This case study focused on pressure, stereotype threat, choking, and the coping experiences of the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team during the period from 2004-2011 leading into their success at the 2011 Rugby World Cup (RWC). Employing a narrative approach this case study examined public expectation, pressure, and coach-led coping strategies designed to “avoid the choke” by the All Blacks team. An in-depth interview was completed with one of the All Blacks’ coaches and analyzed via collaborative thematic analysis (Riessman, 2008). In addition multiple secondary data sources (e.g., coach & player autobiographies; media interviews) were analyzed via holistic-content analysis (Lieblich et al., 1998). Collectively these analyses revealed five key themes: public expectation and pressure, learning from 2007 RWC, coping with RWC pressure, decision-making under pressure, and avoiding the choke. Practical recommendations are offered for team sport coaches with respect to coping with pressure and avoiding choking.
Ken Hodge and Wayne Smith
Ken Hodge and Chris Lonsdale
The purpose of this study was to examine whether the relationships between contextual factors (i.e., autonomy-supportive vs. controlling coaching style) and person factors (i.e., autonomous vs. controlled motivation) outlined in self-determination theory (SDT) were related to prosocial and antisocial behaviors in sport. We also investigated moral disengagement as a mediator of these relationships. Athletes’ (n = 292, M = 19.53 years) responses largely supported our SDT-derived hypotheses. Results indicated that an autonomy-supportive coaching style was associated with prosocial behavior toward teammates; this relationship was mediated by autonomous motivation. Controlled motivation was associated with antisocial behavior toward teammates and antisocial behavior toward opponents, and these two relationships were mediated by moral disengagement. The results provide support for research investigating the effect of autonomy-supportive coaching interventions on athletes’ prosocial and antisocial behavior.
Ken Hodge and Linda Petlichkoff
This investigation compared cluster analysis with the mean-split procedure for examining goal-orientation profiles and examined whether the goal-profile groups revealed differences in athletes’ perceptions of their physical abilities. Rugby players (N = 257, mean age = 20.62 years, SD = 3.64) completed a questionnaire assessing goal orientation, perceived rugby ability and competence, and self-concept of physical ability. Unlike the mean-split procedure, in which scores are forced into high/high, high/low, low/high, or low/low groups, cluster analysis revealed groups that varied in low-, moderate-, and high-task and -ego goals. Moreover, no extreme group profiles (high-ego/high-task or low-ego/low-task) emerged when cluster analysis was used. Multivariate results from the cluster analysis revealed that Cluster 4 (low-ego/moderate-task) reported significantly lower levels of perceived rugby ability/competence than did Cluster 3 (high-ego/moderate-task), indicating that ego might be the determining orientation in adaptive or maladaptive goal profiles. The Cluster 3 goal-profile group (high-ego/moderate-task) scored highest on all 3 dependent measures related to perception of physical abilities.
Lee-Ann Sharp and Ken Hodge
The purpose of this study was to investigate the components necessary for the development of an effective applied sport psychology consulting relationship between a sport psychology consultant (SPC) and a coach. To address this purpose, two SPC-Coach consulting relationship case studies will be presented. Following purposeful sampling methods, members of two SPC-Coach consulting relationships (2 SPCs and 2 elite coaches) participated in individual interviews to discuss their perceptions of effective consulting relationships. Inductive \content analysis was conducted to search for common themes both within and across the two case studies (Weber, 1990). Three categories emerged with shared similarities between both case study relationships as important to the development of effective consulting relationships between SPCs and coaches; (a) SPC knowledge; (b) trust; and (c) friendship. In addition, two categories individual to each of the case study consulting relationships emerged; (d) SPC fitting in with team culture; and (e) flexibility.
Jane Sullivan and Ken P. Hodge
This investigation examined the current use and status of sport psychology in New Zealand. National coaches (n=46) and elite athletes (n=68) completed appropriate questionnaires that assessed their perceptions of sport psychology. They also indicated the importance of and the success they felt they had in changing and/or developing 21 psychological skills. Finally they were asked about their actual use of sport psychology and any problem areas. A general definition of sport psychology was given and sport psychology was rated by both coaches and athletes as being very important. Most coaches and athletes reported using it regularly. A positive response was received, with virtually all coaches and most athletes indicating they would be interested in having a sport psychologist work with them. Implications of the results are discussed and future research and practical recommendations are made.
