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Jenny McMahon and Kerry McGannon

This paper presents two meta-autoethnographies written by a former elite swimmer. In the first metaautoethnography, the swimmer revealed doubts in relation to details, emotions and inner-thoughts that she had included in her historical autoethnographic work. As a means of sorting and pondering these tensions and uncertainties, the swimmer explored cultural re-immersion as a possible additional element in the metaautoethnographic process. The second meta-autoethnography centers on the swimmer’s re-immersion into elite swimming culture. It was revealed how cultural re-immersion enabled the swimmer to better reflect on her historical autoethnographic work by providing a more conscientized, rational and reflexive voice. This research highlights how cultural re-immersion should be considered as an additional element in the metaautoethnographic process as it benefits both the author and also audience.

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Jessica M. Lutkenhouse

The present case study illustrates the treatment of a 19-year-old female lacrosse player, classified as experiencing Performance Dysfunction (Pdy) by the Multilevel Classification System for Sport Psychology (MCS-SP). The self-referred collegiate athlete was treated using the manualized Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment (MAC) protocol (Gardner & Moore, 2004a, 2007). The intervention consisted of eight individual sessions and several follow-up contacts via e-mail. The majority of the sessions addressed clinically related and sport-related concerns, including difficulties in emotion regulation and problematic interpersonal relationships. Based on self-report, coach report, and one outcome assessment measure, the psychological intervention resulted in enhanced overall behavioral functioning and enhanced athletic performance. This case study suggests that following careful case formulation based on appropriate assessment and interview data, the MAC intervention successfully targeted the clearly defined psychological processes underlying the athlete’s performance concerns and personal obstacles, thus resulting in enhanced well-being and athletic performance improvements.

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Simon J. Sebire, Martyn Standage, Fiona B. Gillison and Maarten Vansteenkiste

Goals are central to exercise motivation, although not all goals (e.g., health vs. appearance goals) are equally psychologically or behaviorally adaptive. Within goal content theory (Vansteenkiste, Niemiec, & Soenens, 2010), goals are adaptive to the extent to which they satisfy psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. However, little is known about what exercisers pursuing different goals are feeling, doing, thinking, and paying attention to that may help to explain the association between goal contents and need satisfaction. Using semistructured interviews and interpretative phenomenological analysis, we explored experiences of exercise among 11 adult exercisers who reported pursuing either predominantly intrinsic or extrinsic goals. Four themes emerged: (a) observation of others and resulting emotions, (b) goal expectations and time perspective, (c) markers of progress and (d) reactions to (lack of) goal achievement. Intrinsic and extrinsic goal pursuers reported divergent experiences within these four domains. The findings illuminate potential mechanisms by which different goals may influence psychological and behavioral outcomes in the exercise context.

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Edward McAuley and Terry E. Duncan

This investigation examined the roles of intuitive (subjective performance perceptions) and reflective (causal attributions) appraisals in the generation of affective reactions to gymnastic performance. Both intuitive and cognitive appraisal were significant predictors of general affect, whereas self-related affects were predominantly influenced by intuitive appraisal and other-related affect by causal dimensions. The stability dimension evidenced the strongest relationship with both general and other-related affective reactions. Commonality analyses determined both types of appraisal to account for up to 14.7% of the cojoint variance in emotional reactions, suggesting that intuitive appraisal may well be perceived as causal attributions under certain circumstances. The findings are discussed in terms of the conditions under which attributions augment the emotion process and the importance of assessing perceptions of performance.

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Deborah Butler

This paper contributes new theoretical and empirical knowledge to a relatively under researched area, that of the experience and management of emotions and mental health of sports workers. Set within the field of interspecies sports work this paper uses autophenomenography to demonstrate the application of phenomenology within sociology as both a methodological approach and a theoretical framework. It focuses on the personal and working life of a sports worker in horse racing who, through emotional trauma and mental ill health, loses her ‘feel for the game’ (Bourdieu, 1992), the unconscious bodily dispositions and automatic performance that form an integral part of sports work. It examines how practically embodied attitudes and dispositions can return through working with and exercising racehorses. Using the work of Merleau-Ponty my aim is to explore how human-nonhuman animal intercorporeality acts as a catalyst to regaining a ‘feel for the game.’

