Perceptions of teammates and training load have been shown to influence athletes’ physical and psychological health; however, limited research has investigated these factors in relation to burnout. Athletes (N = 140) from a variety of competitive team sports, ranging in level from regional to professional, completed questionnaires measuring individual burnout, perceptions of teammates’ burnout, and training hours per week on two occasions separated by three months. After controlling for burnout at time one, training hours were associated with athletes’ burnout and perceptions of teammates’ burnout at time two. Multilevel modeling indicated actual team burnout (i.e., the average burnout score of the individual athletes in a team) and perceived team burnout were associated with individual’s own burnout. The findings highlight that burnout is dynamic and relates to physiological stressors associated with training and psychological perceptions of teammates’ burnout. Future research directions exploring potential social influences on athlete burnout are presented.
Examining Perceptions of Teammates’ Burnout and Training Hours in Athlete Burnout
Ralph Appleby, Paul Davis, Louise Davis, and Henrik Gustafsson
Using a Person-Centered Approach to Facilitate a Male Amateur Distance Runner’s Personal Growth
Joe R. Davis and Paul J. McCarthy
This case study analyzes, synthesizes, and tests a person-centered approach by a trainee sport and exercise psychologist working with a male amateur distance runner. The aim of applying a person-centered approach was to enhance the athlete’s understanding of himself, enable him to make sense of his experience, and facilitate personal growth. This case study explores the client’s change process and how developing the quality of the relationship allowed him to share his true thoughts and feelings and move towards his authentic self. The trainee describes the theoretical framework that guided the consultancy; reflects on the experiences of exhibiting empathy, unconditional positive regard, and congruence; and discusses the challenges with implementing the approach. The case study reflects on and evaluates the support service, so that the practitioner could learn from this experience and enhance service delivery as he moves toward the end of his formal training.
Examination of Accelerometer Reactivity Among a Population Sample of Children, Adolescents, and Adults
Robert E. Davis and Paul D. Loprinzi
To examine whether accelerometer-measured physical activity–based reactivity was present in a nationally representative sample of U.S. children (6–11 yrs), adolescents (12–17 yrs), and adults (≥20 yrs).
Data from the 2003–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (N = 674, 6–85 yrs) were used. Physical activity (PA) was assessed using the ActiGraph 7164 accelerometer, with PA assessed over 7 days of monitoring. Two PA metrics were assessed, including activity counts per day (CPD) and time spent in moderate-to-vigorous PA. Evidence of reactivity was defined as a statistically significantly change in either of these 2 PA metrics from day 1 of monitoring to days 2 or 3, with day 1 of monitoring being a Monday.
Suggestion of reactivity was observed only for the adult population where CPD from days 2 and 3 (297,140.6 ± 7920.3 and 295,812.9 ± 8364.9), respectively, differed significantly from day 1 (309,611.5 ± 9134.9) over the monitoring period (4.0% to 4.5% change). The analysis was conducted 2 additional times with differing start days (Tuesday and Wednesday), and this approach failed to demonstrated a reactive presence.
In this national sample of U.S. children, adolescents and adults, we did not observe sufficient evidence of accelerometer reactivity.
The Role of Repression in the Incidence of Ironic Errors
Tim Woodman and Paul A. Davis
The role of repression in the incidence of ironic errors was investigated on a golf task. Coping styles of novice golfers were determined using measures of cognitive anxiety and physiological arousal. Following baseline putts, participants (n = 58) performed a competition putt with the opportunity to win UK£50 (approx. US$100). Before completing the competition putt participants were instructed to “land the ball on the target, but be particularly careful not to over-shoot the target.” The distance the ball traveled past the hole formed the measure of ironic effects. Probing of the coping style × condition interaction, F(2, 41) = 6.53, p < .005, revealed that only the repressors incurred a significant increase in ironic error for the competition putt. This suggests that the act of repressing anxiety has a detrimental performance effect.
Exploring “Sledging” and Interpersonal Emotion-Regulation Strategies in Professional Cricket
Paul A. Davis, Louise Davis, Samuel Wills, Ralph Appleby, and Arne Nieuwenhuys
The present study examines cricketers’ perceptions of emotional interactions between competitors. Semistructured interviews with 12 male professional cricketers explored experiences (i.e., emotions, cognitions, behaviors) relating to incidents during competition where they or an opponent attempted to evoke an emotional reaction (e.g., sledging). Cricketers described their use of sledging as aggressive actions and verbal interactions with the aim of disrupting concentration and altering the emotional states of opponents. They described experiencing a variety of emotions (e.g., anxiety, anger) in response to opponents’ attempts at interpersonal emotion regulation; linguistic analyses indicated that both positive than negative emotions were experienced. A range of strategies in response to competitors’ deliberate attempts at interpersonal emotion regulation were outlined. The present study extends previous research investigating interpersonal emotion regulation within teams by indicating that professional cricketers are aware of the impact of cognitions and emotions on performance and attempt to negatively influence these factors in competitors.
Flotation REST as a Stress Reduction Method: The Effects on Anxiety, Muscle Tension, and Performance
Marcus Börjesson, Carolina Lundqvist, Henrik Gustafsson, and Paul Davis
The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of flotation REST upon skilled and less skilled golfers’ anxiety in terms of physiological indicators of stress, self-rated anxiety scores, muscle tension, and the effect on golf putting. Prior to performing the putting task participants underwent a treatment of flotation REST or a period of resting in an armchair. Participants completed both treatments in a randomized order with a two-week interval. The results showed that both flotation REST and the armchair treatment reduced systolic blood pressure and heart rate, with no differences between treatments or athlete skill levels. No significant differences between treatments were revealed regarding self-ratings, level of muscle tension or putting precision. The results indicate that flotation REST may be useful for reducing negative symptoms related to stress and anxiety in general; however, no support for direct positive effects on golf performance were found.
Workaholism, Home–Work/Work–Home Interference, and Exhaustion Among Sports Coaches
Erik Lundkvist, Henrik Gustafsson, Paul Davis, and Peter Hassmén
The aims of this study were to (a) examine the associations between workaholism and work-related exhaustion and (b) examine associations between work–home/ home–work interference and work-related exhaustion in 261 Swedish coaches. Quantile regression showed that workaholism is only associated with exhaustion for coaches who score high on exhaustion, that negative work–home interference has a stronger association with exhaustion than negative home–work interference, and that the coaches on a mean level scored low on all measured constructs. In addition, coaches in the higher percentiles have a higher risk for burnout. Our results highlight the importance of studying coach exhaustion with respect to aspects that extend beyond the sports life.
The Impact of Game Outcome on Affect of Military Wheelchair Basketball Players
Paul E. Yeatts, Ronald Davis, Jun Oh, and Gwang-Yon Hwang
Participation in physical activity has been shown to improve components of psychological well-being (i.e., affect). Programs such as the Warrior Games have been designed to promote physical activity in wounded military personnel. However, sport competition typically yields a winner and a loser (i.e., game outcome). The experience of a win or a loss may affect how wounded athletes respond to game outcome. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the affective changes (positive affect, negative affect, tranquility, and fatigue) according to game outcome in a sample of wounded military wheelchair basketball players participating in a weekend tournament. The results indicated that the participants who experienced a win reported significantly higher positive affect and tranquility and significantly lower negative affect than those experiencing a loss. These findings have important implications for wounded veteran athletes, as well as coaches and administrative personnel.