Ken Hodge and Daniel F. Gucciardi
The purpose of this investigation was to examine whether the relationships between contextual factors and basic psychological needs were related to antisocial and prosocial behavior in sport. A two-study project employing Bayesian path analysis was conducted with competitive athletes (Study 1, n = 291; Study 2, n = 272). Coach and teammate autonomy-supportive climates had meaningful direct relations with need satisfaction and prosocial behavior. Coach and teammate controlling climates had meaningful direct relations with antisocial behavior. Need satisfaction was both directly and indirectly related with both prosocial and antisocial behavior, whereas moral disengagement was directly and indirectly related with antisocial behavior. Overall, these findings reflected substantial evidence from the literature on self-determination theory that autonomy-supportive motivational climates are important environmental influences for need satisfaction, and are important correlates of prosocial behavior in sport, whereas controlling coach and teammate climates, along with moral disengagement, were important correlates of antisocial behavior in sport.
Chris Lonsdale, Ken Hodge, and Elaine A. Rose
The purpose of this study was to compare participant responses to a questionnaire delivered via the Internet with data collected using a traditional paper and pencil format distributed via postal mail. Athletes (N = 214, mean age 26.53 years) representing 18 sports from the New Zealand Academy of Sport were randomly assigned into two groups and completed the Athlete Burnout Questionnaire (ABQ; Raedeke & Smith, 2001). There was a noticeable trend (p = .07, two-tailed) toward a better response rate in the online group (57.07%) compared with the postal group (46.63%). Furthermore, online questionnaires were returned faster and contained fewer missing responses. A series of nested, multigroup confirmatory factor analyses indicated that there were no significant group differences in the factor structure or latent mean structures of the ABQ.
Ken Hodge, Chris Lonsdale, and Susan A. Jackson
In this exploratory study, we examined hypothesized antecedents (basic psychological needs) and consequences (dispositional flow) of athlete engagement (AE); plus the extent to which AE mediated the relationship between basic needs and flow. Structural equation modeling with a sample of 201 elite Canadian athletes (60.20% female, mean age = 22.92 years) showed that needs satisfaction (particularly competence & autonomy) predicted athlete engagement (30% explained variance); and needs satisfaction and athlete engagement predicted dispositional flow (68% explained variance). AE partially mediated the relationship between needs satisfaction and flow. Practical suggestions are offered for needs-supportive coaching programs designed to increase both AE and flow.
Matthew Jenkins, Elaine A. Hargreaves, and Ken Hodge
The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of the constituent processes of psychological flexibility (contact with the present moment, acceptance, cognitive defusion, self-as-context, value clarification, and committed action) in supporting physical activity (PA) maintenance. A total of 9 physically active participants were interviewed using the Scanlan collaborative interview method. Participants were asked to discuss their strategies for maintaining PA, before being asked whether the 6 psychological flexibility processes played a role in their PA behavior. Data were analyzed using a combination of deductive and inductive thematic analyses. Acceptance, cognitive defusion, value clarification, and committed action played a role in participants’ experiences of maintaining PA. Contact with the present moment and self-as-context were reported to be relatively unimportant to participants’ PA maintenance. Cultivating acceptance of PA-related discomfort, defusion from unhelpful thoughts, clarifying the value of PA, and encouraging commitment to PA would likely benefit individuals’ efforts to maintain PA.
Matthew Jenkins, Elaine A. Hargreaves, and Ken Hodge
This study examined the relationships among cognitive acceptance, behavioral commitment, psychological need satisfaction, autonomous extrinsic motivation (EM) for physical activity (PA), and PA behavior. Participants (N = 456, M age = 40.7 years) completed online measures of these variables, and data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Results indicated a direct pathway from behavioral commitment to autonomous EM, plus indirect effects via autonomy, competence, and relatedness. There was no direct pathway from cognitive acceptance to autonomous EM, but there were indirect effects via competence and autonomy satisfaction. There was a direct pathway from cognitive acceptance to self-reported PA plus indirect effects via autonomous EM. There was no direct pathway from behavioral commitment to self-reported PA, but there were indirect effects via autonomous EM. Cognitive acceptance and behavioral commitment potentially support the development of autonomous EM for PA. Future research using longitudinal and intervention-based research designs is required to determine the causal relationships among these variables.