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Raphaël Laurin, Michel Nicolas and David Lavallee

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a personal goal-based intervention on positive and negative moods among young athletes at a soccer academy. Study participants (N =22) were randomized into either a treatment group, which participated in a personal goal-management program (Bouffard, Labelle, Dubé, & Lapierre, 1999), or a neutral-task control group. Participants’ mood states were measured every 3 weeks. Results indicated significant postintervention group differences in positive and negative moods states, with the treatment group reporting higher levels of positive moods and lower levels of negative moods. A significant within-group difference over time was also found for the treatment group, indicating an increase in positive mood states and decrease in negative mood states as the program progressed. Findings from this study are used to inform recommendations for sport psychology interventions that use specific goal management procedures to facilitate positive emotional states among young athletes.

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Michel Nicolas, Patrick Gaudreau and Véronique Franche

This study examined the relationship between perceived coaching behaviors, coping strategies during a sport competition, and sport achievement. A prospective design was used in which 80 athletes from individual sports completed measures of perceived coaching behaviors two days before a competition (Time 1) and measures of coping and sport achievement within three hours after a sport competition (Time 2). As expected, results of multiple regressions indicated that supportive coaching was a positive predictor of task-oriented coping and sport achievement whereas unsupportive coaching was a positive predictor of disengagement-oriented coping. Both types of coping were significantly associated with sport achievement. Task-oriented coping was a significant partial mediator in the relation between supportive coaching and sport achievement. This study, which contributes to both the coaching and coping literatures, highlights the role of supportive coaching behaviors in the initiation of effective stress management during sport competitions.

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Guillaume Martinent, Michel Nicolas, Patrick Gaudreau and Mickaël Campo

The purposes of the current study were to identify affective profiles of athletes both before and during the competition and to examine differences between these profiles on coping and attainment of sport goals among a sample of 306 athletes. The results of hierarchical (Ward’s method) and nonhierarchical (k means) cluster analyses revealed four different clusters both before and during the competition. The four clusters were very similar at the two measurement occasions: high positive affect facilitators (n = 88 and 81), facilitators (n = 75 and 25), low affect debilitators (n = 83 and 127), and high negative affect debilitators (n = 60 and 73). Results of MANOVAs revealed that coping and attainment of sport achievement goal significantly differed across the affective profiles. Results are discussed in terms of current research on positive and negative affective states.