducting psychological consultations, the sport psychologist should take into consideration the specific objectives of other preparations in the training program, such as the physical, technical, and tactical. The specific psychology intervention in each phase of the basketball training program, the philosophical approach to the intervention process, and the reasoning behind the use of the certain psychological techniques at each specific phase of the program are discussed.

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Attribution of Causality in Sport Events: Validation of the Wingate Sport Achivememt Responsibility Scale

Gershon Tenenbaum, David Furst, and Gilad Welmgarten

Attribution of causality, based on Rotter's (1966) and Weiner's (1979) models, was investigated in a sport setting. The Wingate Sport Achievement Responsibility Scale (WSARS) was developed in order to examine attribution of causality separately for individual and team athletes after successful and unsuccessful events. The scale included feedback from the coach, audience, and teammates. Additional attributions were added in order to examine sport related properties of attributions. In order to examine the distinction between sport-specific attributions and general locus of control (LOG), 69 team athletes and 38 individual athletes were administered the Rotter I-E LOG Scale and the WSARS (Tenenbaum & Weingarten, 1983). Both Rotter's Scale and the WSARS were found to be reliable and valid scales through the probabilistic Rasch Model. Correlational analysis of both scales showed that attribution of causality in team and individual sports were positively related but produced low correlations, which suggests that sport attribution should be examined separately from general LOG. In addition, successful events should be examined separately from unsuccessful events and a distinction should be made between individual and team athletes.

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Congruence between Actual and Retrospective Reports of Emotions for Pre- and Postcompetition States

Gershon Tenenbaum and Efrat Elran

Congruence between actual and retrospective reports for pre- and postcompetition emotional states was investigated separately and together. Fifty-two members of four university sport teams participated in one or more of three experimental conditions. The first condition consisted of actual measurement of precompetition emotional states and retrospective measurement of the same situation following a 72-hr delay. Actual and retrospective measurement of postcompetition emotional states comprised the second condition. The third condition included actual measurement of pre- and post-states and retrospective measurement of both states after a 72-hr delay. RM-MANOVA procedures revealed that athletes could report and differentiate between their pre- and postcompetition emotional experiences, and that retrospective report was not affected by the pre/post interference after a 72-hour delay. However, athletes underestimated the intensity of postcompetition unpleasant emotions. Correlations between the structured actual and retrospective measures of emotions were moderate to strong, and thus congruent. However, thoughts and feelings that were openly expressed after 72 hours were not fully congruent with thoughts and feelings reported in real time. These findings are discussed in relation to Ericsson and Simon’s (1980, 1984) conceptualization of verbal reports as data, and Ross’ (1989) implicit theory of stability and change.