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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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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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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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Svenja A. Wolf, Mark A. Eys, Pamela Sadler and Jens Kleinert

Athletes’ precompetitive appraisal is important because it determines emotions, which may impact performance. When part of a team, athletes perform their appraisal within a social context, and in this study we examined whether perceived team cohesion, as a characteristic of this context, related to appraisal. We asked 386 male and female intercollegiate team-sport athletes to respond to measures of cohesion and precompetitive appraisal before an in-season game. For males and females, across all teams, (a) an appraisal of increased competition importance was predicted by perceptions of higher task cohesion (individual level), better previous team performance, and a weaker opponent (team level) and (b) an appraisal of more positive prospects for coping with competitive demands was predicted by higher individual attractions to the group (individual level). Consequently, athletes who perceive their team as more cohesive likely appraise the pending competition as a challenge, which would benefit both emotions and performance.