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Andrea J. Becker and Gloria B. Solomon

The purpose of this study was to determine the sources of information coaches use to develop expectations for athlete ability. Results revealed that Division I head basketball coaches (n = 70) rely predominately on psychological factors when evaluating athletes (n = 186). There were no significant differences between the sources of information used by successful and less successful coaches. A significant degree of congruence was discovered between coach and athlete perceptions of the evaluation criteria used on successful teams, but not on less successful teams. Athletes’ perceptions of their coach’s evaluation criteria served to predict team success. It was determined that differences in team success are more dependent on the coach’s ability to communicate expectations than the actual criteria used to form expectations.

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Mary D. Fry, Candace M. Hogue, Susumu Iwasaki, and Gloria B. Solomon

Psychological coping skills in sport are believed to be central to athlete performance and well-being. This study examined the relationship between the perceived motivational climate in elite collegiate sport teams and player psychological coping skills use. Division I athletes (N = 467) completed a questionnaire examining their perceptions of how caring, task-, and ego-involving their teams were and their use of sport specific psychological coping skills (i.e., coping with adversity, peaking under pressure, goal setting/mental preparation, concentration, freedom from worry, confidence/achievement motivation, and coachability). Structural equation modeling revealed positive relationships between perceptions of a task-involving climate and confidence/achievement motivation (β = 0.42) and goal setting/mental preparation (β = 0.27). Caring climate perceptions were positively associated with coachability (β = 0.34). These findings illustrate how encouraging athletes and coaches to create a caring, task-involving climate may facilitate athletes’ use of psychological coping skills and set athletes up to perform their best and have a positive sporting experience.

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Gloria B. Solomon, Pamela A. Wiegardt, Fayyadh R. Yusuf, Corinne Kosmitzki, Jennifer Williams, Charles E. Stevens, and Valerie K. Wayda