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Lynne Evans, Scott Fleming and Lew Hardy

This brief paper is intended to develop the epistemological and methodological discussion stimulated in the last edition of this journal. In the journal, our paper, “Intervention Strategies with Injured Athletes: An Action Research Study,” was published in the Professional Practice section alongside a response from David Gilbourne, “Searching for the Nature of Action Research: A Response to Evans, Hardy and Fleming” (unless otherwise indicated, citations of Gilbourne’s work in the present paper are from this source). In his critique of our paper, Gilboume addressed a set of themes and issues relating to the fundamental under-pinning principles of action research.

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Lynne Evans, Lew Hardy and Scott Fleming

This action research study employed a multi-modal intervention with three athletes rehabilitating from injury. The efficacy of a number of intervention strategies emerged, including social support, goal setting, imagery, simulation training, and verbal persuasion. Emotional support was perceived by athletes as important when rehabilitation progress was slow, setbacks were experienced, or other life demands placed additional pressures on participants. Task support mainly took the form of goal setting. There was support for the use of long-term and short-term goals, and both process and performance goals. The effect of outcome expectancy, rehabilitation setbacks, financial concerns, isolation, social comparison, and the need for goal flexibility emerged as salient to athletes’ responses to, and rehabilitation from, injury. In the reentry phase of rehabilitation, confidence in the injured body part, and the ability to meet game demands was perceived by participants as important to successful return to competition.

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Rich Neil, Harry C.R. Bowles, Scott Fleming and Sheldon Hanton

The purpose of the study was to conduct an in-depth examination of the stress and emotion process experienced by three sub-elite-level male cricketers over a series of five competitive performances. Using reflective diaries and follow-up semistructured interviews, the findings highlighted the impact of appraisal, coping, and emotion on performance, with perceptions of control and self-confidence emerging as variables that can influence the emotive and behavioral outcomes of a stressful transaction. Postperformance, guided athlete reflection was advanced as a valuable tool in the production and application of idiographic coping behaviors that could enhance perceptions of control and self-confidence and influence stress and emotion processes.

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Denise M. Hill, Sheldon Hanton, Nic Matthews and Scott Fleming

This study explores the antecedents, mechanisms, influencing variables, and consequences of choking in sport and identifies interventions that may alleviate choking. Through the use of qualitative methods, the experiences of six elite golfers who choked frequently under pressure were examined and compared with five elite golfers who excelled frequently under pressure. The perspectives of four coaches who had worked extensively with elite golfers who had choked and excelled, were also considered. The study indicated that the participants choked as a result of distraction, which was caused by various stressors. Self-confidence, preparation, and perfectionism were identified as key influencing variables of the participants’ choking episodes, and the consequence of choking was a significant drop in performance that affected negatively future performances. Process goals, cognitive restructuring, imagery, simulated training, and a pre/postshot routine were perceived as interventions that may possibly prevent choking.

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Denise M. Hill, Sheldon Hanton, Nic Matthews and Scott Fleming

The study examined the effect of an evidence-based intervention on choking in golf. It is informed by the work of Hill, Hanton, Matthews and Fleming (2010a) that explored the experiences of elite golfers who either choked or excelled under pressure. The perceptions of elite golf coaches who worked with both ‘chokers’ and those who excelled, were also considered. It revealed that choking may be alleviated through the use of process goals, cognitive restructuring, imagery, simulated training and a pre/postshot routine. The present study incorporated each strategy into an intervention that was introduced to two professional golfers (aged 22) who choked under pressure regularly. Through an action research framework the impact of the intervention was evaluated over a ten month period via qualitative methods. The results indicated the intervention alleviated the participants’ choking episodes and so provides information that can be of use to practitioners working with golfers who choke.