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Charles H. Hillman, Bruce N. Cuthbert, Margaret M. Bradley and Peter J. Lang

Psychophysiological responses of two rival sport fan groups were assessed within the context of Lang’s biphasic theory of emotion. Twenty-four participants, placed in two groups based on their identification with local sport teams, viewed 6 pictures from 6 categories: team-relevant pleasant sport, team-irrelevant sport, team-relevant unpleasant sport, erotica, household objects, and mutilation. Fans rated appetitive sport pictures higher in pleasure and arousal compared to aversive sport pictures. Physiological measures (startle probe-P3, the startle eye-blink reflex, slow cortical potentials to picture onset, and skin conductance) differentiated both appetitive and aversive team-relevant categories from team-irrelevant pictures, and increased orbicularis oculi EMG was found only for team-relevant appetitive pictures. These results suggest there are differences between rival sport fans in response to the same pictorial stimuli, and further suggest that fans provide an ideal population in which to measure motivation toward appetitive stimuli.

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Sarah Carson Sackett and Lori A. Gano-Overway

Sport has the potential to foster the development of life skills, such as initiative, teamwork, emotion regulation, and goal setting, that transcend the fields and courts on which youth participate (Danish, Forneris, Hodge, & Heke, 2004). However, it is often acknowledged that this growth does not occur on its own. One factor that plays a central role in shaping positive sport experiences is the coach (Hellison & Cutforth, 1997). The purpose of this paper is to review the current literature on coaching strategies considered best practices for life skills development as well as to provide illustrative examples of many of these practices garnered from a case study of a model coach and the strategies he used in his high school tennis program. The paper concludes with additional practical considerations and recommendations for practitioners, coach educators, and scholars who continue to add to the body of knowledge regarding a coach’s role in positive youth development.

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Laura Sanchez

This study uses qualitative interviews with 29 parents of horseback riding daughters aged 10–23 years old to explore parents’ perceptions of risk and their risk management strategies, as their daughters engage in horse sports and recreation. First, parents are keenly aware of risks in equestrian sports and liken them to risks from automobile accidents and other high-risk sports. Second, parents manage these risks by working diligently to enhance safety and manage their own emotions. Third, they willingly assume these risks as a part of their fundamental commitment to honor their daughters’ desires, natural skills, and dreams as equestrian athletes. I situate these findings within the theoretical literature on risky play within a cultural context of condemnation of parents’ permissiveness about risk-taking.

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Benjamin J. Levin and Jim Taylor

Surfers are a heterogeneous population with a common interest in riding waves. Surfers qualitatively describe the surfing sensation as a hybrid of meditative and athletic experience. Numerous empirical studies link both meditative experience and exercise with reduced incidence of depression and anxiety; this potentially suggests that surfers may endorse fewer symptoms of either disorder. One hundred surfers (N = 100) were administered the Beck Depression Inventory-II, the Beck Anxiety Inventory, the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations, and a demographics questionnaire. Results indicate that surfers reported significantly fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety, and employed emotion-based coping responses to stressful situations significantly less than the general populace. Surfers also employed avoidance-based coping strategies more frequently than the general populace. Future study should evaluate causal relationships between surfing and incidence of depression and anxiety.

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Jeremy Howell

As part of their “Revolution in Motion” advertising campaign in 1987, Nike introduced the controversial television commericial that featured, as a sound track, the 1968 Beatles song Revolution. Located within a contemporary framework of time and place, emotion and message, politics and consumption, and capitalism and pleasure, the commercial can be articulated to a critical debate that has increasingly come to determine our political and affective lives. This paper focuses on the nature of this debate as it has emerged over the last decade and addresses, among other things, the legacy of the 1960s, the rise of the fitness movement, the insertion of the Baby Boom generation into the marketplace, the definition of American quality of life, and the rise of the political New Right.