, students now aggressively seek out research opportunities. Many students believe that research experiences are a feasible way to enhance their applications to health-related graduate and professional schools. Fortunately, the department is widely regarded as a leader in research examining the relationship
James A. Carson, John K. Petrella, Vanessa Yingling, Mallory R. Marshall, Jenny O and Jennifer J. Sherwood
Eric G. Donahue, Paule Miquelon, Pierre Valois, Claude Goulet, André Buist and Robert J. Vallerand
Very little research has been done so far on the psychological determinants of performance-enhancing substance use in sports. The purpose of this study was to propose and test a motivational model of performance-enhancing substance use with elite athletes (N = 1,201). The model posits that intrinsic and extrinsic motivation toward sport predict, respectively, positive and negative sportspersonship orientations, which in turn negatively predict the use of performance-enhancing substances. Participants completed a questionnaire assessing intrinsic and extrinsic motivation toward sport, sportspersonship orientations, and performance-enhancing substance use in the last 12 months. Findings supported the motivational model. The present findings support the role of intrinsic motivation and sportspersonship orientations in preventing athletes from engaging in unethical behavior such as the use of performance-enhancing substances. Future research should seek to replicate this model with professional and Olympic athletes.
Larry L. Fahlberg and Lauri A. Fahlberg
Health enhancement has been associated with the development of empowerment and self-responsibility among program participants. However, if not well planned and implemented, health promotion programs may be at odds with the development of these philosophical objectives. In fact there has been a recognition that traditional treatment approaches may be ineffective for enhancing health. This inadequacy currently seems apparent in the exercise and/or fitness component of programs. Lack of emphasis on enhancement processes may be exemplified by symptoms such as program dependency among participants. Therefore, if empowerment and self-responsibility are philosophical objectives of a program, methods must be congruent with this philosophy.
Andrew T. Wolanin and Lori A. Schwanhausser
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the impact of subclinical psychological difficulties, as assessed by the Multilevel Classification System for Sport Psychology (MCS-SP; Gardner & Moore, 2004b, 2006), on the efficacy of the Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment (MAC; Gardner & Moore, 2004a, 2007) performance enhancement intervention. Thirteen collegiate field hockey and volleyball athletes participated in a 7-week MAC protocol, and their results were compared to those of a control group of 7 same-sport athletes. Nonparametric analysis of the data offers additional support for MAC as a strategy for enhancing the athletic performance of collegiate athletes and suggests the importance of the accurate assessment of subclinical psychological difficulties to ensure the successful application of sport psychology interventions. In essence, these results suggest that the presence or absence of subclinical psychological difficulties may serve as a moderating factor in performance enhancement efforts.
Curt L. Lox, Edward MeAuley and R. Shawn Tucker
The purpose of the present study was to examine the role of regular exercise participation as an intervention for enhancing subjective well-being in an HIV-1 population. Specifically, this study investigated the effects of a 12-week exercise intervention on physical self-efficacy, positive and negative mood, and life satisfaction. Participants (N = 33) were randomly assigned to either an aerobic exercise training group (n = 11), a resistance weight-training group (n = 12), or a stretching/flexibility control group ( n = 10). Results indicated that both aerobic and weight-training exercise interventions enhanced physical self-efficacy, positive and negative mood, and satisfaction with life. Conversely, control participants experienced declines in each of these variables. Taken together, the findings seem to suggest that exercise may be one therapeutic modality capable of enhancing components of subjective well-being and should be considered a complimentary therapy for treating the psychological and emotional manifestations associated with a positive HIV-1 diagnosis.
Richard M. Fenker Jr. and Judith G. Lambiotte
This article presents a case study describing the development and implementation of a performance enhancement program for a major college football team. The program used imagery training techniques in conjunction with a process-oriented approach to performance to help the team achieve its best record in 20 years. Data on the individual players’ game grades, their evaluation of the enhancement program, and their strategy for reaching an optimal mental state were collected. In all, 86% of the starters evaluated the program’s overall value to the team as being important or very significant. Multiple regression analyses were used to predict starters’ game grades and consistency ratings from the athletes’ preparation and performance (readiness) strategies. Details of the imagery training procedures and other enhancement techniques are included.
