Throughout their careers, athletes may encounter various changes that interfere with their existing “athletic status quo.” During these transitional periods, change can occur in diverse levels of the athletic experience. In this paper we introduce a “scheme of change for sport psychology practice” (SCSPP) to describe typical characteristics of athletes’ change-events and processes. The SCSPP focuses on: (a) the stages that unfold as athletes encounter and address changes in their careers, and (b) the psychological-therapeutic process that might facilitate an effective personal change. The process of change is evaluated in terms of its meaning and significance for athletes, the associated decisions athletes make, and fluctuations in cognition and affect. In addition, we describe a therapeutic framework that includes a number of processes of change as interventions, which may facilitate consultants’ attempts to guide athletes who experience change-events, and factors that moderate these attempts. Avenues for research and practical implications are also provided.
Roy David Samuel and Gershon Tenenbaum
Kristoffer Henriksen, Natalia Stambulova and Kirsten Kaya Roessler
The holistic ecological approach to talent development in sport highlights the central role of the overall environment as it affects a prospective elite athlete. This paper examines a flat-water kayak environment in Norway with a history of successfully producing top-level senior athletes from among its juniors. Principal methods of data collection include interviews, participant observations of daily life in the environment and analysis of documents. The environment was centered around the relationship between prospects and a community of elite athletes, officially organized as a school team but helping the athletes to focus on their sport goals, teaching the athletes to be autonomous and responsible for their own training, and perceived as very integrated due to a strong and cohesive organizational culture. We argue that the holistic ecological approach opens new venues in talent development research and holds the potential to change how sport psychology practitioners work with prospective elite athletes.
Deborah L. Feltz, Teri J. Hepler, Nathan Roman and Craig Paiement
The Coaching Efficacy Scale (CES) measures beliefs coaches have to affect the learning and performance of their athletes. While previous research has provided support for the model of coaching efficacy and the CES as an adequate measure of the construct, these studies have used paid high-school and college coaches. It is possible that the factor structure of the CES may not replicate for volunteer youth sport coaches. The purpose of this study was to explore coaching efficacy sources used by volunteer youth sport coaches. In addition, the validity of the CES was examined, using a 5-point condensed rating scale, among volunteer youth sport coaches before exploring the sources. The study involved 492 volunteer youth sport coaches from various team sports. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the CES had an acceptable fit to the data. The sources of coaching efficacy were examined via multivariate multiple regression and canonical correlation. Results indicated that more confident coaches had more extensive playing and coaching backgrounds, felt their players improved more throughout the season, and perceived more support than did less confident coaches, particularly in regard to technique and game strategy efficacy.
William F. Straub
This study was designed to (a) determine whether three frequently used mental skills training programs enhance dart throwing performance beyond that obtained by physical practice and a no-practice control, (b) compare the relative effectiveness of the three methods of mental training programs, and (c) determine if these programs differentially affect subjects who were initially of high or low skill. The subjects (N=75) were college-age men and women who were matched between conditions on ability level. In addition to the three MT groups, there was one physical practice (PP) and one control group (C). The three methods of MT included Bennett and Pravitz’ (1982, 1987), Gauron’s (1984), and Unestahl’s (1983b) packaged programs. Significant group differences were found in posttest dart throwing performance; in particular, subjects receiving the Bennett and Pravitz and Unestahl MT differed from the control group. It was concluded that Bennett and Pravitz and Unestahl packaged programs were effective since they significantly differed from the control and equaled the performance of the PP group, despite receiving substantially less physical practice.
Nico W. VanYperen
This study aimed to predict stay/leave behavior among volleyball referees. The predictor variables reflect commitment aspects from the literature: attraction, perceived lack of alternatives, personal investments, and feelings of obligation to remain. Intent to quit was assumed to mediate the link between these predictor variables and actual turnover. Participants were 420 volunteer volleyball referees officiating at the international, national, or local level. Predictor variables explained 50% of variance of intent to quit, which was the only significant predictor of actual turnover several months later. The percentage of correctly classified subjects was 86.2%. Intent to quit mediated the link between enjoyment and involvement alternatives and stay/leave behavior. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that intent to quit is conceptually and empirically separable from the predictor variables, albiet that strong overlap was observed between enjoyment and involvement alternatives. It is concluded that the most promising way to reduce actual turnover among volleyball referees is to enhance positive affective responses to officiating, particularly by ensuring procedural fairness in the promotion system and paying more attention to referee training and supervision.
