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Julien E. Bois, Philippe G. Sarrazin, Julien Southon, and Julie C. S. Boiché

This study investigated the psychological characteristics of professional golfers and their relation to golf performance. The aims of the study were (a) to provide descriptive data on professional golfers, (b) to test possible differences between successful and unsuccessful players and (c) to estimate whether psychological characteristics could predict golf performance. The data were collected from 41 male professional golfers the day before an official competition. Results revealed that players who made the cut were characterized by higher scores on performance-approach goal, cognitive and somatic anxiety, relaxation strategies, attentional control, emotional control and lower score on performance-avoidance goal. Subsequently, a multiple regression analysis revealed that higher cognitive anxiety, more frequent use of relaxation strategies and emotional control strategies were associated with better player’s ranking at the end of the competition.

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Julien P. Chanal, Herbert W. Marsh, Philippe G. Sarrazin, and Julien E. Bois

In sport/exercise contexts, individuals use the performances of others to evaluate their own competence. In big-fish-little-pond effect (BFLPE) in educational settings, academic self-concept is positively predicted by one’s academic achievement but negatively predicted by the average achievement of others in one’s school or class. Participation in programs for academically gifted students leads to lower self-concept. In apparently the first test of the BFLPE in the physical domain, multilevel models of responses by 405 participants in 20 gymnastics classes supported these predictions. Gymnastics self-concept was positively predicted by individual gymnastics skills, but negatively predicted by class-average gymnastics skills. The size of this negative BFLPE grew larger during the 10-week training program (as participants had more exposure to the relative performances of others in their class), but did not vary as a function of gender, age, or initial gymnastics skills.