Although sport psychologists utilize numerous interventions and techniques intended to enhance the performance of athletes in competition, the selection of those interventions has not always been based on research for which adequate validity has been established. In an attempt to provide sport psychologists with a working body of accurate knowledge and suggestions for future intervention research, an analysis and synthesis of research is presented that addresses the efficacy of different psychological interventions with athletes performing in competitive situations in the sport in which they regularly compete. From information reported in 19 published studies, covering 23 interventions, it was concluded that educational relaxation-based interventions and remedial cognitive restructuring interventions with individual athletes are, in general, effective.
Michael J. Greenspan and Deborah L. Feltz
Stephen D. Mellalieu, Sheldon Hanton and Graham Jones
The purpose of this study was to extend the work of Jones and Hanton (2001) by examining differences in affective states of performers who reported facilitating or debilitating interpretations of symptoms associated with precompetitive anxiety. Competitive athletes (N = 229) completed state and trait versions of the CSAI-2 (Martens, Burton, Vealey, Bump, & Smith, 1990), including intensity and direction subscales (Jones & Swain, 1992) and an exploratory measure of precompetitive affective responses in preparation and competition. “Facilitators” reported significantly greater positive labeling of affective experiences than “debilitators,” while cognitive interpretations of symptoms were reported to change with regard to preparation for and actual performance. The findings further support the need to examine the labeling and measurement of precompetitive affective states.
Daniel Gould, Suzanne Tuffey, Eileen Udry and James Loehr
This article reports findings from the second phase of a larger research project designed to examine burnout in competitive junior tennis players. This phase of the project was qualitative in nature and involved two components. First, interviews were conducted with 10 individuals who were identified as being most burned out in the quantitative phase (Phase 1) of the project. Content analyses of the 10 respondents’ interviews identified mental and physical characteristics of burnout, as well as reasons for burning out. Recommendations for preventing burnout in players, parents, and coaches also were gleaned. Second, the 10 individual cases were examined in light of the major tenants of the three existing models of athlete burnout. Results from the examination of the burnout models suggested that burnout is best thought of in terms of Smith’s (1986) chronic stress model with physical and social psychological strains falling under it.
Ronald J. Maughan, Phillip Watson, Gethin H. Evans, Nicholas Broad and Susan M. Shirreffs
Fluid balance and sweat electrolyte losses were measured in the players and substitutes engaged in an English Premier League Reserve competitive football match played at an ambient temperature of 6–8 °C (relative humidity 50–60%). Intake of water and/or sports drink and urine output were recorded, and sweat composition was estimated from absorbent swabs applied to 4 skin sites for the duration of the game. Body mass was recorded before and after the game. Data were obtained for 22 players (age 21 y, height 180 cm, mass 78 kg) and 9 substitutes (17 y, 181 cm, 72 kg). All were male. Two of the players were dismissed during the game, and none of the substitutes played any part in the game. Mean ± SD sweat loss of players amounted to 1.68 ± 0.40 L, and mean fluid intake was 0.84 ± 0.47 L (n = 20), with no difference between teams. Corresponding values for substitutes, none of whom played in the match, were 0.40 ± 0.24 L and 0.78 ± 0.46 L (n = 9). Prematch urine osmolality was 678 ± 344 mOsm/kg: 11 of the 31 players provided samples with an osmolality of more than 900 mOsm/kg. Sweat sodium concentration was 62 ± 13 mmol/L, and total sweat sodium loss during the game was 2.4 ± 0.8 g. These descriptive data show a large individual variability in hydration status, sweat losses, and drinking behaviors in a competitive football match played in a cool environment, highlighting the need for individualized assessment of hydration status to optimize fluid-replacement strategies.