Daniel Gould, Diane Guinan, Christy Greenleaf, Russ Medbery and Kirsten Peterson
This study was designed to examine if mental skills and strategies such as high confidence, commitment, and the use of cooperative routines, as well as previously unexamined physical, social, and environmental factors affect Olympic performance. Athletes and coaches from 8 Atlanta US Olympic teams were interviewed. Four teams met/exceeded performance expectations and 4 teams failed to perform up to performance predictions. Focus group interviews were conducted with 2 to 4 athletes from each team. Individual interviews were conducted with 1 or 2 coaches from each team. Each interview was recorded, transcribed, and analyzed by three trained investigators using hierarchical content analyses. Differences existed between teams that met/exceeded performance expectations and teams that failed. Teams that met/exceeded expectations participated in resident training programs, experienced crowd and family or friend support, utilized mental preparation, and were highly focused and committed. Teams that failed to meet expectations experienced planning and team cohesion problems, lacked experience, faced travel problems, experienced coaching problems, and encountered problems related to focus and commitment. Results indicated that achievement of peak performance at the Olympic Games is a complex and delicate process influenced by a variety of psychological, physical, social, and organizational factors.
Howard K. Hall and Alistair W. Kerr
The present investigation tested the conceptual links between goal orientations and achievement anxiety which have been suggested by Roberts (1986) and Dweck and Leggett (1988). One hundred and eleven junior fencers between the ages of 10 and 18 completed a series of questionnaires measuring achievement goals (TEOSQ), perceived ability and multidimensional state anxiety (CSAI-2) on four occasions prior to a regional fencing tournament. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that perceived ability was a consistent predictor of all three dimensions of the CSAI-2 at each different time period. In addition, an ego orientation was found to contribute significantly to the prediction of cognitive anxiety on two occasions prior to competition. When goals assessed immediately before performing were entered as predictors of CSAI-2 dimensions, a task orientation was found to contribute to the prediction of both somatic anxiety and confidence. The findings also suggest that an awareness of an athlete’s achievement goals and perceived ability will allow coaches a more parsimonious understanding of the motivational antecedents of precompetitive anxiety than previous approaches which have considered other motivational constructs to be crucial antecedents of precompetitive affect (e.g., Swain & Jones, 1992).
Itay Basevitch, Brooke Thompson, Robyn Braun, Selen Razon, Guler Arsal, Umit Tokac, Edson Medeiros Filho, Tonya Nascimento and Gershon Tenenbaum
The aim of the current study was to test the effectiveness of pleasant odors on perception of exertion and attention allocation. A secondary purpose was to employ a placebo-control design and measure perceived smell intensity during task performance; methods that have been overlooked in previous olfaction studies in the sport and exercise domain. Seventy-six college students (35 females, 41 males) were recruited to perform a handgrip task. They were randomly assigned to one of 4 groups: control, placebo, lavender odor, and peppermint odor. Adhesive strips were placed under the noses of those in the latter three groups. The placebo group had a strip with no odor. The lavender and peppermint odor groups had a drop of concentration on the strip. After establishing a maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) level, participants performed at 30% of their MVC level for as long as they could tolerate, during which they provided ratings of perceived exertion (or effort; RPE), attention, and smell intensity at 30s intervals, and affect every 60s. MANOVA procedures failed to reveal significant differences among the treatment and nontreatment groups on rate of perceived exertion, attention allocation, and total time duration on the task. However, statistical differences were found between both odor groups and the placebo group on perceived attention diversion. The lavender group reported that the odor diverted attention to a higher degree than both the peppermint and placebo groups. Although nonsignificant, findings revealed a trend suggesting that odors may have an effect on cognitive processes, and on performance. There is a need for additional research to better capture these effects. Directions for further research, with an emphasis on methodological issues are outlined.
Christoph Szedlak, Matthew Smith, Melissa Day and Bettina Callary
bodily responses to exercise ( Greer, White, Arguello, & Haymes, 2011 ). As a result of this focus on physical elements of performance, the coaching process in S&C has been characterized by a transactional or instructional coaching style, with coaches principally implementing corrective actions to affect
Daya Alexander Grant
, specifically mindful awareness and mindful acceptance, affects attention regulation and emotion regulation, which may be precursors to flow state and peak performance. This model can spark research studies, which are necessary as we move forward. It is my recommendation that readers have a solid grasp of the