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Brian V. Gallagher and Frank L. Gardner

The present study examined the relationship between cognitive vulnerabilities, coping strategy, and emotional response to athletic injury among 40 NCAA Division I injured athletes. It was hypothesized that the presence of early maladaptive schemas (EMS) and avoidant coping strategies would predict greater emotional distress among injured athletes. Early maladaptive schemas were assessed by the Young Schema Questionnaire-Short Form, which injured athletes completed upon injury. Coping strategies were measured by the Coping Response Inventory Adult Form, which was completed upon the completion of recovery. The Profile of Mood States was used to assess mood, and was completed during three phases of injury: upon injury, middle of rehabilitation, and upon recovery. As predicted, hierarchical multiple regression analysis demonstrate that EMSs and avoidance-focused coping were associated with higher levels of negative mood among injured athletes. The results also indicate that the relationship between EMS and mood vary based on the phase of injury, suggesting that different EMSs are differentially related to subtle differences in stressors encountered during each phase of the injury process.

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Samuele Joseph and Duncan Cramer

The present study examined elite cricket batsmen’s experiences of sledging to establish its frequency, effects, and the coping strategies used by players. Sledging in cricket is the practice whereby players seek to gain an advantage by insulting or verbally intimidating the opposing batter. Semistructured interviews were conducted on 10 elite batsmen. Interviews were transcribed and content analysis was conducted to elucidate themes. Several similar factors were reported for both the frequency of sledging and its effectiveness, the most influential being the period of innings, state of the game, and in-game pressure. The majority of the reported effects of sledging were negative, most notably, an altered perception of self, an altered state of mind, decreased batting ability, and over arousal. Numerous associated coping strategies were mentioned, the most frequently used being variations of self-talk. Other noteworthy coping strategies included routines, external support, showing frustration, avoidance coping, and relaxation techniques. Overall, players perceived that sledging had a substantial effect on a batter and their level of performance.

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Adam James Miles, Rich Neil and Jamie Barker

The purpose of this study was to explore the stress, emotion, and coping (SEC) experiences of elite cricketers leading up to and on the day of their first competitive fixture of the season. Four elite male cricketers (M = 21.25, SD = 1.5) completed Stress and Emotion Diaries (SEDs) for the 7-day period leading up to and on the day of their first competitive fixture of the season. We then interviewed the cricketers to explore the content of the SEDs in more detail. We used semistructured interviews to glean insight into the stressors, cognitions, emotions, coping strategies, and behaviors. Inductive and deductive content data analysis provided a holistic and temporal exploration of the SEC process underpinned by the cognitive-motivational-relational theory of emotions (Lazarus, 1999). The results highlighted the ongoing and continuous nature of the SEC process while illustrating the coping strategies the cricketers used leading up to and on the day of competition.

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J. Robert Grove and N. Paul Heard

Sport performers (N = 213) completed either a questionnaire measure of dispositional optimism or a questionnaire measure of trait sport confidence and then provided information about how they cope with performance slumps. The use of task-focused, emotion-focused, and avoidance-oriented coping strategies was assessed with a slump-referenced version of the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS; Endler & Parker, 1990a). Results indicated that both personality measures were positively related to the use of problem-focused strategies and negatively related to the use of emotion-focused strategies. These findings are discussed in relation to previous research on confidence in sport and a model of sport-related coping proposed by Hardy, Jones, and Gould (1996). Practical implications for the effective management of performance slumps are also addressed.

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Robert C. Eklund, J. Robert Grove and N. Paul Heard

The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate four psychometric models for Carver, Scheier, and Weintraub’s (1989) COPE inventory, and for Crocker and Graham’s (1995) sport-specific modification of the COPE inventory for measurement of individual differences in coping with sport-related stress. Slumping athletic performance (i.e., an extended, unexplained loss of competitive form) was employed as the frame of reference for the coping responses. Data collected from 1,491 athletes (870 for the COPE analyses and 621 for the Modified-COPE analyses) were evaluated in the empirical, double cross-validation design analyses (Cudeck & Browne, 1983). Results revealed a 14-factor model of the COPE inventory and a 10-factor model of the Modified-COPE inventory as the most appropriate psychometric models for these inventories in examining slump-related coping among athletes.

