The pervasiveness of media coverage of sports teams with American Indian names and imagery has arguably supported stereotypical beliefs of those referenced. Past research investigating opinions on sports teams using American Indian themes has been inconsistent in findings and drawn criticism for lacking valid samples of Native Americans. Through a survey of National Congress of American Indians leaders (n = 208) and random U.S. adults (n = 484), results reveal that Native Americans are more offended by sports teams employing American Indian imagery, as well as more supportive of change, than is the general public. Investigation of how demographic characteristics influenced perceptions show that although age and education level have little influence, political party affiliation does correlate with opinions, with those voting Democrat viewing the teams with American Indian names, logos, and mascots as most offensive and in need of change.
Fraser Laveay, Coy Callison and Ann Rodriguez
To explore the effectiveness of psychological interventions for a sample of competitive athletes with long-term injuries.
Modified 2-group, pretreatment and posttreatment (repeated measure).
58 patients, 14 in the experimental group and 44 in the control group.
Three intervention strategies: stress management and cognitive control, goal-setting skills, and relaxation/guided imagery.
Main Outcome Measure:
Mood level was used as the outcome variable.
The experimental group had a higher overall mood level at the midpoint and end of rehabilitation and were also feeling more ready for competition than the control group was, both as rated by themselves and by the treating physiotherapist The only strategy to show statistical differences was relaxation/guided imagery.
The results of this study support the idea that a short-term intervention has the potential to elevate mood levels in competitive athletes with long-term injuries.
Pamela S. Highlen and Bonnie B. Bennett
Elite wrestlers (n = 39) and divers (n = 44), representing open- and closed-skill sports, respectively, completed a survey assessing psychological factors associated with training and competition. Of particular interest were factors distinguishing qualifiers from nonqualifiers within and between each sport type. Discriminant analyses and t-tests revealed that as expected self-confidence and concentration distinguished qualifiers from nonqualifiers in both sport groups. Also, as predicted, use of imagery differentiated only the qualifying from the nonqualifying divers. Self-talk items also distinguished the two diving groups on more items than they differentiated the wrestlers. However, when all elite divers were compared with their wrestling counterparts, no differences were found for the imagery scale and self-talk frequency, instruction, and praise items. Anticipatory anxiety patterns for divers and wrestlers were different, with successful divers and less successful wrestlers reporting higher precompetition levels of anxiety. During competition nonqualifiers across sport type reported higher anxiety. Implications for a sport-specific typology of psychological characteristics are discussed.
In the article by Matthew A. Pain, Chris Harwood, and Rich Anderson titled “Pre-Competition Imagery and Music: The Impact on Flow and Performance in Competitive Soccer” appearing in TSP 25(1) June 2011, the first line of the abstract should read “This article describes an intervention on the precompetition routines of soccer players during a 19-week phase of a competitive season.” We regret the error.
Psychological skills such as goal setting, imagery, relaxation and self-talk have been used in performance enhancement, emotional regulation, and increasing one’s confidence and/or motivation in sport. These skills can also be applied with athletes during recovery from injury in the rehabilitation setting or in preseason meetings for preventing injury. Research on psychological skill use with athletes has shown that such skills have helped reduce negative psychological outcomes, improve coping skills, and reduce reinjury anxiety (Evans & Hardy, 2002; Johnson, 2000; Mankad & Gordon, 2010). Although research has been limited in psychological skill implementation with injured athletes, these skills can be used when working with injured athletes or in the prevention of injury. Injured athletes may use psychological skills such as setting realistic goals in coming back from injury, imagery to facilitate rehabilitation, and relaxation techniques to deal with pain management. In prevention of injury, the focus is on factors that put an individual at-risk for injury. Thus, teaching strategies of goal setting, imagery, relaxation techniques, and attention/focus can be instrumental in preparing athletes for a healthy season.
Tracey Devonport, Andrew Lane and Christopher L. Fullerton
Evidence from sequential-task studies demonstrate that if the first task requires self-control, then performance on the second task is compromised (Hagger, Wood, Stiff, & Chatzisarantis, 2010). In a novel extension of previous sequential-task research, the first self-control task in the current study was a sport psychology intervention, paradoxically proposed to be associated with improved performance. Eighteen participants (9 males, 9 females; mean age = 21.6 years, SD = 1.6), none of whom had previously performed the experimental task or motor imagery, were randomly assigned to an imagery condition or a control condition. After the collection of pretest data, participants completed the same 5-week physical training program designed to enhance swimming tumble-turn performance. Results indicated that performance improved significantly among participants from both conditions with no significant intervention effect. Hence, in contrast to expected findings from application of the imagery literature, there was no additive effect after an intervention. We suggest practitioners should be cognisant of the potential effects of sequential tasks, and future research is needed to investigate this line of research.
Daniel Gould, Robert Weinberg and Allen Jackson
Two experiments were conducted to determine if different mental preparation strategies produced differential strength performance and whether arousal was the major mediating variable explicating this relationship. In the first experiment, 15 male and 15 female subjects performed under five different mental preparation conditions in a 2 × 5 (sex by mental preparation strategy) Latin square design. The mental preparation conditions included: attentional focus, imagery, preparatory arousal, a control-rest condition, and a counting backwards cognitive-distraction condition. Immediately after employing each technique, all subjects performed four trials on a leg-strength task, and measures of state anxiety and other cognitions were then obtained. The findings revealed that the preparatory arousal and imagery techniques produced the greatest change in performance, with preparatory arousal subjects also reporting the greatest changes in cognitive states. However, due to the possibility of range effects resulting from the within-subjects design used in Experiment I, a second between-subjects experiment was conducted. Thirty males and 30females performed in a 2 × 3 (sex by mental preparation) design using the preparatory arousal, imagery and control conditions of Experiment 1. Only the preparatory arousal condition was found to facilitate performance. However, no consistent changes in cognitive states were found between experiments, and these inconsistent findings were interpreted as being caused by methodological problems associated with self-report assessment of cognitive states.
Ellen J. Staurowsky
The purpose of this paper is to trace the tangled web of relationships between and among European-American notions of property, individual and group possessory rights, and the role societal institutions play in promoting the exploitation of American Indian culture and people through the misappropriation of “Indianness” by sport teams. The analysis progresses from a discussion about the racial “invisibilities” of “Indianness” and “Whiteness” that are infused in these images and ultimately how these images are expressions of a “possessive investment in Whiteness” to a discussion delineating the property dimensions of this imagery and concludes with an examination of the mechanisms in place that leach children to become misappropriators.
Stephanie J. Hanrahan
This paper presents general considerations for working with athletes with disabilities and the usefulness and possible modification of specific mental skills for those athletes. Common concerns for athletes with specific disabilities are discussed. Specific disabilities are considered under the headings of amputees, blind and visually impaired, cerebral palsy, deaf and hearing impaired, intellectual disabilities, and wheelchair. Arousal control, goal setting, attention/concentration, body awareness, imagery, self-confidence, and precompetition preparation are discussed in terms of disability-specific issues as well as suggestions for application.
Pamela S. Highlen and Bonnie B. Bennett
Elite wrestlers (N = 39) were given a standardized questionnaire during final competition for positions on three Canadian World Wrestling teams. The questionnaire specifically focused upon psychological factors affecting both their training and competition. For data analysis, questionnaire items were combined into 17 factors. Both t-tests and simple discriminant function analyses for qualifier/nonqualifier competitive status revealed that self-confidence was the most important factor distinguishing the two groups. For the discriminant function analysis, Imagery and Factors Affecting Performance were the only factors which did not contribute to group differences. Explanations and implications of these results for sport psychology are discussed.