Through narrative methodology this study explores the processes and consequences of identity development among young elite athletes, with particular reference to the influence of sport culture. We focus on life stories of two elite male athletes, recounting significant moments from their lives analyzed through the lens of narrative theory. Our findings offer insights into three strands of sport psychology literature. First, responding to calls for a cultural sport psychology, our study reveals how elite sport culture shapes psychological processes of identity development. Second, it shows how the origins of a potentially problematic athletic identity are seeded in early sport experiences, shedding light on how athletic identity is developed or resisted. Finally, it extends previous narrative research into the lives of female professional golfers, documenting how comparable processes unfold among male athletes in other sports, deepening understanding of how cultural narratives influence behavior and life choices.
David Carless and Kitrina Douglas
Mary B. Harris
In order to study weight concerns and eating disorders in women tennis players, 107 women tennis players and 26 women’s tennis coaches from colleges across the U.S. responded to questionnaires relating to weight concern, body image, and abnormal eating. When evaluating drawings of female figures, players and coaches both considered the ideal body shape to be smaller than the healthiest one. Most players had normal weight, eating habits, and self-esteem; however, they also exhibited noticeable concern about their weight and appearance. Coaches revealed only moderate knowledge of weight related issues, believed such knowledge to be important, recognized that most of their players were of normal weight, and revealed somewhat negative feelings about overweight people. Players and coaches shared a healthy attitude toward tennis. The results of this study do not imply that college women tennis players are at greater risk of eating disorders than other young women, nor that college coaches are encouraging abnormal eating behaviors.
William B. Anderson
The owners of professional basketball teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the American Basketball Association (ABA) wanted to merge the 2 leagues because a war between them over players had led to escalating salaries. The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) responded with a lawsuit to block the merger citing antitrust regulations. When the owners went to Congress to ask for a special antitrust exemption, they were denied. This case study discusses the impact of communication on legislative lobbying, specifically how the NBPA used direct and indirect lobbying techniques to block the first NBA–ABA merger attempt. This case study offers a means to understand how and why some entities succeed in their public debates, while others fail. For the scholar, this case study adds to the limited literature on legislative lobbying from a communication perspective. For the practitioner, this study provides some guidelines for the effective use of lobbying.
Martina Navarro, Nelson Miyamoto, John van der Kamp, Edgard Morya, Ronald Ranvaud and Geert J.P. Savelsbergh
We investigated the effects of high pressure on the point of no return or the minimum time required for a kicker to respond to the goalkeeper’s dive in a simulated penalty kick task. The goalkeeper moved to one side with different times available for the participants to direct the ball to the opposite side in low-pressure (acoustically isolated laboratory) and high-pressure situations (with a participative audience). One group of participants showed a significant lengthening of the point of no return under high pressure. With less time available, performance was at chance level. Unexpectedly, in a second group of participants, high pressure caused a qualitative change in which for short times available participants were inclined to aim in the direction of the goalkeeper’s move. The distinct effects of high pressure are discussed within attentional control theory to reflect a decreasing efficiency of the goal-driven attentional system, slowing down performance, and a decreasing effectiveness in inhibiting stimulus-driven behavior.
Donna J. Kuga
This study examined faculty perceptions of (a) the impact of intercollegiate athletics on institutional goals and educational experiences, (b) the role and influence of faculty regarding athletics, and (c) the factors influencing their willingness (or unwillingness) to participate in the governance of intercollegiate athletics. The study also investigated differences in faculty reactions among subgroups defined by gender, faculty status, and previous athletic participation. A sample of 240 faculty from a Big Ten Conference university responded to a mailed questionnaire. Factor analyses yielded 2 factors in impact of intercollegiate athletics, 2 factors in role and influence, 3 factors in reasons for faculty involvement, and 6 factors in reasons for lack of faculty involvement. MANOVA results indicated that those who had participated in athletics perceived greater Educational Contribution of athletics and less Value Conflicts between athletics and academics than those who had not participated in athletics.
