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John D. Perry and Jean M. Williams

The purpose of this study was to examine the intensity of competitive trait anxiety and self-confidence and interpret whether these symptoms facilitated or debilitated performance in three distinct skill-level groups in tennis for both males and females. Advanced (n = 50), intermediate (n = 96), and novice (n = 79) tennis players completed a modified Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2. The three groups did not differ for somatic anxiety intensity, but the novice group reported less cognitive anxiety intensity and the advanced group higher self-confidence levels. Only advanced players reported more facilitative interpretations versus the hypothesized progressive increase across skill level. Males and females did not differ on self-confidence and anxiety intensity, but males reported a more facilitative interpretation of anxiety. Analyses of subjects who reported debilitating effects for cognitive and somatic anxiety revealed higher intensities on both anxiety subscales and lower self-confidence levels. The discussion addresses implications for the practitioner.

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Martin Ramsi, Kathleen A. Swanik, Charles “Buz” Swanik, Steve Straub and Carl Mattacola

Context:

Changes in strength over the course of a swim season could predispose the shoulder to strength imbalances and lead to injury.

Objective:

To examine isometric shoulder internal- (IR) and external-rotator (ER) strength in high school swimmers over a 12-week competitive season.

Design:

Three 3 × 2 × 2 ANOVAs with repeated measures were used to determine significant main effects for IR, ER, and IR:ER strength ratio.

Participants:

27 (14 female, 13 male) high school varsity swimmers.

Main Outcome Measures:

IR and ER strength during preseason, midseason, and postseason.

Results:

Significant increases in IR strength in both groups were revealed for all test sessions. ER strength significantly improved in both males and females from preseason to midseason and from preseason to postseason. IR:ER ratio revealed a significant increase from preseason to postseason.

Conclusions:

Increases in IR strength without equal gains in ER strength were revealed and could contribute to future shoulder pathologies in competitive swimmers

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W. Kerry Mummery and Leonard M. Wankel

This study examined the ability of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to predict training adherence in a sample of adolescent competitive swimmers. Participants (N= 116, mean age = 14.8 years), who were drawn from 19 competitive swimming clubs from across Canada, completed measures relating to TPB before a major training cycle in their swim season. Results showed that training intention was significantly related to training behavior and that the direct measures of TPB (attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control) predicted a significant portion of the variance in the measure of training intention. Subsequently splitting the attitude measure into affective and instrumental components revealed that the instrumental portion of the attitudinal measure contributed significantly to predicting training intention, whereas the affective portion did not. These findings suggest that TPB offers insight into training behavior and that the two measures of evaluative attitude contribute differently to predicting training intention.

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Matthew A. Pain, Chris Harwood and Rich Anderson

This article describes an intervention on the precompetition routines of soccer players during a 19-week phase of a competitive season. Specifically, we worked with players to develop an enhanced understanding of the effectiveness of personalized preperformance music and imagery scripts in facilitating flow states and performance. Five male players (M age = 20.5; S.D = 1.6) participated in a single-subject multiple baseline across individuals design with multiple treatments and without reversal. Following a preintervention phase, participants undertook the intervention during their prematch warm-up. Flow and perceived performance were assessed immediately after each match. Results indicated that asynchronous music and MG-M imagery when combined had a facilitative effect on flow and perceived performance. Postexperimental player comments supported these findings and suggest that the intervention strategy has great potential for athletes during precompetition. Consultancy guidelines for the use of music and imagery within competitive soccer are presented in the discussion.

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Kristine L. Chambers and Joan N. Vickers

The effects of a coaching intervention involving Bandwidth Feedback and Questioning (BF-Q) on competitive swim times (cTIME), practice swim times (pTIME), and technique (TECH) were determined for competitive youth swimmers. The pre-post-transfer design spanned one short-course (25m) swim season. It was concluded that coaching in which feedback was delayed and replaced with questions directed to the athletes contributed to improved technique and subsequent faster race times. Compared to the Control group, the BF-Q group displayed greater gains in TECH during the intervention period and greater improvement in cTIME during the transfer period. Results are presented in a context of cognitive psychology, motor learning, and questioning. Applications to coaching practice and coach training are also discussed.

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Mark W. Bruner, Ian D. Boardley, Veronica Allan, Christopher Forrest, Zachary Root and Jean Côté

Social identity has been found to play a salient role in regulating teammate behavior among youth participating in a range of sports (Bruner, Boardley, & Côté, 2014). This study aimed to better understand social identity by examining how it may influence intrateam moral behavior specifically in competitive youth ice hockey. Thirty-six male and female competitive youth ice hockey players from nine teams participated in narrative interviews. Using a thematic narrative analysis, three distinct narratives were identified: (1) family-oriented team narrative, (2) performance-oriented team narrative, and (3) dominance-oriented team narrative. Within each of the narratives, a reciprocal relationship between social identity and intrateam moral behavior was reported such that young athletes’ social identities developed through team membership may influence and be influenced by their moral behavior toward teammates. Collectively, the results extend previous research by providing an in-depth qualitative understanding of social identity and intrateam moral behavior in youth sport.

