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Craig R. Hall and Wendy M. Rodgers

Research on various psychological techniques indicates that their use by athletes, particularly in combination with one another, can produce enhanced performance. An extension of this finding would seem to be that coaches should be able to incorporate combinations of various mental training techniques in their teaching to improve their coaching effectiveness. A work-shop was developed and conducted for figure skating coaches on the use of various psychological techniques with their skaters. Prior to and following the workshop, the coaches were asked about their use of the psychological techniques. While most coaches were familiar with the techniques before participating in the workshop, they evaluated the workshop as being informative and felt it helped them to more effectively use the techniques. The more qualified and experienced coaches generally were the most positive toward the workshop and the various mental training techniques covered. The skaters they coached reported improvements in their lessons following the coaches’ participation in the workshop.

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Dennis G. Fairall and Wendy M. Rodgers

Previous literature on goal setting indicates that athlete participation in the goal-setting process can improve performance (cf. Kyllo & Landers, 1995). Much of the past research, however, has been criticized for using contrived environments where the motivation and involvement of the participants is questionable. This field experiment examined the effect of three methods of goal-setting (participative, assigned, and self-set) on various goal attributes. Track and field athletes (N = 67) were randomly assigned to one of the three experimental conditions. Results of between-groups ANOVAs showed a significant difference in the perception of the amount of participation athletes perceived in each of the three conditions, indicating the success of the manipulation. Further analyses, however, revealed no advantage to the participative and self-set conditions compared to the assigned condition in terms of goal attributes. The influence of goal-setting method on other goal attributes may be spurious or due to other contextual variables.

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Wendy M. Rodgers and Lawrence R. Brawley

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Craig R. Hall, Wendy M. Rodgers and Kathryn A. Barr

The use of imagery by athletes was assessed by administering a 37-item questionnaire to a sample of 381 male and female participants from six sports. The sample comprised competitors in the sports of football, ice hockey, soccer, squash, gymnastics, and figure skating. Athletes reported using imagery more in conjunction with competition than with practice. The motivational function of imagery was found to be important, but no substantial differences were evident between how athletes employ visual and kinesthetic imagery or how they use internal and external imagery perspectives. Athletes also indicated that they do not have very structured or regular imagery sessions. The level at which athletes were competing (recreational/house league, local competitive, provincial competitive, national/international competitive) was found to influence imagery use. The higher the competitive level, the more often the athletes reported using imagery in practice, in competition, and before an event.

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Kimberley L. Gammage, Craig R. Hall and Wendy M. Rodgers

Imagery plays important cognitive and motivational roles in many areas of life, including sport (Paivio, 1985) and exercise (Hausenblas, Hall, Rodgers, & Munroe, 1999). The purpose of the present paper was to examine how the cognitive and motivational roles of exercise imagery vary with gender, frequency of exercise, and activity type. Participants (n = 577) completed the Exercise Imagery Questionnaire (Hausenblas et al„ 1999) which measures appearance, energy, and technique imagery. Participants, regardless of gender, frequency of exercise, or activity type, used appearance imagery most frequently, followed by technique and energy, respectively. Men used significantly more technique imagery than women did, while women used significantly more appearance imagery than men did. In addition, high frequency exercisers (3 or more times per week) used all types of imagery more frequently than low frequency exercisers (2 or fewer times per week). Finally, imagery differences existed based on type of activity.

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Tanya R. Berry, Wendy M. Rodgers, Alison Divine and Craig Hall

Discrepancies between automatically activated associations (i.e., implicit evaluations) and explicit evaluations of motives (measured with a questionnaire) could lead to greater information processing to resolve discrepancies or self-regulatory failures that may affect behavior. This research examined the relationship of health and appearance exercise-related explicit–implicit evaluative discrepancies, the interaction between implicit and explicit evaluations, and the combined value of explicit and implicit evaluations (i.e., the summed scores) to dropout from a yearlong exercise program. Participants (N = 253) completed implicit health and appearance measures and explicit health and appearance motives at baseline, prior to starting the exercise program. The sum of implicit and explicit appearance measures was positively related to weeks in the program, and discrepancy between the implicit and explicit health measures was negatively related to length of time in the program. Implicit exercise evaluations and their relationships to oft-cited motives such as appearance and health may inform exercise dropout.

