Since the first Paralympics in 1960 there has been an increase in social and scientific interest in Paralympic athletes’ personality, their preparation, and their sport results. During the last 20 yr, researchers and practitioners have been focused on psychological-skills programs for athletes with disabilities. The purpose of this article was to describe a psychological-preparation program for Israeli Paralympic athletes. Two subprograms, the learning-modification-application approach and the Simulation Training Exercise Program, were adapted to athletes’ disability and sport demands. Two case studies, from table tennis and sailing (Sonar 3-person keelboat), are described to demonstrate how systematic sport psychology preparation can be effectively integrated into the training process of Paralympic athletes. Some recommendations for Paralympic athletes are presented.
Boris Blumenstein and Iris Orbach
Iris Orbach, Robert Singer, and Sarah Price
This study aimed to investigate the influence of an attribution training program for learners who attribute their sport performance to dysfunctional attributions. Participants were 35 college beginner tennis players who were oriented to attribute their performance in a tennis skill task to controllable, unstable factors; uncontrollable, stable factors; or no specific factors. Participants received fictitious failure feedback over 10 trial blocks administered during four sessions. Dependent variables included attributions, expectations, emotions, persistence, and performance. MANOVA analyses revealed that it is possible to modify attributions in regard to a tennis performance task. More importantly, the new attributions were consistent up to 3 weeks postintervention and were generalized to a different tennis task. In addition, participants who changed their attributions to more functional ones had higher expectations for future success and experienced positive emotions.
Iris Orbach, Robert N. Singer, and Milledge Murphey
There is a shortage of research in which the effect of attribution training interventions on sport performance has been investigated. Therefore, the primary goal of this study was to determine the influence of an attribution training program on individuals who attribute their sport performance to dysfunctional attributions. Sixty college recreational basketball players were oriented to perceive their performance in a basketball skill task as due to (a) controllable, unstable factors, (b) uncontrollable, stable factors, or (c) no specific factors. Dependent variables included attributions and performance time. Using MANOVA and repeated measures factorial ANOVAs, results revealed that it is possible to modify attributions and performance in regard to a basketball performance task. The data are supportive of the potential influence of attribution training in a sport setting and the use of a controllable, unstable dimensional orientation as a means to improve performance.