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Robert Weinberg

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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.

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Robert S. Weinberg

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Robert Weinberg and Daniel Weigand

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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.

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Judy Dale and Robert S. Weinberg

The literature on burnout has concentrated on the human service and helping professions, although recently some researchers have investigated the burnout phenomenon in sport. The present investigation focused on high school and college head coaches to determine if burnout is related to leadership style. Subjects (N=302) were high school coaches from Texas and college coaches from the Southwest and Southeast Conferences. Coaches completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBDQ), Social Desirability Scale (SDS), and a demographic data sheet. A MANOVA indicated a significant relationship between burnout and leadership style in four of the six subscales of the MBI. Specificially, coaches who displayed a consideration style of leadership behavior scored significantly higher in the frequency and intensity dimensions of the emotional exhaustion and depersonalization subscales. In addition, a significant gender difference revealed that male coaches scored higher in both the frequency and intensity dimensions of the depersonalization subscales. Results are discussed in terms of leadership theory, and practical implications are offered for reducing burnout in coaches.

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Robert S. Weinberg and Marvin Genuchi

The purpose of the present investigation was to determine the relationship between competitive trait anxiety (CTA), state anxiety, and golf performance in a field setting. Ten low, moderate, and high CTA collegiate golfers (N = 30) performed in a practice round on Day 1 and Day 2 of a competitive tournament. State anxiety results indicated a significant CTA main effect with low CTA subjects displaying lower state anxiety than moderate or high CTA subjects. The competition main effect was also significant, with post hoc tests indicating higher levels of state anxiety during Day 1 and Day 2 than during the practice round. Performance results produced a significant CTA main effect with low CTA subjects displaying higher levels of performance than moderate or high CTA subjects. Correlations between SCAT and state anxiety indicated that SCAT was a good predictor of precompetitive state anxiety. The direction of state anxiety and performance CTA main effects provide support for Oxendine's (1970) contentions that sports requiring fine muscle coordination and precision (e.g., golf) are performed best at low levels of anxiety. Future directions for research are offered.

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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.

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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.