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Philip M. Wilson, W. Todd Rogers, Wendy M. Rodgers and T. Cameron Wild

The purpose of this study was to provide initial construct validity evidence for scores derived from the Psychological Need Satisfaction in Exercise (PNSE) scale, a multidimensional instrument designed to measure perceived psychological need satisfaction in line with Deci and Ryanʼs (1985, 2002) self-determination theory (SDT). Participants in two studies (n1 = 426; n2 = 581) completed the PNSE along with proxy measures of need satisfaction. The results of an exploratory factor analysis in Study 1 supported the retention of a 3-factor measurement model underpinning PNSE responses. Confirmatory factor analysis conducted in Study 2 corroborated the tenability of the 3-factor measurement model in males and females and indicated partial support for invariance of PNSE scores across gender. Additionally, the scores on both the PNSE-Competence and PNSE-Relatedness subscales displayed a pattern of convergence with proxy measures. High internal consistency estimates (Cronbach α > 0.90) were observed for all PNSE subscale scores, and participants in both studies reported high levels of need satisfaction in exercise contexts. Overall, the findings suggest that the PNSE displays a number of psychometric characteristics that render the instrument useful for examining psychological need satisfaction in exercise contexts.

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Wendy M. Rodgers, Craig R. Hall, Philip M. Wilson and Tanya R. Berry

The purpose of this research was to examine whether exercisers and nonexercisers are rated similarly on a variety of characteristics by a sample of randomly selected regular exercisers, nonexercisers who intend to exercise, and nonexercisers with no intention to exercise. Previous research by Martin Ginis et al. (2003) has demonstrated an exerciser stereotype that advantages exercisers. It is unknown, however, the extent to which an exerciser stereotype is shared by nonexercisers, particularly nonintenders. Following an item-generation procedure, a sample of 470 (n = 218 men; n = 252 women) people selected using random digit dialing responded to a questionnaire assessing the extent to which they agreed that exercisers and nonexercisers possessed 24 characteristics, such as “happy,” “fit,” “fat,” and “lazy.” The results strongly support a positive exerciser bias, with exercisers rated more favorably on 22 of the 24 items. The degree of bias was equivalent in all groups of respondents. Examination of the demographic characteristics revealed no differences among the three groups on age, work status, or child-care responsibilities, suggesting that there is a pervasive positive exerciser bias.

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Marcia I. Milne, Wendy M. Rodgers, Craig R. Hall and Philip M. Wilson

Across various social cognitive theories, behavioral intention is broadly argued to be the most proximal and important predictor of behavior (Ajzen, 1991; Gibbons, Gerrard, Blanton, & Russell, 1998; Rogers, 1983). It seems probable that an intention to increase behavior might be differentially determined from an intention to maintain behavior. Thus, the purpose of the current study was to examine (1) the change in two types of behavioral intention over time and (2) the relationship between intention and the social-cognitive factor mental imagery. Behavioral intention, exercise imagery, and observed exercise behavior was measured in 68 exercise initiates participating in a 12-week exercise program. Results revealed that behavioral intention to increase exercise behavior decreased over the exercise program, whereas intentions to maintain exercise behavior increased. Appearance and technique imagery were found to be significant predictors of intention to increase behavior during the first 6 weeks of the program, and only appearance imagery predicted intention to maintain exercise behavior during the last 6 weeks. These findings suggest that the two types of behavioral intention are distinguishable and may be useful targets for exercise behavior interventions.

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Wendy M. Rodgers, Camilla J. Knight, Anne-Marie Selzler, Ian L. Reade and Gregory F. Ryan

The purposes of this study were to, (a) assess motivational experiences of performance enhancement tasks (PET) and administrative tasks (AT), and; (b) examine the relationships of emergent motivational experiences of each task type to coaches’ perceived stress and intentions to continue coaching. In total, 572 coaches completed an online survey, which assessed autonomy, competence, relatedness, and other characteristics of PET and AT, intentions to continue coaching, and perceived stress. Two separate exploratory factor analyses (EFA) were conducted, one for AT and one for PET. This was followed up with confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and SEM to examine relationships between emerging factors and stress and intentions. The factors generated for PET reflected ideas of autonomy, time conflict, and satisfaction, and for AT also included competence, effort, and job requirements. The resulting experiences of AT and PET appear to have different influences on stress and intentions, suggesting their distinction will be important in future work examining coach retention.