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Véronique Richard, Wayne Halliwell, and Gershon Tenenbaum

The study examined the effect of an improvisation intervention on figure skating performance, self-esteem, creativity, and mindfulness skills. Nine elite figure skaters participated in a 10-session program based on Cirque du Soleil artistic principles. A mixed methodology using questionnaires, competition scores, and interviews was used to test the program effects on these variables. Descriptive statistics revealed small but imperative increases in competition performance, perceived artistic performance, self-esteem, creativity, and mindfulness. Significant (p < .05) effect of time was revealed only for creativity and artistic performance variables. Qualitative data supported these results. Skaters described verbally that movements were performed more freely, attention was better focused on performance, and they overcame shyness. Quantitative and qualitative data are discussed interactively in relation to performance enhancement and personal growth.

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Veronique Richard, Béatrice Lavoie-Léonard, and Thomas Romeas

Goalkeepers play a very specific and crucial role in water polo. They rely on advanced perceptual–cognitive (P–C) skills to make fast and accurate decisions. However, their daily training environment often lacks stimulation and representativeness of game demands. This was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, where noncontact practices became the “new normal.” In the Canadian Women’s National Team preparation for the 2020 Olympics, goalkeepers’ P–C training was made a priority. Led by the team’s mental performance consultant and experts from transdisciplinary fields, the initiative began with an evaluation of a broad range of P–C skills in goalkeepers. Leading up to the Olympics, a series of P–C activities (i.e., anticipatory training using video occlusion, eye–hand coordination, and visuomotor drills) were adopted based on ecological dynamics principles. Virtual reality technology and constraints-focused tools were used to enrich and diversify the goalkeepers’ daily trainings environment. This case study reports the evaluation of P–C skills, the context, and the way in which the P–C activities were implemented, as well as their holistic impact on goalkeepers. Reflections and limitations are also shared to encourage interdisciplinary efforts in sport psychology and increase awareness among mental performance consultants about the importance of psycho-perceptual-motor skill training for mental performance.

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Veronique Richard, Justin Mason, Stacey Alvarez-Alvarado, Inbal Perry, Benoit Lussier, and Gershon Tenenbaum

The aim of the present study was to compare the effectiveness of a learned preperformance routine (PPR) with an intuitively developed one before a simulation race on advanced swimmers’ speed and motor efficiency, as well as self-efficacy and emotional regulation. In total, 46 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I swimmers were stratified to either the control (intuitively developed PPR) or the PPR condition, which included four instructional sessions aimed at developing a PPR. A simulated competitive race was organized before and after the intervention. For each simulation, speed and motor efficiency were measured during the race, and self-efficacy and emotions, after the completion of the race. Nonsignificant effects were revealed for speed, motor efficiency, and self-efficacy following the intervention. However, performing a learned PPR prior to racing significantly influenced the swimmers’ emotional state. These results provide some support for the effect of a PPR on emotional regulation prior to a swimming race.