Liam P. Kilduff, Charlotte V. Finn, Julien S. Baker, Christian J. Cook and Daniel J. West
Sports scientists and strength and conditioning professionals spend the majority of the competition season trying to ensure that their athletes’ training and recovery strategies are appropriate to ensure optimal performance on competition day. However, there is an additional window on the day of competition where performance can be acutely enhanced with a number of preconditioning strategies. These strategies include appropriately designed warm-up, passive heat maintenance, postactivation potentiation, remote ischemic preconditioning, and, more recently, prior exercise and hormonal priming. The aim of this review was to explore the potential practical use of these strategies and propose a theoretical timeline outlining how they may be incorporated into athlete’s precompetition routine to enhance performance. For the purpose of this review the discussion is confined to strategies that may enhance performance of short-duration, high-intensity sports (eg, sprinting, jumping, throwing).
Paul J. McCarthy, Marc V. Jones, Chris G. Harwood and Laura Davenport
Positive affect is linked to enhanced motivation, commitment, and performance among youth sport performers; yet, few psychological interventions have specifically attempted to enhance positive affect among these athletes. To address this circumstance, we implemented a single-subject multiple-baseline design to examine the effects of a goal-setting intervention on the positive and negative affective responses of three competitive youth athletes. Statistical analysis coupled with visual inspection criteria revealed a significant overall increase in positive affect for participants 1 and 2. A statistically significant increase in positive affect also emerged for participant 3, yet it was not possible to detect a significant experimental effect using visual inspection criteria. No statistically significant decreases in negative effect emerged for any of the three participants. These results show some support for the hypothesis that goal setting may enhance positive affect among junior multievent athletes.
Caroline Nicol and Paavo V. Komi
Magnitude of the reflex contribution to force enhancement was investigated in vivo during passive stretches of the Achilles tendon (AT) of one female subject. Thirty passive (5 × 6) dorsiflexions were induced by a motorized ankle ergometer. Achilles tendon force (ATF) was sensed by a buckle transducer applied surgically around the right AT. Single passive stretches resulted in a low but rather linear ATF increase in the absence of EMG (surface electrodes) activity. In the presence of reflexes, a clear ATF enhancement occurred 13–15 ms after the beginning of the EMG reflex responses. In double dorsiflexions at either 1.2 or 1.9 rad · s-1, which were separated by a maintained stretched position of either 40 or 90 ms, the first stretch resulted in initial linear ATF increase, followed by an additional force enhancement during the plateau phase. This reflexly induced increase represented 94 ± 4 N and 184 ± 1 N, respectively, for the 40 and the 90 ms plateaus, corresponding to 210 ± 85% and 486 ± 177% enhancements as compared to the first passive stretch effect. The results suggest further that timing of the stretch during the twitch response influences the magnitude and rate of force potentiation.
Ryan Sappington and Kathryn Longshore
The field of applied sport psychology has traditionally grounded its performance enhancement techniques in the cognitive-behavioral elements of psychological skills training. These interventions typically advocate for controlling one’s cognitive and emotional processes during performance. Mindfulness-based approaches, on the other hand, have recently been introduced and employed more frequently in an effort to encourage athletes to adopt a nonjudgmental acceptance of all thoughts and emotions. Like many applied interventions in sport psychology, however, the body of literature supporting the efficacy of mindfulness-based approaches for performance enhancement is limited, and few efforts have been made to draw evidence-based conclusions from the existing research. The current paper had the purpose of systematically reviewing research on mindfulness-based interventions with athletes to assess (a) the efficacy of these approaches in enhancing sport performance and (b) the methodological quality of research conducted thus far. A comprehensive search of relevant databases, including peer-reviewed and gray literature, yielded 19 total trials (six case studies, two qualitative studies, seven nonrandomized trials, and four randomized trials) in accordance with the inclusion criteria. An assessment tool was used to score studies on the quality of research methodology. While a review of this literature yielded preliminary support for the efficacy of mindfulness-based performance enhancement strategies, the body of research also shows a need for more methodologically rigorous trials.