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Yuri Hanin and Pasi Syrjä

Individual patterns of positive–negative affect (PNA) were studied in 46 ice hockey players, ages 15–17 years. Recall idiographic scaling following the methodology of the individual zones of optimal functioning (IZOF) model was used to identify subjective emotional experiences related to each player’s successful and unsuccessful game performance. Individual zones for each emotion were then estimated using Borg’s Category Ratio (CR-10) scale. Different positive and negative emotions were functionally facilitating (20.5%), debilitating (25.3%), or both (54.2%). Significant differences were revealed only at intra- and interindividual but not at the group level. Optimal and nonoptimal zones for different emotions in different players were also individual. The data support and extend Hanin’s IZOF model to the content and intensity of PNA in ice hockey. Implications for the development of sports-specific scales, idiographic assessments, and application of the IZOF model in team sports are suggested.

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Montse C. Ruiz, Yuri Hanin and Claudio Robazza

In this investigation we describe an individualized approach in the assessment of athletes’ experiences associated with successful and poor performances. Two studies were conducted to develop a profiling procedure to assess eight modalities of performance-related states. In Study 1, six high-level athletes assessed their states before most successful and unsuccessful performances using a preliminary 71-item stimulus list developed by a panel of four emotion researchers. They also rated the intensity of their states on a modified Borg’s CR-10 scale. In Study 2, five top-level divers assessed their states before multiple dives (three successful and three unsuccessful) using a revised 74-item list. The perceived impact on performance was also examined using an open-ended question. Individual profiles reflected two typical curves discriminating successful and unsuccessful performances. High individual variability in item content and intensity was found. Athletes reported a wide range of interrelated experiences associated with their performances. Our findings support the practical utility of individualized profiling to assess athletes’ performance-related states.

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Akihito Kamata, Gershon Tenenbaum and Yuri L. Hanin

The Individual Zone of Optimal Functioning (IZOF) model postulates the functional relationship between emotions and optimal performance, and aims to predict the quality of upcoming performance with respect to the pre-performance emotional state of the performer. Several limitations associated with the traditional method of determining the IZOF are outlined and a new probabilistic approach is introduced instead. To reliably determine the boundaries of the IZOF and their associated probabilistic curve thresholds, performance outcomes that vary in quality, as well as the emotional intensity associated with them, are taken into account. Several probabilistic models of varying complexity are presented, along with hypothetical and real data to illustrate the concept. The traditional and the new methods are contrasted in one actual set and two hypothetical sets of data. In all cases the proposed probabilistic method was found to show greater sensitivity and to more accurately represent the data than the traditional method. The development of the method is a first stage toward developing models that take into account the interactive nature and multidimensionality of the emotional construct, as well as the fluctuations in emotional intensity and performance throughout the competition phases (i.e., momentum).

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Yuri L. Hanin and Natalia B. Stambulova

This study examined feeling states prior to, during, and after best ever and worst ever competition in 85 skilled Russian athletes using metaphor-generation method (Hanin, 2000). Six situations elicited 510 idiosyncratic and functionally meaningful metaphors (67% animate and 33% inanimate agents) and 922 interpretative descriptors. Metaphors and descriptors reflected high action readiness in best ever competition and low action readiness in worst ever competition. Athletes used different metaphors to describe their feelings prior to, during, and after performance. Accompanying idiosyncratic descriptors had multiple connotations with different components of psychobiosocial state. Aggregated content of descriptors had high scores on optimal and low scores on dysfunctional state characteristics in best ever competition but not in worst ever competition. Future research directions and practical implications are suggested.

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Gershon Tenenbaum, Michael Lloyd, Grace Pretty and Yuri L. Hanin

A study was carried out to examine the ability of equestrians to accurately report precompetition emotions and thoughts across varying time delays (3,7, and 14 days) after competition. Forty male and female dressage riders were randomly divided into two equal groups: participants who watched their videotaped precompetition routine before responding to the items, and participants who visualized the precompetition routine without any external aid. Each rider completed several questionnaires which measured emotions, items related to horses, and an open-ended question on thoughts and emotions at that moment. After a delay of 3,7, and 14 days, the riders were asked to respond to the same questions after imagining themselves preparing for the competition. Repeated-measures MANOVA indicate that though some decrease in emotional intensity was noted for some emotions in the retrospective report, the stability of reporting precompetition emotions was very high in all delay periods. The horse related items were reported particularly accurately. Watching the videotape did not improve the accuracy of the report. Content analysis, however, indicated that when measurement consisted of free report, many emotions and thoughts were added or omitted in the delayed modes. Ericsson and Simon’s (1980, 1984) verbal reports and protocol analysis conceptualization is used to elaborate upon these results.

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Yuri Hanin, Tapio Korjus, Petteri Jouste and Paul Baxter

Exploratory studies examine the effectiveness of old way/new way, an innovative meta-cognitive learning strategy initially developed in education settings, in the rapid and permanent correction of established technique difficulties experienced by two Olympic athletes in javelin and sprinting. Individualized interventions included video-assisted error analysis, step-wise enhancement of kinesthetic awareness, reactivation of the error memory, discrimination, and generalization of the correct movement pattern. Self-reports, coach’s ratings, and video recordings were used as measures of technique improvement. A single learning trial produced immediate and permanent technique improvement (80% or higher correct action) and full transfer of learning, without the need for the customary adaptation period. Findings are consistent with the performance enhancement effects of old way/new way demonstrated experimentally in nonsport settings.

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Deborah L. Feltz, Daniel R. Gould, Yuri Hanin, John Ragan, John Silva, Julie Simon and William F. Straub

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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