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Lynne Evans, Leigh Jones and Richard Mullen

The purpose of the present study was to explore the use of imagery by an elite rugby union football player and to examine the effects of an imagery intervention in a practical performance environment. The study took place over a 14-week period of the competitive season. Data collection comprised semi-structured interviews, diaries, and the Sport Imagery Questionnaire. The findings suggested that the participant primarily used cognitive specific and cognitive general imagery. Post-intervention, the participant reported greater clarity; detail; control over his anxiety, activation, and motivation levels; an improvement in his ability to generate confidence in his playing ability prior to games; and more structure to his imagery use. The study highlighted the importance of individualizing imagery interventions to meet the specific needs of different athletes.

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Richard R Albrecht and Deborah L. Feltz

The Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS) was developed as an objective measure by which an individual's attentional predisposition could be identified and used to predict performance on a variety of tasks. The present study had three purposes: (a) to construct a baseball/softball batting (B-TAIS) version of each TAIS attentional subscale, (b) to compare TAIS and B-TAIS reliability, and (c) to compare TAIS and B-TAIS validity. Both instruments were administered to 29 intercollegiate baseball and softball players. The B-TAIS demonstrated slightly higher test-restest reliability on five of the six attentional subscales and was higher than the TAIS in internal consistency on all subscales. Batting performance was positively related to all B-TAIS subscales assessing effective attentional deployment and negatively related to all subscales assessing ineffective attention. Significant positive correlations also existed between B-TAIS ineffective subscale scores and competitive trait anxiety. However, these relationships were not found with the general TAIS.

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Deborah L. Feltz, Cathy D. Lirgg and Richard R. Albrecht

Eighteen elite young distance runners were followed over a 5-year period and examined on their perceptions of parental involvement, commitment, anxiety, and sources of worry as these variables pertained to their competitive running. Results showed that the runners received good parental support and possessed a relatively high level of commitment to running, but that both parental involvement and commitment declined over the 5 years. Fathers were seen as being more involved in their children’s running than mothers were. Also, females were somewhat more committed to running than males were. Males and females exhibited similar anxiety scores and these scores did not increase significantly over time. There was no evidence that these runners suffered excessive anxiety.

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Luke Sage and Maria Kavussanu

In this experiment we examined the effects of task and ego involvement on three measures of moral behavior—prosocial choice, observed prosocial behavior, and observed antisocial behavior—in a competitive setting. We also investigated sex differences in moral behavior. Male (n = 48) and female (n = 48) college students were randomly assigned to a task-involving, an ego-involving, or a control condition. Participants played two 10-min games of table soccer and completed measures of prosocial choice, goal involvement, goal orientation, and demographics. The two games were recorded, and frequencies of prosocial and antisocial behavior were coded. Players assigned to the task-involving condition were higher in prosocial choice than those in the ego-involving or control conditions. Individuals in the ego-involving condition displayed more antisocial behaviors than those in the task-involving or control conditions. Finally, females displayed more prosocial behaviors than males.

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Owen Thomas, Ian Maynard and Sheldon Hanton

Competitive anxiety and self-confidence were examined temporally in “facilitators,” “debilitators,” and “mixed interpreters” using the modified CSAI-2 (intensity, direction, frequency). MANOVA’s (group X time-to-competition) and follow-up tests revealed no significant interactions but revealed significant main effects for both factors. Facilitators displayed increased intensities of self-confidence, more positive interpretations of cognitive and somatic symptoms, increased frequency of self-confidence, and decreased frequency of cognitive symptoms than debilitators through performance preparation. Time-to-competition effects indicated intensities of cognitive and somatic responses increased, and self-confidence decreased near competition. Directional perceptions of cognitive and somatic responses became less positive, and the frequency of these symptoms increased toward the event. Findings have implications for intervention design and timing and emphasize the importance of viewing symptoms over temporal phases.

