This study evaluated patterns of coping, relationships between coping and negative and positive affect, and gender differences in coping and affect in competitive athletes. A sample of 235 female and male athletes reported recent stressful performance situations and indicated appraisals related to performance goals, coping, and affective responses. Lack of goal attainment (goal incongruence) was used as a measure of stress. Group means for coping indicated that athletes primarily used strategies such as increasing effort, planning, suppressing competing activities, active coping, and self-blame. Females used higher levels of seeking social support for emotional reasons and increasing effort to manage goal frustration. Males experienced higher levels of positive affect. For positive affect, regression analysis found a significant five-variable solution (R 2 = .31). For negative affect, there was also a significant five-variable solution (R 2 = .38). The gender differences were not congruent with views that males would use higher levels of problem-focused coping.
Peter R.E. Crocker and Thomas R. Graham
Bruce D. Hale and Adam Whitehouse
This study attempted to manipulate an athlete’s facilitative or debilitative appraisal (direction; Jones, 1995) of competitive anxiety through imagery-based interventions in order to study the effects on subsequent anxiety intensity (heart rate and CSAI-2) and direction (CSAI-2D; Jones & Swain, 1992). In a within-subjects’ design, 24 experienced soccer players were relaxed via progressive relaxation audiotape and then randomly underwent an imagery-based video- and audiotaped manipulation of their appraisal of taking a hypothetical gamewinning penalty kick under either a “pressure” or “challenge” appraisal emphasis. There was no significant effect for heart rate. A repeated measures MANOVA for CSAI-2 and CSAI-2D scores revealed that for both intensity and direction scores the challenge condition produced less cognitive anxiety, less somatic anxiety, and more self-confidence (all p < .001) than the pressure situation. This finding suggests that a challenge appraisal manipulation taught by applied sport psychologists might benefit athletes’ performance.
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.
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.
Longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample of 10th graders (National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 First Follow-Up) were used to assess the net effect of athletic participation on student outcomes after controlling for student background and 8th-grade measures of the dependent variables. The analyses show positive effects of sport participation on grades, self-concept, locus of control, and educational aspirations, and a negative effect on discipline problems. Analysis also shows that athletic participation is unequally distributed across gender and socioeconomic groups: Males, students from higher socioeconomic levels, students attending private and smaller schools, and those with previous experience in school and private sport teams are more engaged in high school competitive sport.
Magnus Carlsson, Tomas Carlsson, Daniel Hammarström, Christer Malm and Michail Tonkonogi
This study investigated whether there is a correlation between time-trial performance and competitive performance capacity of male and female junior cross-country skiers and sought to explain sex-specific competitive performance capacity through multiple-regression modeling.
The International Ski Federation’s (FIS) junior ranking points for distance (FISdist) and sprint (FISsprint) competitions were used as performance parameters. A total of 38 elite junior (age 18.5 ± 1.0 y) cross-country skiers (24 men and 14 women) completed 3 time-trial tests: a 3-km level-running time trial (TTRun), a 2-km moderate uphill (1.2° slope) roller-skiing time trial using the double-poling technique (TTDP), and a 2-km uphill (2.8° slope) roller-skiing time trial using the diagonal-stride technique (TTDiag). The correlations were investigated using Pearson correlation analysis, and regression models were created using multiple-linear-regression analysis.
For men, FISsprint and FISdist were correlated with the times for TTRun, TTDP, and TTDiag (all P < .001). For women, FISsprint was correlated with the times for TTRun (P < .05), TTDP (P < .01), and TTDiag (P < .01), whereas FISdist was correlated only with the times for TTDP (P < .01) and TTDiag (P < .05). The models developed for FISdist and FISsprint explained 73.9–82.3% of the variance in the performance capacity of male junior cross-country skiers. No statistically valid regression model was found for the women.
Running and roller-skiing time trials are useful tests for accurately predicting the performance capacity of junior cross-country skiers.
Stephen J. Thomas, Kathleen A. Swanik, Charles “Buz” Swanik, Kellie C. Huxel and John D. Kelly IV
Pathologies such as anterior instability and impingement are common in baseball and have been linked to decreases in internal rotation (IR) and concurrent increases in external rotation (ER). In addition, alterations to scapular position have been identified in this population, but the chronology of these adaptations is uncertain.
To determine whether there is a change in range of motion and scapular position after a single baseball season.
