Hardy and Fazey’s (1987) cusp catastrophe model of anxiety and performance has been criticized for being overly complex and difficult to test. The present paper attempts to clarify the model for researchers who are less familiar with its more subtle nuances; it then differentiates between the characteristics of cusp catastrophe models in general and the specific predictions of Hardy and Fazey’s cusp catastrophe model of anxiety and performance. For each prediction, methodological and statistical procedures are suggested whereby the prediction can be tested, and the available evidence that has used these procedures is then briefly reviewed. Some of the practical implications of the cusp catastrophe model for best practice are also discussed.
Tim Woodman and Lew Hardy
We (Hardy, Woodman, & Carrington, 2004) recently proposed an innovative segmental quadrant analysis for exploring the role of self-confidence within a higher-order catastrophe model framework. Using this exploratory analysis, we found initial support for the main hypothesis, namely that the maximum interaction effect size between cognitive anxiety and somatic anxiety would be located at a lower level along the somatic anxiety continuum for conditions of low self-Cong compared to conditions of high self-confidence. In the present issue of this journal, Tenenbaum and Becker (2005) offer a critique of this study. In formulating their critique they have employed four principal approaches: (a) a largely indiscriminate critique of catastrophe model research as a whole; (b) a more specific critique of the method and analysis employed in our study; (c) a misrepresentation of our own work and that of previous authors; and (d) abundant confusion and irrelevancy. We address each of these issues in turn.
Lew Hardy and Gaynor Parfitt
The aim of this paper is to describe and appraise two different models used for providing sport psychology support services to the British Amateur Gymnastics Association over the last 6 years. In the first phase, the sport psychologists assumed the traditional role of experts who evaluated performers’ needs and then prescribed educational psychological skills training programs according to the sport psychologists’ perceptions of individual needs. This approach contained both educational and monitoring elements. The second phase adopted a consultancy approach in which the coach, performer, and sport psychologist were all assumed to bring expert knowledge to bear on any problem. In this approach, the sport psychologists responded to the expressed needs of performers and coaches, assuming diverse roles. According to the sport psychologists, this second model was more difficult to operate than the first model. However, consultant evaluation data and consultant opinion suggested the second model operated more successfully than the first.
Chris Harwood and Lew Hardy
In their response to our recent paper (Harwood, Hardy, & Swain, 2000), Treasure et al. (2001) claimed to have clarified our misconceptions and misrepresentations of achievement goal research. After first of all commenting on the apparently rather emotive nature of their response, we logically deal with each of their criticisms. Specifically, we present sound theoretical arguments to show that: (a) personal theories of achievement hold primacy over achievement goals; (b) we are not “particularly confused” (or even a little confused) in our understanding of conceptions of ability; (c) there are excellent reasons for examining the possibility of a tripartite approach to goal orientation and goal involvement; and (d) the issue of measurement in achievement goal research needs to be carefully reconsidered. Further, in response to the status quo offered by Treasure and colleagues, we call for more innovative research that will help progress the impact of achievement goal theory in competitive sport.
Richard Mullen and Lew Hardy
The three experiments reported here examined the process goal paradox, which has emerged from the literature on goal setting and conscious processing. We predicted that skilled but anxious performers who adopted a global movement focus using holistic process goals would outperform those who used part-oriented process goals. In line with the conscious processing hypothesis, we also predicted that performers using part process goals would experience performance impairment in test compared with baseline conditions. In all three experiments, participants performed motor tasks in baseline and test conditions. Cognitive state anxiety increased in all of the test conditions. The results confirmed our first prediction; however, we failed to find unequivocal evidence to support our second prediction. The consistent pattern of the results lends support to the suggestion that, for skilled athletes who perform under competitive pressure, using a holistic process goal that focuses attention on global aspects of a motor skill is a more effective attentional focus strategy than using a part process goal.
Alison White and Lew Hardy
This study employed a qualitative methodology to examine the ways in which imagery is used by high-level slalom canoeists (n = 3) and artistic gymnasts (n = 3). Participants were interviewed about their imagery use and experiences in different environments. Athletes’ responses were analyzed using inductive and deductive procedures. A total of 43 raw data themes formed 10 first order and 3 second order dimensions, characterizing the athletes’ uses of imagery. Participants reported using imagery in a variety of different environments for cognitive and motivational purposes. Data showed several differences between the canoeists’ and gymnasts’ uses of imagery, reflecting the differing task demands of each sport. The experience of imagery was unique to each individual, and athletes were able to emphasize certain aspects or manipulate the content of their images for specific cognitive or motivational functions.
Tara Edwards and Lew Hardy
This study examines intensity and direction of competitive state anxiety symptoms, and the interactive influence of anxiety subcomponents upon netball performance. Netball players (N = 45) completed the modified Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2) and a retrospective performance measure over a season, utilizing an intraindividual design. The modified CSAI-2 includes a direction scale assessing the facilitative or debilitative interpretation of the original intensity symptoms. Although the facilitative influence of anxiety upon performance did not emerge directly through the direction scale, a significant interaction emerged from the two-factor Cognitive Anxiety × Physiological Arousal quadrant analyses, suggesting that anxiety may enhance performance, as proposed by catastrophe model predictions. Findings also highlighted the importance of self-confidence for possible inclusion in higher order catastrophe models.
Tim Rees and Lew Hardy
Lack of consensus regarding the nature and conceptual definition of the social support construct has led to a plethora of different forms of measurement of this psychosocial variable, many with psychometric limitations. Beyond the psychometric limitations of some measures, in sport there is also a need for measures to be relevant to the specific experiences of sports performers. In order to gain a greater understanding of the social support experiences of sports people, 10 high-level sports performers were interviewed regarding their experiences of social support. Principles of the grounded theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) approach were adopted for analysis of their responses and insights. Four dimensions of support were generated, within each of which were comments relating to sport-specific support and comments relating to support not directly concerning the sport itself. The dimensions were labeled emotional, esteem, informational, and tangible. Example quotes are given to highlight each dimension of support, and implications for intervention are derived.
Lynne Evans and Lew Hardy
There is an increasing awareness within the sport-related literature of the importance of psychological factors in the rehabilitation of injured athletes. This awareness and subsequent investigations have led to the proposed application of grief response models to injury. However, to date limited attention has been paid to the clinical psychology literature on grief. The purpose of this paper is to redress this oversight by providing a review of the most relevant literature on the psychological responses of injured athletes in light of the philosophical and empirical research into loss and grief in the clinical literature. As a result of this review, a number of issues are raised for future research into grief models of injury.
Lew Hardy and Nichola Callow
Three experiments examined the relative efficacy of different imagery perspectives on the performance of tasks in which form was important. In Experiment 1,25 experienced karateists learned a new kata using either external or internal visual imagery or stretching. Results indicated that external visual imagery was significantly more effective than internal visual imagery, which was significantly more effective than stretching. In Experiment 2, 40 sport science students learned a simple gymnastics floor routine under one of four conditions: external or internal visual imagery with or without kinesthetic imagery. Results revealed a significant main effect for visual imagery perspective (external visual imagery was best) but no effect for kinesthetic imagery. Experiment 3 employed the same paradigm as Experiment 2 but with high-ability rock climbers performing difficult boulder problems. Results showed significant main effects for both visual imagery perspective (external visual imagery was best) and kinesthetic imagery. The findings are discussed in terms of the cognitive processes that might underlie imagery effects.