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Sam S. Sagar, David Lavallee and Christopher M. Spray

Coping with stress is an important element in effective functioning at the elite level in sports, and fear of failure (FF) is an example of a stressor that athletes experience. Three issues underpin the present preliminary study. First, the prevalence of problems attributed to FF in achievement settings. Second, sport is a popular and significant achievement domain for children and adolescents. Third, there is a lack of research on FF in sport among this population. Therefore, the objectives of the study were to examine the effects of FF on young athletes and to find out their coping responses to the effects of FF. Interviews were conducted individually with nine young elite athletes (5 males, 4 females; ages 14–17 years). It was inferred from the data that FF affected the athletes’ well-being, interpersonal behavior, sport performance, and schoolwork. The athletes employed a combination of problem-focused, emotion-focused, and avoidance-focused coping strategies, with avoidance strategies being the most frequently reported.

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Susan A. Jackson, Lisa Mayocchi and Jeremy Dover

The experiences of 18 Olympic gold medallists from Australia are analyzed relative to the changes effected by their Olympic wins. Specifically, the effect an Olympic win has on subsequent athletic performance is addressed as are athletes’ strategies for coping with changes faced after winning a gold medal and recommendations for future Olympic champions. Athletes perceived that both preparation and focus for subsequent competitions were affected by an Olympic win and saw most of these changes as negative influences. Athletes’ coping strategies were similar to those reported by other elite athletes. Recommendations for helping prepare elite athletes for the changes associated with high-level athletic success are discussed.

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Patrick Gaudreau, Adam Nicholls and Andrew R. Levy

This study examined the relationship between coping and sport achievement at the within-person level of analysis. Fifty-four golfers completed diary measures of coping, stress, and sport achievement after six consecutive rounds of golf. Results of hierarchical linear modeling revealed golfers’ episodic task-oriented coping and disengagement-oriented coping were associated, respectively, with their better and worst levels of subjective and objective achievement. Distraction-oriented coping was not significantly associated with achievement. These results were obtained after accounting for between-subjects differences in ability level and for within-person variations in perceived stress across both practice and competitive golf rounds. These results contribute to an emerging literature on the relationship between coping and sport achievement, and highlight the promises of an episodic process model of sport achievement to understand the transient self-regulatory factors associated with within-person variations in athletic achievement.

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Anne Marte Pensgaard, Glyn C. Roberts and Holger Ursin

This study aimed to compare individual and situational motivational factors and the use of coping strategies among elite athletes with and without physical disabilities. Participants were Norwegian athletes from the 1994 Winter Olympics (n = 69) and Paralympics (n = 30) at Lillehammer. Quantitative data came from questions concerning expectations and satisfactions, and three instruments (Perception of Success Questionnaire, Perceived Motivational Climate Questionnaire, and the COPE Inventory). Qualitative data came from interviews. MANOVA analyses revealed that Paralympic and Olympic athletes had similar motivational profiles, but the Paralympic athletes perceived a more mastery-oriented climate, F(1, 98) = 12.6, p < .001. Both groups used similar types of coping strategies, except that Olympic athletes employed more redefinition and growth strategies, F(1, 97) = 6.72, p < .01. Paralympic athletes were also significantly more satisfied with effort and results. Paralympic and Olympic athletes were significantly different on only 4 of 11 variables.

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Gregory A. Dale

The decathlon is a unique track and field event with a storied history in the annals of track and field. Yet, little has been written in the sport psychology literature about the decathlon and the experiences of its participants. The purpose of this study was to describe the experience of elite decathlon participants during their “most memorable performance.” Participants were seven decathletes who have competed at the national and international level. Each athlete had previously scored 8,000 points or more (the standard for excellence in the decathlon) in at least one competition. Because of its emphasis on the participant as the expert, phenomenological interviews were conducted with each participant and transcripts were content analyzed. Two major themes emerged from the interviews: (a) distractions and (b) coping strategies. These themes along with their corresponding subthemes are discussed in relation to other coping research in the sport psychology literature.