19 high school baseball players (age 16.6 ± 0.8 y, mass 78.6 ± 12.0 kg, height 180.3 ± 6.2 cm).
Subjects were measured for all dependent variables at preseason and postseason.
Main Outcome Measures:
Participants were measured for glenohumeral (GH) IR and ER with the scapula stabilized. Total GH range of motion was calculated as the sum of IR and ER. Scapular upward rotation was measured at 0°, 60°, 90°, and 120° of GH abduction in the scapular plane, and scapular protraction, at 0°, hands on hips, and 90° of GH abduction.
Overall, the dominant arm had significantly less GH IR (11.4°, P = .005) and significantly more ER (4.7°, P = .001) than the nondominant arm. Total motion in the dominant arm was significantly less than in the nondominant arm (6.7°, P = .001). Scapular upward rotation in the dominant arm significantly increased at 0° (2.4°, P = .002) and significantly decreased at 90° (3.2°, P = .001) and 120° (3.2°, P < .001) of abduction from preseason to postseason. Scapular protraction in the nondominant arm significantly decreased at 45° (0.32 cm, P = .017) and 90° (0.33 cm, P = .006) from preseason to postseason.
These data suggest that scapular adaptations may be acquired over a relatively short period (12 wk) in a competitive baseball season. Competitive high school baseball players also presented with significant GH motion differences between their dominant and nondominant arms. Total motion was also significantly less in the dominant arm than in the nondominant arm.
Carl D. Paton
Aerobic economy is an important factor that affects the performance of competitive cyclists. It has been suggested that placing the foot more anteriorly on the bicycle pedals may improve economy over the traditional foot position by improving pedaling efficiency. The current study examines the effects of changing the anterior-posterior pedal foot position on the physiology and performance of well-trained cyclists.
In a crossover study, 10 competitive cyclists completed two maximal incremental and two submaximal tests in either their preferred (control) or a forward (arch) foot position. Maximum oxygen consumption and peak power output were determined from the incremental tests for both foot positions. On two further occasions, cyclists also completed a two-part 60-min submaximal test that required them to maintain a constant power output (equivalent to 60% of their incremental peak power) for 30 min, during which respiratory and blood lactate samples were taken at predetermined intervals. Thereafter, subjects completed a 30-min self-paced maximal effort time trial.
Relative to the control, the mean changes (±90% confidence limits) in the arch condition were as follows: maximum oxygen consumption, -0.5% (±2.0%); incremental peak power output, -0.8% (±1.3%); steady-state oxygen consumption at 60%, -2.4% (±1.1%); steady-state heart rate 60%, 0.4% (±1.7%); lactate concentration 60%, 8.7% (±14.4%); and mean time trial power, -1.5% (±2.9%).
We conclude that there was no substantial physiological or performance advantage in this group using an arch-cleat shoe position in comparison with a cyclist’s normal preferred condition.
Thomas J. Martinek and William B. Karper
The purpose of this study was to describe the operation of teacher expectancy effects within two instructional climates of elementary physical education classes. Specifically, high and low expectancy groups were compared during noncompetitive and competitive instruction in terms of teacher-student interaction and perceived expression of effort. Four alternating experimental phases of instruction were employed. Analysis of the interaction data revealed that low expectancy students received significantly more praise and encouragement during the first (noncompetitive) phase and the fourth (competitive) phase than did high expectancy students. They also received significantly more empathy from their teachers during both competitive phases of instruction. High expectancy students were perceived to exhibit significantly more effort than low expectancy students during all four phases.
Herbert W. Marsh and Naida D. Peart
The purpose of the present investigation was to examine the differential effects of a competitive and a cooperative fitness program for high school girls on physical fitness and on multidimensional self-concepts. Consistent with the content specificity of self-concept, physical fitness was significantly correlated with self-concept of physical ability (r=.45) but not with any of the other 10 self-concept scales (all r<.ll). Both the competitive and cooperative programs significantly enhanced physical fitness compared to a randomly assigned control group; but the cooperative program also enhanced physical ability self-concept and, to a lesser extent, physical appearance self-concept whereas the competitive program lowered them. The intervention had no significant effects on the other self-concept scales. The results of the study demonstrate the benefits of cooperatively oriented physical fitness programs for girls and the content specificity of multiple dimensions of self-concept.