This article relates experiences and knowledge gained in providing sport psychology consulting services to professional hockey teams over a 6-year period. The process of getting involved in professional hockey is described and the importance of obtaining ample consulting experience before working with professional athletes is discussed. Philosophical and organizational components of service delivery are presented along with the range and type of service provided. The development of trust and confidence in the player/consultant relationship is seen as the key to effective sport psychology consulting. Also, the importance of being able to read situations, fit into the professional sports environment, and adopt a low-key, behind-the-scenes approach is discussed.
Despite the fact that Olympic sailing is a psychologically demanding sport, few countries use the services of sport psychologists to mentally prepare their athletes for the rigors of international competition. At the 1988 Summer Olympic Games only Canada and France had sport psychologists working on site with the athletes during the Games. This article describes the educational, mental skills approach used to prepare the Canadian Olympic Sailing Team as well as the athlete and coach mental preparation programs. Components of the team’s Olympic Preparation Plan are outlined and the use of thorough planning and preparation to bolster the athletes’ feelings of readiness and confidence is discussed. The importance of providing athletes with a distraction-free environment during the Games is also discussed, along with a plan for accommodating the needs of their family members and the media.
Edited by Glyn Roberts and Wayne Halliwell
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.
Randy C. Battochio, Robert J. Schinke, Mark A. Eys, Danny L. Battochio, Wayne Halliwell and Gershon Tenenbaum
Semistructured interviews were used in this study to learn about the challenges experienced by four groups of National Hockey League (NHL) players (N= 11): prospects (n= 3), rookies (n= 3), veterans (n= 2), and retirees (n= 3). The database is comprised of 757 meaning units grouped into 11 contextual challenges. From an additional quantitative analysis, the prospects and rookies emphasized challenges pertaining to scouting demands, training camp, increased athletic demands, team expectations, and earning team trust. The veterans spoke mostly of challenges including scouting demands, athletic demands, and team expectations. Retirees considered mostly challenges pertaining to team expectations, athletic demands, lifestyle, media demands, transactions, cross-cultural encounters, and playoffs. An expert panel ensured that the interview guide, data analysis, and the findings represented the participants’ experiences in the NHL. Recommendations for practitioners and researchers working with NHL players are proposed.
Randy C. Battochio, Robert J. Schinke, Danny L. Battochio, Wayne Halliwell and Gershon Tenenbaum
Through adaptation studies in elite sport, researchers can delineate the strategies that amateur and professional athletes employ during career transitions (e.g., promotion, relocation). Fiske (2004) identified five core motives as catalysts to adaptation: understanding, controlling, self-enhancement, belonging, and trusting, which were recently contextualized in sport as a result of one archival study examining the second hand experiences of National Hockey League (NHL) players. The purpose of the present study was to learn about the adaptation process of NHL players based on a first hand data source (i.e., semi-structured interview). A semi-structured open-ended interview guide was utilized to learn about the experiences of four groups of NHL players (n = 11): prospects (n = 3), rookies (n = 3), veterans (n = 2), and retirees (n = 3). There is an indication that adaptation strategies and sub-strategies vary according to the player’s career stage and the challenges related to seeking and maintaining a roster spot. The findings are also consistent with Fiske’s five core motives and earlier adaptation sub-strategies, in addition to uncovering three novel sub-strategies (i.e., understanding one’s performance, distraction control, and trusting player agents). Implications and recommendations are provided for sport researchers and practitioners.
Pierre H. Beauchamp, Wayne R. Halliwell, Jean F. Fournier and Richard Koestner
This study examined the effects of a 14-week cognitive-behavioral teaching program on the motivation, preparation, and putting performance of novice golfers. A cognitive-behavioral program was adapted from Boutcher and Rotella (1987) and was compared with a physical skills training group and a control group. The Sport Motivation Scale (Pelletier, Fortier, Vallerand, Tusón, Briére, & Blais, 1995) was used to measure intrinsic versus introjected forms of selfregulation. Preputt routines and actual putting performance were measured by observer ratings. Participants completed all dependent measures prior to training and at 3 additional times spaced over 4-week intervals. The results showed that participants in the cognitive-behavioral program displayed enhanced intrinsic motivation, more consistent use of preputt routines, and improved putting performance relative to participants in the other 2 groups. Cognitive-behavioral participants also showed a significantly reduced use of introjection, which reflects a harsh, self-evaluative form of self-regulation similar to ego involvement. The results support the conclusion drawn by Whelan, Myers, Berman, Bryant, and Mellon (1988) that cognitive-behavioral approaches are effective for performance enhancement; they also suggest that such approaches can produce positive motivational effects.
Edward McAuley, Joan Duda, Atsushi Fujita, Lise Gauvin, Wayne Halliwell, Yuri L. Hanin, Brad D. Hatfield, Thelma Horn, Wang Min Qi, Kevin Spink, Maureen Weiss and David Yukelson
This study was designed to examine perceptions of causality and perceptions of success in women's intercollegiate gymnastics and to determine the relative influence of perception of success on causal explanations for performance and the reciprocal influence, if any, of causal attributions on perceptions of success. Intercollegiate gymnasts were asked to indicate how successful they felt their performance had been on each of four Olympic gymnastic events. The gymnasts also completed the Causal Dimension Scale (Russell, 1982) following performance of each event. The score awarded by the judges for each event was employed as an objective, absolute measure of performance. Multivariate analyses of variance that revealed more internal, stable, and controllable attributions for performance were made by those gymnasts who scored high and perceived their performance as more successful than those gymnasts who scored lower and perceived their performance as less successful. The results of this study are discussed in terms of new approaches to attribution research in sport.