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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.

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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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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.

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Edith Filaire, Patrick Treuvelot and Hechmi Toumi

This study explores the prevalence of disordered eating attitudes in a sample of male first-year university students engaged in a physical education program and examines the relationships between emotional intelligence, coping, and emotional eating in relation to disordered-eating (DE) attitudes. A total of 140 students completed the following questionnaires: the Eating Attitudes Test, the Bar-On Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire, the Coping Inventory Stress Scale, and the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire. The number of participants represented 80% of the male students registered in this discipline at the authors’ university. Twenty percent of students presented DE attitudes even though they were of normal weight. The Bar-On EQ-I results indicated that students with DE attitudes had lower levels of emotional intelligence (EI) scores than students without DE attitudes (control group). Moreover, they scored higher than the control group on coping styles such as avoidance-oriented coping, emotion-oriented coping, and emotional eating. The DE group presented a positive correlation between DE attitudes symptoms and both avoidance- and emotion-oriented coping but a negative correlation between DE attitudes and task-oriented coping. There was also a significant negative correlation between DE attitudes and EI score. Another result from this group indicated an association between EI score and emotional-eating score (p < .05, r = –.44) and also a positive correlation between emotion-oriented coping and emotional eating (p < .01, r = .47). The findings highlight future research potential on the role of emotions and EI in DE symptoms, which may be beneficial in the context of collaborative care management intervention.

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Lynda Mainwaring, Michael Hutchison, Paul Camper and Doug Richards

Depression, fatigue, irritability, confusion, and general mood disturbance are frequently reported after cerebral concussion in sport. Recent trends in research point to the importance of examining postconcussive emotional disturbances more thoroughly, empirically, and clinically. An overview of the complexity of human emotion and its study is provided herein, followed by a review of emotional correlates identified in the existing sparse literature. The significance and clinical implications of identifying emotional correlates of concussion in sport and athletics are discussed.

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Lee Nelson, Paul Potrac, David Gilbourne, Ashley Allanson, Laura Gale and Phil Marshall

This paper aimed to shed light on the emotional nature of practice in coaching. In particular, this article was designed to explore the relationship between emotion, cognition, and behavior in the coaching context, through a narrative exploration of Zach’s (a pseudonym) experiences as the head coach of a semiprofessional soccer team. Data for this study were collected through a series of in-depth semistructured interviews that were transcribed verbatim and subject to inductive analysis. Two embracing categories were identified in the interview data. The first demonstrated how Zach frequently concealed his true emotions and enacted others in an attempt to achieve his desired ends. The second highlighted how Zach’s past experiences as a player had influenced how he wished to portray himself to his squad, and, importantly, helped him to sympathize with the thoughts and feelings of his players. Here, Lazarus and Folkman’s (1986) cognitive appraisal theory, Denzin’s (1984) writings on understanding emotions, and Hochschild’s (1983) work on emotional labor were used to offer one suggested, but not conclusive, reading of the emotional aspects of Zach’s practice.

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Robert J. Vallerand

In line with various cognitive theories of emotion, Vallerand (1983, 1984) has proposed an intuitive-reflective appraisal model for self-related affects in achievement situations. A fundamental postulate of the model states that it is the cognitive evaluation of events and not events per se that produces emotions. Such cognitive evaluation can be seen as intuitive (almost automatic) and reflective (deliberate) in nature. Whereas the intuitive appraisal is akin to one's almost automatic subjective assessment of performance, the reflective appraisal is hypothesized to include several forms: (a) intellectualization, (b) comparison (self, outcome, and social) processes, (c) mastery-related cognitions, (d) information processing functions, and (e) causal attributions. Two studies tested some of the model's postulates in field (Study 1) and laboratory (Study 2) settings. Results showed support for some of the model's postulates in that both the intuitive and reflective attributional appraisals were found to have important effects on self- and general-type affects. In addition, perceptions of success/failure (the intuitive appraisal of performance) had more potent effects on affects than did objective success/failure. On the other hand, the intellectualization reflective appraisal (task importance) did not have appreciable effects on affects. Results are discussed in light of the intuitive-reflective appraisal model, and implications for future studies on emotion in sport are underscored.

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Xin Zhong, Shuhua Zhou and Guosong Shao

This article moves away from content-oriented studies on Olympics coverage by focusing on the producers of Olympic images. The study first explicates the concept of professionalism and the objectives of Olympics coverage. A survey questionnaire was designed accordingly to measure a sample of the Chinese professionals who were part of the production team of the international TV signal for the Beijing Olympics. Results indicated that the production professionals were well prepared and were in line with Olympic ideals. Less clear-cut were the concepts of motion and emotion in Olympic coverage. Implications are discussed.

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Katherine A. Tamminen and Peter R.E. Crocker

This paper is a critical commentary on the article “Adaptation Processes Affecting Performance in Elite Sport” (Schinke, Battochio, Lidor, Tenenbaum, Dube, & Lane, 2012). We review relevant literature and highlight theoretical and conceptual concerns regarding Schinke et al.’s model, particularly regarding their characterization of adaptation as a process versus an outcome, and the role of appraisals, emotions, emotional regulation, coping, and Fiske’s (2004) core motives within their model of adaptation. Adaptation or adjustment among elite athletes is a valuable area of research in sport psychology; however, Schinke et al.’s model oversimplifies the adaptation process and has limited utility among sport psychology researchers and practitioners.

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Bonita C. Long and Colleen J. Haney

The present study describes the results of a 14-month follow-up evaluation of 39 stressed working women randomly assigned to aerobic exercise (i.e., jogging) or progressive relaxation interventions. At this follow-up, both intervention groups reported significantly less anxiety and greater self-efficacy. In addition, subjects tended to increase their use of problem-focused coping as compared to emotion-focused coping, and 64% of them were still regularly using some structured form of relaxation or exercise. The proportion of subjects reaching clinically significant improvements was 24% at the end of treatment and 36% at the 14-month follow-up.