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Edward McAuley and Diane Gill

Interest in the role of self-confidence in sport performance has been high in sport psychology research. A measure to assess general physical self-efficacy has recently been developed, but without application to competitive sport performance. The present study examined the role of general and task-specific self-efficacy in women's intercollegiate gymnastics. It also assessed the reliability and validity of the Physical Self-Efficacy Scale in a competitive sport setting. The Physical Self-Efficacy Scale was found to be a reliable and valid instrument for measuring an individual's general physical self-efficacy in sport. However, the task-specific measures of self-efficacy and the gymnast's prediction of how they would perform proved to be much more powerful variables for predicting actual gymnastic performance. The results are discussed in terms of the relationships between different types of self-efficacy and sport performance and the problems associated with self-efficacy measurement.

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Yves Chantal and Iouri Bernache-Assollant

The authors demonstrate in three experiments (N = 241) that yellow impacts on social perceptions when associated with competitive cycling. In Experiment 1, the image of a syringe evocated competitive cycling and doping more strongly when presented on yellow as compared with gray. In Experiment 2, a performance improvement scenario yielded more discredit of a depicted racer and higher suspicions of doping when ending on a yellow frame, as opposed to a gray one. In Experiment 3, the image of a racer wearing a yellow jersey (instead of a gray or a white one) yielded the lowest scores on measures of suitability as a role model and attractiveness of sport participation. Moreover, no significant differences emerged for gender, thereby suggesting equivalent effects for female and male participants. Finally, the authors discuss conceptual and practical implications as well as limitations before proposing a number of avenues for future research.

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Judy L. Van Raalte, Britten W. Brewer, Patricia M. Rivera and Albert J. Petitpas

In sport psychology, there is broad interest in cognitive factors that affect sport performance. The purpose of this research was to examine one such factor, self-talk, in competitive sport performance. Twenty-four junior tennis players were observed during tournament matches. Their observable self-talk, gestures, and match scores were recorded. Players also described their positive, negative, and other thoughts on a postmatch questionnaire. A descriptive analysis of the self-talk and gestures that occurred during competition was generated. It was found that negative self-talk was associated with losing and that players who reported believing in the utility of self-talk won more points than players who did not. These results suggest that self-talk influences competitive sport outcomes. The importance of "believing" in self-talk and the potential motivational and detrimental effects of negative self-talk on performance are discussed.

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Matthew C. Hoch, Lauren A. Welsch, Emily M. Hartley, Cameron J. Powden and Johanna M. Hoch

Context: The Y-Balance Test (YBT) is a dynamic balance assessment used as a preseason musculoskeletal screen to determine injury risk. While the YBT has demonstrated excellent test-retest reliability, it is unknown if YBT performance changes following participation in a competitive athletic season. Objective: Determine if a competitive athletic season affects YBT performance in field hockey players. Design: Pretest-posttest. Setting: Laboratory. Participants: 20 NCAA Division I women's field hockey players (age = 19.55 ± 1.30 y; height = 165.10 ± 5.277 cm; mass = 62.62 ± 4.64 kg) from a single team volunteered. Participants had to be free from injury throughout the entire study and participate in all athletic activities. Interventions: Participants completed data collection sessions prior to (preseason) and following the athletic season (postseason). Between data collections, participants competed in the fall competitive field hockey season, which was ~3 months in duration. During data collection, participants completed the YBT bilaterally. Main Outcome Measures: The independent variable was time (preseason, postseason) and the dependent variables were normalized reach distances (anterior, posteromedial, posterolateral, composite) and between-limb symmetry for each reach direction. Differences between preseason and postseason were examined using paired t tests (P ≤ .05) as well as Bland-Altman limits of agreement. Results: 4 players sustained a lower extremity injury during the season and were excluded from analysis. There were no significant differences between preseason and postseason reach distances for any reach directions on either limb (P ≥ .31) or in the between-limb symmetries (P ≥ .52). The limits of agreement analyses determined there was a low mean bias across measurements (≤1.67%); however, the 95% confidence intervals indicated there was high variability within the posterior reach directions over time (±4.75 to ± 14.83%). Conclusion: No changes in YBT performance were identified following a competitive field hockey season in Division I female athletes. However, the variability within the posterior reach directions over time may contribute to the limited use of these directions for injury risk stratification.