Robert Weinberg and Daniel Weigand
Robert S. Weinberg
Steve Miller and Robert Weinberg
The present investigation examined perceptions of psychological momentum, situation criticality, and skill level and then determined the relationships between these variables and performance outcome in volleyball using archival data. Division I and beginning volleyball students completed questionnaires to determine perceptions of momentum. Different scenarios were provided in which situation criticality and perceived momentum were manipulated. Subjects responded to each scenario by rating which team they perceived to have a psychological advantage. Actual game situations in which one team came back from 3 points down to tie were analyzed to determine the outcome of the next five serves, 5 points, and the game at critical and noncritical stages. Results indicated that subjects’ perceived momentum had a psychological influence on the game but that only low-skill subjects perceived it as having an influence on performance. Momentum had minimal influence on subsequent performance in actual game situations.
Sherilee Randle and Robert Weinberg
The purpose of the present investigation was to empirically examine Hanin’s (1980) Zone of Optimal Functioning (ZOF) hypothesis using a multidimensional anxiety approach. Female collegiate softball players (N = 13) had optimal cognitive, somatic, and combined cognitive/somatic anxiety zones created using three different methods (retrospective-best, retrospective-postcompetition, precompetition) over seven different competitions to test the relationship between ZOF and both subjective and objective performance measures. Results revealed no significant differences between the three different methods of determining players’ zones of optimal functioning. In addition, no significant differences were found in subjective performance regardless of whether performance was inside or outside players’ cognitive, somatic, or cognitive/somatic combined zones. Nonparametric analyses revealed superior objective performance occurred when players were outside their combined somatic/cognitive ZOF. Results are discussed in terms of Hanin’s ZOF hypothesis and methodological limitations in examining optimal anxiety states, assessing performance, and the operationalization of the optimal zone of functioning.
Robert Weinberg, Robert Neff, and Michael Garza
Since psychology professionals have a moral and ethical responsibility to evaluate the effectiveness of different products and services aimed at improving psychological/physical well-being, development, and/or performance, the purpose of the present investigation was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Winners for Life book (and accompanying Parent Instructor Guide) on improving a variety of psychological factors for at-risk adolescents. Participants were 96 pairs from the Big Brothers/Little Brothers, Big Sisters/Little Sisters program. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: Winners for Life book, Winners for Life book plus instructor guide, or control group. Each group participated in a 12-week intervention program. Results revealed that both Winners for Life book conditions resulted in greater increases in self-esteem, self-perceived goal setting ability, optimism, and hope than the control condition, with the Winners for Life book plus instructor guide condition achieving the greatest improvements.
Robert Weinberg, Robert Grove, and Allen Jackson
The purpose of the present investigation was to compare Australian tennis coaches’ frequency of use, and perceived effectiveness, of 13 self-efficacy building strategies to those of American tennis coaches. Subjects were 60 Australian tennis coaches coaching at the club or state level. Results indicated that Australian coaches used all 13 strategies designed to enhance selfefficacy to a moderate degree and found these techniques to be at least moderately effective. The most often-used strategies to enhance self-efficacy, as well as those strategies found most effective, included encouraging positive self-talk, modeling confidence oneself, using instruction drills, using rewarding statements liberally, and using verbal persuasion. When comparing the results of the Australian and American coaches, few differences were found. However, the American coaches used more of the following self-efficacy strategies: conditioning drills, the modeling of other successful players, the emphasis that feelings of anxiety are not fear but are a sign of readiness, and the emphasis that failure results from lack of effort or experience and not from a lack of innate ability. Results are discussed in terms of Bandura’s self-efficacy theory and Weinberg and Jackson’s (1990) efficacy-building strategies used by American tennis coaches. Future directions for research are offered.
Jenna Hussey, Robert Weinberg, and Arash Assar
Although antecedents of choking under pressure have been studied, prevention efforts have been somewhat inconsistent. Current choking-susceptibility criteria include trait anxiety (TA), self-consciousness (SC), and coping style. In the present case study, a college track-and-field athlete was self-identified as choking susceptible (CS), and a sport-specific mindfulness intervention to reduce levels of TA, SC, and alter coping to reduce choking susceptibility was implemented. The athlete identified as CS completed the 6-wk Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement (MSPE) program. Trait and state mindfulness were assessed throughout the program, with a follow-up 6 wk postintervention to gain further insight into the continuing effects of the mindfulness training. Visual analysis and quantitative and qualitative data demonstrated increases in mindfulness levels and changes in TA, SC, and coping, resulting in the participant’s failing to meet the choking-susceptibility criteria postintervention, indicating a reduced likelihood of choking in future performances. Enhanced mindfulness levels promoted greater awareness and acceptance, which may help counter the negative effects of stressful sport performances.
Robert Weinberg, Margie Reveles, and Allen Jackson
This investigation was done to gather some exploratory data concerning the attitudes and feelings of male and female college, high school, and junior high school varsity basketball players toward having a female coach versus a male coach. Subjects (N = 85) indicated their attitudes for playing for a hypothetical male or female coach (randomly assigned to condition) in a 2 x 2 (sex of athlete x sex of coach) between-subjects design. They were instructed to complete a questionnaire consisting of 11 items that tapped their attitudes and feelings toward a new coach. Identical background information was provided to subjects concerning the qualifications of the coach, the only difference being that for one group of subjects the coach was said to be female whereas for the other group of subjects the coach was said to be a male. Results were analyzed by a MANOVA and indicated significant interactions on seven questions, with simple main effects consistently indicating that males displayed more negative attitudes toward female coaches than did females while males and females did not differ in their view of male coaches. Results are discussed in terms of sex-role socialization patterns for males and females.