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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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Alan M. Klein

This study examines the social and cross-cultural aspects of masculinity through an ethnographic assessment of a Mexican League baseball team. The institution and meaning of “machismo” are examined along three indices of emotion: expression of vulnerability and hurt, reactions to children, and expression of physicality. The view widely held by North Americans that Latino and Latin American men are one-dimensional machos is critiqued. It is argued that, rather than comprising a single category, machismo exists along a continuum of masculinity from more to less macho. Cross-cultural comparisons of masculinity between Mexican and Anglo baseball players were also observed, with Mexican players shown as more capable of exhibiting “tender” emotions than their North American teammates. Finally, the study of emotions is shown to also have social consequences for nationalism.

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Denise M. Hill, Nic Matthews and Ruth Senior

This study used qualitative methods to explore the stressors, appraisal mechanism, emotional response, and effective/ineffective coping strategies experienced by elite rugby union referees during pressurized performances. Participants included seven male rugby union referees from the United Kingdom (Mage = 27.85, SD = 4.56) who had been officiating as full-time professionals for between 1 and 16 years (M = 4.85, SD = 5.42). Data revealed that the referees encountered a number of stressors, which were appraised initially as a ‘threat’, and elicited negatively-toned emotions. The referees were able to maintain performance standards under pressure by adopting proactive, problem- and emotion-focused coping strategies which managed effectively the stressors and their emotions. However, the use of avoidance-coping, reactive control, and informal impression management were perceived as ineffective coping strategies, and associated with poor performance and choking. Recommendations are offered to inform the psychological skills training of rugby union referees.

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Kathryn Longshore and Michael Sachs

Mindfulness-based research in sport has focused on athletes, while coaches remain unexplored. Research consistently shows that coaches experience high stress, which can lead to burnout, reduced performance, and emotional mismanagement. The present study developed and explored Mindfulness Training for Coaches (MTC), which is aimed at increasing mindfulness and emotional stability while reducing anxiety. Participants were 20 Division I coaches. The mixed-method design included trait and state measures of anxiety, mindfulness, and emotion, along with qualitative semistructured interviews. Trained coaches reported significantly less anxiety and greater emotional stability from pre- to posttraining. The state measures showed trained coaches were lower in anxiety and adverse emotions at each time point. Interviews showed six distinct positive impacts on coaches: anxiety and stress; emotions; mindfulness; coaching; athletes; and personal life. MTC is a promising intervention for coaches to reduce stress, improve well-being, and enhance coach-athlete interactions.

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R. Glenn Cummins and Collin K. Berke

Although a variety of tools are employed to package sport for at-home consumption, instant replay is among the most ubiquitous. Excitation transfer theory has been a useful lens for explaining how emotion compounds during sport consumption, but research has failed to explore how instant replay can serve to facilitate the transfer of arousal between sequential events in televised sport. This experiment invokes excitation transfer to examine how both the nature of content and instant replay can facilitate sustained arousal and enhanced evaluations of events in the context of college football. Results suggest the superiority of game content to facilitate excitation transfer, both in terms of objective measures of emotion and self-reported enjoyment. The production feature examined here, instant replay, yielded mixed results. Although it failed to consistently impact objective physiological measures of emotion, it did elicit enhanced enjoyment when the content being represented was intrinsically exciting.

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Matthew Barlow, Tim Woodman, Caradog Chapman, Matthew Milton, Daniel Stone, Tom Dodds and Ben Allen

People who have difficulty identifying and describing their emotions are more likely to seek out the experience of emotions in the high-risk domain. This is because the high-risk domain provides the experience of more easily identifiable emotions (e.g., fear). However, the continued search for intense emotion may lead such individuals to take further risks within this domain, which, in turn, would lead to a greater likelihood of experiencing accidents. Across three studies, we provide the first evidence in support of this view. In Study 1 (n = 762), alexithymia was associated with greater risk taking and a greater propensity to experience accidents and close calls. In Study 2 (n = 332) and Study 3 (n = 356), additional bootstrapped mediation models confirmed these relationships. The predictive role of alexithymia remained significant when controlling for sensation seeking (Study 1) and anhedonia (Study 2 and Study 3). We discuss the practical implications of the present model as they pertain to minimizing accidents and close calls in the high-risk domain.

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Symeon Vlachopoulos and Stuart J.H. Biddle

This study investigated likely determinants of achievement-related affect in physical education. In particular, interrelationships were examined between achievement goal orientations, success perceptions, personally controllable attributions, and achievement-related affect based on data collected from 1,070 British students aged 11-16 years. A positive association emerged between task orientation and success perception, but not between ego orientation and success perception. In addition, perceived success positively influenced personally controllable attributions and positive affect, but had no effect on negative emotion. Furthermore, personally controllable attributions augmented positive emotion and minimized negative affect. Perceived ability moderated the relation between ego orientation and personally controllable attributions. Hence, under the low perceived ability condition, ego orientation was associated with personally uncontrollable attributions, but the opposite was true for the high perceived ability group. An enhancement of both task orientation and perceived athletic competence is needed for adolescents to derive positive affective experiences from physical education.

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Eldon E. Snyder

Music is associated with many sport events, yet little research is available on music and sport. The present study considers several musical selections frequently associated with sport with a focus on the meaning these musical selections have to the listeners. Other studies of music and society indicate that music may provide a means of promoting a collective consciousness, social integration, and political ideology. The present study utilizes an auditory elicitation approach. That is, respondents wrote the subjective meanings they associated with the musical selections as they were being played. The selections elicited a variety of meanings and emotions from the respondents. The responses to the music are interpreted within the functionalist, critical, and sociology of emotions/nostalgia frameworks.

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Karin Moesch and Erwin Apitzsch

Psychological Momentum (PM) is commonly referred to in competitive sports, but still has to be considered elusive from a scientific perspective. This study explores coaches’ perception of triggers, strategies and characteristics of PM in female elite handball teams. Semi-structured interviews with nine coaches were evaluated using a qualitative content analysis. The results revealed that positive and negative PM were characterized by factors regarding behavior, cognition, confidence, emotions, and the team. Triggers for positive PM were categorized into confidence, players’ individual factors, team factors, and team-opponent-factors, whereas triggers for negative PM related to coach factors, confidence, external factors, players’ individual factors, and team factors. Moreover, strategies emerged that are considered beneficial for controlling PM. The results are discussed with emphasis on behavioral aspects, confidence, emotions, team factors, and application. Foundations based on this study and recent research lead to the assumption that PM is probably best portrayed in a circular approach.

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J. Robert Grove and N. Paul Heard

Sport performers (N = 213) completed either a questionnaire measure of dispositional optimism or a questionnaire measure of trait sport confidence and then provided information about how they cope with performance slumps. The use of task-focused, emotion-focused, and avoidance-oriented coping strategies was assessed with a slump-referenced version of the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS; Endler & Parker, 1990a). Results indicated that both personality measures were positively related to the use of problem-focused strategies and negatively related to the use of emotion-focused strategies. These findings are discussed in relation to previous research on confidence in sport and a model of sport-related coping proposed by Hardy, Jones, and Gould (1996). Practical implications for the effective management of performance slumps are also addressed.