The broad purpose of this paper is to contextualize the meaning and evolution of competitive sport participation among the aged by describing the life story of a senior aged participant. We used narrative inquiry to examine the integration of sport into the life course and continuity theory to examine the evolution of his life story. Continuity theory proposes that individuals are predisposed to preserve and maintain longstanding patterns of thought and behavior throughout their adult development. Based on this theory, we suggest that continuity in successful competitive sport involvement for this participant may represent a primary adaptive strategy for coping with the aging process. Successful involvement in sport appeared to mediate past and continuing patterns of social relationships, the development of personal identity, and a general propensity for lifelong physical activity.
David J. Langley and Sharon M. Knight
Judy L. Van Raalte, Britten W. Brewer, Patricia M. Rivera and Albert J. Petitpas
In sport psychology, there is broad interest in cognitive factors that affect sport performance. The purpose of this research was to examine one such factor, self-talk, in competitive sport performance. Twenty-four junior tennis players were observed during tournament matches. Their observable self-talk, gestures, and match scores were recorded. Players also described their positive, negative, and other thoughts on a postmatch questionnaire. A descriptive analysis of the self-talk and gestures that occurred during competition was generated. It was found that negative self-talk was associated with losing and that players who reported believing in the utility of self-talk won more points than players who did not. These results suggest that self-talk influences competitive sport outcomes. The importance of "believing" in self-talk and the potential motivational and detrimental effects of negative self-talk on performance are discussed.
J. Robert Grove, David Lavallee, Sandy Gordon and John H. Harvey
In this paper, we examine the account-making model of Harvey, Weber, and Orbuch (1990) as a framework for understanding negative reactions to retirement from competitive sport. Theoretical aspects of the model are first summarized, and a case study is then presented to illustrate the central role of account-making in the adjustment process for an Olympic gold medallist. We conclude by suggesting ways that sport psychology consultants can facilitate account-making and thereby help athletes to cope with distressful reactions to retirement.
This paper examined athletics administrators' perceptions of the operative goals of interuniversity athletics in Nigeria. The study also analyzed the rankings of operative goals by subgroups based on age, educational qualification, competitive sport experience, and present job title. Data for the study were collected with the Scale of Athletic Priorities (Chelladurai, Inglis, & Danylchuk, 1984), which measures nine operative goals of interuniversity athletics. All groups were congruent in ranking prestige, public relations, athletes' personal growth, and entertainment as the four top objectives. These results were similar to those reported in the literature.
Elaine Mullan, John Albinson and David Markland
This study explored whether children differentiate between their physical capabilities at play activities, informal recreational activities, and formal competitive activities. Harter’s (11) six-item Athletic Competence subscale from the SelfPerception Profile for Children was administered to 578 children and adolescents (ages 7-15 years). The items were modified to refer to three different categories of physical activity instead of sport or outdoor games as used in the original subscale. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed that children differentiated between the three categories of physical activity, and that the competitive sport category was their area of lowest perceived competence. Males had higher levels of perceived competence than females in each category.
Terry Duncan and Edward McAuley
Bandura (1977) has proposed self-efficacy as a common cognitive mechanism accounting for the effects of various psychological processes on performance. Although recent studies have provided preliminary evidence for the relationship between self-efficacy and subsequent performance on competitive motor tasks, little has been done to examine the relationship between self-efficacy and the cognitive appraisal of competitive sport information. The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship exists between personal self-efficacy and the causal explanations given for performance in a competitive sport setting. Subjects were manipulated into high and low efficacy groups, engaged in a competitive motor task against an opponent, and then gave causal attributions for outcome. Multivariate analyses did not reveal any significant differences between high and low efficacy groups' causal explanations for outcome. However, winners made more stable and controllable attributions than did losers. The results are discussed in terms of the possible perception of lack of responsibility for outcomes that do not occur in natural environments, consequently eliminating the need for causal ascriptions.
Suzanne Laberge and Yvan Girardin
White and Curtis’ recent papers (Sociology of Sport Journal, 1990, 7, pp. 347-368; International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 1990, 25, pp. 125-141) claiming a difference between Canadian Anglophones and Francophones in achievement values are critiqued. Two particular concerns are at issue. The first bears on the relationship these authors make between competitive sport participation and competition/achievement values. On that score, attention is focused upon some epistemological and methodological inadequacies. It is further argued that a conservative ideological perspective is implied in the inferring of achievement values from competitive sport participation. The second point challenges the idealistic conception conveyed by the authors’ contention that “studies outside the domain of work, on people’s ‘voluntary’ orientations to leisure activities, may more clearly show language group differences in achievement values.” Instead, it is proposed that sport practices are determined by the given social structure in which social agents live and by its specific social history. It is contended that an hermeneutical approach would be a more adequate alternative to the cross-cultural study of values differences.
Joanne Hudson and Natalie C. Walker
Using a case study approach, this study examined reversals in metamotivational state during golf competition. Five male golfers competed in a round robin tournament. Following each match, golfers were individually interviewed using a modified Metamotivational State Coding Schedule (Potocky, Cook, & O’Connell, 1993). Content analysis techniques were used to identify metamotivational states, reversals in metamotivational state, and the factors affecting them. Individual differences in metamotivational state profiles were evident; for instance, the tournament winner demonstrated the most consistent profile across matches. Overall, however, players’ profiles demonstrated more similarities than differences. Most frequently cited metamotivational states were paratelic and telic conformity, and reversals were attributable to contingent event, satiation, and frustration factors. These results support reversal theory proposals (Smith & Apter, 1975) and its use as a framework for understanding psychological processes during competitive sport (Kerr, 1993).
Gregg M. Steinberg and Becky Glass
The Five-Step Strategy (FSS) consists of (a) readying oneself, (b) imaging the desired outcome, (c) focusing on the task at hand, (d) freeing the mind, and (e) evaluating the outcome afterward. This study examined its usefulness as an instructional aid for older adults. Because some (Molander & Backman, 1989) have found that older adults have more anxiety during competitive sport experiences, another purpose was to examine whether the FSS can reduce anxiety. One group used the FSS when learning a golf putt; a second learned the putt without using the FSS. Participants putted for three 1-hr sessions once a week. Performance and anxiety were assessed before the first and after the second and third sessions. Retention scores revealed that the FSS group learned the task better than the control group did, t(27) = 6.63, p < .001. These findings suggest that the FSS might help older adults learn motor skills.
Jessica Brooke Kirby and Mary Ann Kluge
Older adults are often viewed by society more for what they cannot do than for what they are capable of achieving. This intrinsic case study examined the formation of a women’s 65+ volleyball team at a university for the purpose of better understanding what it was like for older women to learn a new sport and what meaning participating in competitive sport had for those who had not previously been considered athletic. Qualitative methods explored each participant’s experiences through a focus group, individual interviews, observational notes, and written reflections. Resulting team member themes included going for the gusto, belonging to a team, and support from the university. This program is a potential model to engage nonathletic older adults in sport, while forging a new and positive aging framework for aging athletes.