Jordan D. Philpott, Chris Donnelly, Ian H. Walshe, Elizabeth E. MacKinley, James Dick, Stuart D.R. Galloway, Kevin D. Tipton and Oliver C. Witard
Elite soccer players may be required to complete two competitive matches per week, interspersed with intense training sessions ( Carling et al., 2015 ). Such intense scheduling, indicative of fixture congestion, places significant physiological stress on soccer players over the course of a season
Ashley M. Duguay, Todd M. Loughead and James M. Cook
) in four competitive female youth soccer teams. In line with the two gaps discussed in our overview of the athlete-leadership literature, we forwarded two hypotheses. First, while we expected each team’s athlete-leadership network to reflect a shared process, we hypothesized that their degree of
Martin M. Perline and G. Clayton Stoldt
The purpose of this paper was to measure the change in competitive balance for women’s basketball as a conference merges and changes its membership. Specifically, we surveyed the changes in competitive balance as the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference was merged into the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC). While competitive balance may not have been the primary reason for the merger, it tended to increase fan interest and was, therefore, considered desirable by member institutions. Three measures of competitive balance were used, producing mixed results. However, there was arguably a more competitive balance after the merger, because there tended to be more predictably perennial winners and losers in the Gateway than the MVC.
Christopher D. Lantz, Deborah J. Rhea and Karin Mesnier
This study examined the relationships among eating attitudes, exercise identity, and body alienation in ultramarathoners. Eighty-seven competitive ultramarathoners (73 males, 14 females) completed the Eating Attitudes Test–26, Exercise Identity Scale, and Body Alienation Scale as part of their pre-race registration. Correlation coefficients revealed that eating attitudes were positively related to exercise identity (R = 0.31) and injury tolerance (R = 0.43), and that exercise identity was positively related to injury tolerance (R = 0.33). MANOVA further indicated that subjects with high exercise identity reported more eating disorder behaviors [F(2, 80) = 7.73, P < 0.001 J and higher injury tolerance [F (2, 80) = 3.69, P < 0.05] than persons with low exercise identity. Female ultramarathoners scoring high on exercise identity were more likely to report aberrant eating behaviors [F (2, 80) = 3.39, P < 0.05J and higher training intensity levels [F (2, 80) = 3.91, p < 0.02J than were average males and the low- or moderate-exercise identifying females.
David P. Johns, Koenraad J. Lindner and Karen Wolko
Two components of Gould’s (1987) model for attrition in youth sport appear to lend themselves to sociological analysis and were adopted as theoretical concepts of social exchange theory (Homans, 1961). The constructs were tested and the role of injury was assessed through a questionnaire completed by 76 former female competitive club gymnasts and through semistructured interviews with 10 of these dropouts. Three major findings resulted, with only partial support for the model. The former gymnasts appeared to have a positive perception of their competence as athletes and indicated that the withdrawal had provided them with the desired time for the pursuit of other leisure activities such as hobbies, being with friends and, for the older dropouts, shopping. Injury, even though it was the second most frequent reason for withdrawal, was not seen as a primary cause. The subsumation of achievement and competence as components of social exchange theory provided a plausible framework for the interpretation of the data which demonstrated that the attraction of alternative status cultures was the strongest factor underlying withdrawal.
Raymond C.Z. Cohen, Paul W. Cleary, Simon M. Harrison, Bruce R. Mason and David L. Pease
The purpose of this study was to determine the pitching effects of buoyancy during all competitive swimming strokes—freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, and breaststroke. Laser body scans of national-level athletes and synchronized multiangle swimming footage were used in a novel markerless motion capture process to produce three-dimensional biomechanical models of the swimming athletes. The deforming surface meshes were then used to calculate swimmer center-of-mass (CoM) positions, center-of-buoyancy (CoB) positions, pitch buoyancy torques, and sagittal plane moments of inertia (MoI) throughout each stroke cycle. In all cases the mean buoyancy torque tended to raise the legs and lower the head; however, during part of the butterfly stroke the instantaneous buoyancy torque had the opposite effect. The swimming strokes that use opposing arm and leg strokes (freestyle and backstroke) had smaller variations in CoM positions, CoB positions, and buoyancy torques. Strokes with synchronized left-right arm and leg movement (butterfly and breaststroke) had larger variations in buoyancy torques, which impacts the swimmer’s ability to maintain a horizontal body pitch for these strokes. The methodology outlined in this paper enables the rotational effects of buoyancy to be better understood by swimmers, allowing better control of streamlined horizontal body positioning during swimming to improve performance.