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Robert G. McCulloch, Donald A. Bailey, Robert L. Whalen, C. Stuart Houston, Robert A. Faulkner and Bruce R. Craven

This cross-sectional study compared differences in os calcis bone density and distal radius bone mineral content (BMC) among adolescent soccer players, competitive swimmers, and control subjects. Sixty-eight males and females (23 soccer players, 20 swimmers, 25 controls) ages 13 to 17 served as subjects. The results for os calcis trabecular density indicate a trend that may be of clinical significance and that may warrant further study. The swimmers had the lowest os calcis density in both sexes whereas the soccer players had the highest bone density at this weight-bearing site (F=2.54, p<.08). No differences with respect to distal radius BMC were observed among activity groups or between sexes.

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Dana K. Voelker and Justine J. Reel

In this study, the authors examined female competitive figure skaters’ experiences of weight pressure in sport. Perceptions of the ideal skating body; sources of weight pressure; ways that body image, weight-management behaviors, and athletic performance have been affected; and recommendations for improving body image were explored. Aligning with a social constructivist view (Creswell, 2014), data were analyzed using an inductive thematic approach (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Skaters described the ideal skating body in an inflexible fashion with little room for deviation and acceptance of body diversity. Skaters cited their first weightpressure experience between 7 and 14 years of age, which most notably involved coaches, parents, skating partners, and other aspects of the skating culture. These experiences were characterized as promoting body-image concerns, unhealthy weight-management strategies, and interference with the psychological aspects of on-ice performance. Results from this study demonstrate the need to construct and maintain body-positive skating environments.

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Roger Feltman and Andrew J. Elliot

Recent research has revealed that a person or team wearing red is more likely to win a physical contest than a person or team wearing another color. In the present research, we examined whether red influences perceptions of relative dominance and threat in an imagined same-sex competitive context, and did so attending to the distinction between wearing red oneself and viewing red on an opponent. Results revealed a bidirectional effect: wearing red enhanced perceptions of one’s relative dominance and threat, and viewing an opponent in red enhanced perceptions of the opponent’s relative dominance and threat. These effects were observed across sex, and participants seemed unaware of the influence of red on their responses. Our findings lead to practical suggestions regarding the use of colored attire in sport contexts, and add to an emerging, provocative literature indicating that red has a subtle but important influence on psychological functioning.

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Megan L. Babkes and Maureen R. Weiss

This study examined the relationship between children’s perceptions of parental influence and their psychosocial responses to competitive soccer participation. Female (n = 114) and male (n = 113) athletes completed self-reports of soccer competence, enjoyment, intrinsic motivation, and parents’ influence on their participation. Mothers (n = 160) and fathers (n = 123) reported their own attitudes and behaviors toward their child’s participation. Regression analyses revealed that mothers and fathers who were perceived as positive exercise role models, who had more positive beliefs about their child’s competency, and who gave more frequent positive contingent responses to performance successes were associated with athletes who had higher perceived competence, enjoyment, and intrinsic motivation. Children who also perceived their fathers as being more involved in their soccer participation and exerting lower amounts of pressure to perform had more positive psychosocial responses. However, a nonsignificant relationship was found for mother and father reported influence with children’s psychosocial responses.

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Daniel Gould, Suzanne Tuffey, Eileen Udry and James Loehr

This study reports results from the first phase of a large-scale research project designed to examine burnout in competitive junior tennis players. Thirty junior tennis burnout and 32 comparison players, identified by U.S. Tennis Association personnel, voluntarily completed a battery of psychological assessments. A series of discriminant function analyses and univariate t-tests revealed that burned out, as contrasted to comparison players, had significantly: (a) higher burnout scores; (b) less input into training; (c) were more likely to have played high school tennis; (d) more likely played up in age division; (e) practiced fewer days; (f) were lower in external motivation; (g) were higher in amotivation; (h) reported being more withdrawn; (i) differed on a variety of perfectionism subscales; (j) were less likely to use planning coping strategies; and (k) were lower on positive interpretation and growth coping. It was concluded that in addition to a variety of personal and situational predictors of burnout, perfectionism plays a particularly important role.