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.
Denise M. Hill, Nic Matthews and Ruth Senior
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.
Fraser Carson and Remco C. J. Polman
The aim of this case study was to investigate the emotional factors and coping strategies used by a professional rugby union player during rehabilitation from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. A dominant (qualitative) - less dominant (quantitative) mixed methodological approach was established concurrent with the athlete’s rehabilitation. Twice monthly interviews and a self-report diary were completed throughout the rehabilitation process. Six questionnaires were used to assess specific aspects of injury rehabilitation identified from previous literature, including emotional response, coping, social support, and perceived autonomy. Content analysis of each phase of the rehabilitation process established 34 higher-order themes split into two general dimensions: Influential Emotions or Coping Strategies. Findings highlight the benefit of problem-focused coping to improve autonomy and confidence. A sequential movement through a series of emotions (shock, depression, relief, encouragement, and confidence building) was also identified.
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.
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.
Nick Galli, Justine J. Reel, Hester Henderson and Nicole Detling
The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to explore the body image of athletes with physical disabilities, and (b) to understand how sport influences body image among these athletes. We interviewed 20 male and female athletes (M age = 34.25, SD = 8.49) from a variety of sports regarding their body image and the role of sport in influencing body image. A thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) was used to generate six themes: (a) personal significance of injury and disability, (b) noncentrality of the body and disability, (c) positive influence of sport on body esteem, (d) social factors influencing body-related emotions and perceptions, (e) body critiques and preferences, and (f) positive thoughts and emotions about the body. Sport seemed to be an important vehicle for experiencing body-related pride, and athletes expressed an intimate connection with the body parts that enabled them to physically compete.
Lynda M. Mainwaring, Sean M. Bisschop, Robin E.A. Green, Mark Antoniazzi, Paul Comper, Vicki Kristman, Christine Provvidenza and Doug W. Richards
Despite suggestions that emotions influence recovery from injury, there is little research into the emotional sequelae of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), or “concussion,” in sport. This examination compares emotional functioning of college athletes with MTBI to that of uninjured teammates and undergraduates. A short version of the Profile of Mood States (POMS; Grove & Prapavessis, 1992) assessed baseline emotions in all groups, and serial emotional functioning in the MTBI and undergraduate groups. Whereas preinjury profiles were similar across groups, the MTBI group showed a significant postinjury spike in depression, confusion, and total mood disturbance that was not seen for the other groups. The elevated mood disturbances subsided within 3 weeks postinjury. Given that concussed athletes were highly motivated to return to play, these data could be used as a benchmark of normal emotional recovery from MTBI. Findings are discussed in relation to current literature on emotional reaction to injury and directions for future research.
Cathy van Ingen
The primary aim of this article is to begin to articulate the spatiality and sociality of emotion in an action research project called Shape Your Life, a project designed to teach recreational boxing to female and transgendered survivors of violence in Toronto. In particular, the article is a theoretical and empirical examination of anger, the dominant emotional response to injustice. A case is made for a spatially engaged approach to the study of anger as a politically meaningful response to violence and social injustice in the lives of survivors. Taking the anger of survivors of violence seriously provides a spotlight on the connection between the body, social space, and emotion. The article then draws from participants’ spatialities of anger to argue that anger has deep implications for people involved in unequal power relations and that anger can be used to impel change in the lives of survivors.
Iris Orbach, Robert Singer and Sarah Price
This study aimed to investigate the influence of an attribution training program for learners who attribute their sport performance to dysfunctional attributions. Participants were 35 college beginner tennis players who were oriented to attribute their performance in a tennis skill task to controllable, unstable factors; uncontrollable, stable factors; or no specific factors. Participants received fictitious failure feedback over 10 trial blocks administered during four sessions. Dependent variables included attributions, expectations, emotions, persistence, and performance. MANOVA analyses revealed that it is possible to modify attributions in regard to a tennis performance task. More importantly, the new attributions were consistent up to 3 weeks postintervention and were generalized to a different tennis task. In addition, participants who changed their attributions to more functional ones had higher expectations for future success and experienced positive emotions.
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.