Douglas Worthen and James K. Luiselli
Female high school athletes playing volleyball and soccer (N = 32) responded to a social validity questionnaire that inquired about their experiences with a sportfocused mindfulness training program. On average, the student-athletes rated most highly the effects of mindfulness training on emotional awareness and attention focusing, the contribution of mindfulness toward team play, the benefit of having coaches learn mindfulness skills, and the application of mindfulness to other sports. There were dissimilar ratings between the volleyball and soccer student-athletes concerning use of mindfulness when preparing for and during games. Most of the formal mindfulness practices taught during the training program were rated as being helpful to very helpful. We discuss factors influencing these findings and implications for mindfulness–sport performance research.
Margie A. Weaver and Packianathan Chelladurai
Associate/Assistant athletic administrators from Division I (139 males, 123 females) and Division III (130 males, 123 females) universities of the NCAA responded to a questionnaire consisting of (a) items eliciting background information, (b) perceived and preferred mentoring functions measured by the Mentor Role Instrument (Ragins & McFarlin, 1990), (c) perceived barriers to mentoring measured by Perceived Barriers Scale (Ragins & Cotton, 1991), and a scale of satisfaction developed for the study. Factor analysis yielded three facets of satisfaction: Work Group, Extrinsic Rewards, and Intrinsic Rewards. The results of MÁNOVA showed that an equal proportion of males and females had experienced mentoring relationships, and mentored individuals were more satisfied with work than their non-mentored counterparts. Respondents from Division I received significantly higher salaries, and they were more satisfied with their extrinsic rewards than the respondents from Division III. Finally, correlational analyses showed positive but weak relationships between mentoring functions and the satisfaction facets.
M. Kathleen Ryan, Jean M. Williams and Beverly Wimer
The present study examined the stability of athletes' legitimacy judgments and behavioral intentions over the course of a basketball season and the relationship between these factors to actual behavior. The 49 female basketball players responded to a questionnaire that was derived from Bredemeier's (1985) Continuum of Injurious Acts. The preseason legitimacy rating of aggressive actions made by first-year basketball players were significantly higher than those made by more experienced players, but by the end of the season the first-year participants' ratings had dropped to a level comparable to their more experienced teammates. Preseason legitimacy judgments were found to predict player aggression during the season. Interpretation of the findings and recommendations for future direction in this area are discussed.
Robert W. Christina, Jamie V. Barresi and Paul Shaffner
This study was undertaken to determine if response selection accuracy could be improved without sacrificing a football linebacker’s response selection speed by practicing his response selection skills in relation to various offensive plays that were seen via a videotape from a viewing angle similar to what he would see in a game. The task required the linebacker to respond to the cues of the tight end and backfield play by manipulating a joystick as accurately and quickly as possible. The data revealed that there was an improvement in response selection accuracy without sacrificing response selection speed. This finding was interpreted as evidence that training using a video-tape that displays a view of plays that is similar to what is seen in a game situation can be an effective method for improving the perceptual skills needed for response selection accuracy by a linebacker in a laboratory setting.
Sandra E. Short, Jared M. Bruggeman, Scott G. Engel, Tracy L. Marback, Lori J. Wang, Anders Willadsen and Martin W. Short
This experiment examined the interaction between two imagery functions (Cognitive Specific, CS; and Motivation - General Mastery, MG-M) and two imagery directions (facilitative, debilitative) on self-efficacy and performance in golf putting. Eighty-three participants were randomly assigned to one of 7 conditions: (a) CS + facilitative imagery, (b) CS + debilitative imagery, (c) MG-M + facilitative imagery, (d) MG-M + debilitative imagery, (e) CS imagery only, (f) MG-M imagery only, (g) no imagery (stretching) control group. A 3 (imagery direction) X 3 (imagery function) X 2 (gender) ANCOVA with pretest scores used as the covariate was used. Results showed a main effect for performance; means were higher for the facilitative group compared to the debilitative group. For self-efficacy, there was a significant imagery direction by imagery function by gender interaction. These findings suggest imagery direction and imagery function can affect self-efficacy and performance and that males and females respond differently to imagery interventions.