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Esa Rovio, Monna Arvinen-Barrow, Daniel A. Weigand, Jari Eskola and Taru Lintunen

Research investigating the use of several team building (TB) interventions collectively in one case study is sparse. The purpose of this study was to evaluate, via action research, the process of implementation of a season-long (12 months) multifaceted TB program with a junior league ice hockey team in Finland. The team consisted of 22 players, aged 15–16 years, and three coaches. Inductive content analyses revealed that performance profiling, individual and group goal setting, and role clarification produced additional value to the TB program. Group norms became a vital part of group goal setting. The results are discussed in relation to existing definitions of TB and the importance of using a multifaceted approach to TB.

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Yannis Theodorakis, Anastasia Beneca, Parascevi Malliou and Marios Goudas

The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of goal setting on performance and on a number of psychological variables such as self-efficacy, pretesting anxiety, and self-satisfaction during an injury rehabilitation program. An experimental group (n = 20) and a control group (n = 17) of injured physical education students were studied. Both groups underwent a 4-week quadriceps strengthening program on an isokinetic dynamometer, with the experimental group setting specific personal goals in each training session. The experimental group improved in performance significantly more than the control group. Although both groups exhibited an increase in self-efficacy and a decrease in pretesting anxiety, only the experimental group had an increase in self-satisfaction with performance. Results confirm that incorporating goal setting in the rehabilitation process enhances rehabilitation results.

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Vicki Ebbeck

This study examined the sources of information used by adult exercisers to judge performance. Of particular interest was the investigation of gender differences. Subjects, 271 adults (174 males, 97 females) who were enrolled in a university weight training program, completed a questionnaire designed to evaluate the importance of 12 information sources in judging weight training performance: instructor feedback, student feedback, student comparison, changes noticed outside the gym, personal attraction toward the activity, degree of perceived effort exerted in the workout, performance in workout, feedback from others not in the class, goal setting, muscle development, workout improvement over time, and ease in learning new skills. Results revealed a significant discriminant function analysis for gender, with six information sources entering the stepwise procedure: goal setting, student feedback, learning, effort, improvement, and changes noticed outside the gym differentiated the gender groups. Males relied more than females on student feedback as an information source to judge performance. Alternatively, females used effort, goal setting, improvement, and learning as information sources more than males.

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Howard K. Hall, Mobert S. Weinberg and Allen Jackson

The purpose of the present investigation was twofold: first, to examine the relationship between goal difficulty, goal specificity, and endurance performance in a physical activity setting, and second, to determine the relationship between different types of information feedback, goals, and performance. Subjects (N = 94) performed on a hand dynamometer endurance task, being asked to hold a one-third maximum contraction for as long as possible. The subjects were randomly assigned to one of the following goal-setting conditions: (a) Do your best, (b) improve by 40 s, or (c) improve by 70 s. They were provided with either concurrent or terminal feedback in a 2 x 3 x 2 (feedback x goals x trials) design. Performance results indicated a significant goals-by-trials interaction with the 40- and 70-s goal groups exhibiting significantly more improvement than the "do your best" group. No significant performance differences were found between the two feedback groups. However, significant differences in the performance-associated cognitions of the feedback groups indicated a preference for concurrent feedback as an adjunct to goals. Results are discussed in terms of Locke's goal-setting theory as well as some recent field research investigating the goal-setting performance relationship in physical education settings.

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Sara Wilcox, Deborah Parra-Medina, Gwen M. Felton, Mary Beth Poston and Amanda McClain

Background:

Primary care providers are expected to provide lifestyle counseling, yet many barriers exist. Few studies report on adoption and implementation in routine practice. This study reports training, adoption, and implementation of an intervention to promote physical activity (PA) and dietary counseling in community health centers.

Methods:

Providers (n = 30) and nurses (n = 28) from 9 clinics were invited to participate. Adopters completed CD-ROM training in stage-matched, patient-centered counseling and goal setting. Encounters were audio recorded. A subsample was coded for fidelity.

Results:

Fifty-seven percent of providers and nurses adopted the program. Provider counseling was seen in 66% and nurse goal setting in 58% of participant (N = 266) encounters, although audio recordings were lower. Duration of provider counseling and nurse goal setting was 4.9 ± 4.5 and 7.3 ± 3.8 minutes, respectively. Most PA (80%) and diet (94%) goals were stage-appropriate. Although most providers discussed at least 1 behavioral topic, some topics (eg, self-efficacy, social support) were rarely covered.

Conclusions:

A sizeable percentage of providers and nurses completed training, rated it favorably, and delivered lifestyle counseling, although with variable fidelity. With low implementation cost and limited office time required, this model has the potential to be disseminated to improve counseling rates in primary care.

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Stephanie J. Hanrahan

A group of students from the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts participated in a mental skills training program that focused on goal setting, self-confidence development, and team building. There were 13 two-hour sessions held over a 20-week period. The participants, cultural issues, and the basic structure of the program are described. The author’s observations regarding competition, displays of affection, collective values, and the importance of family and nature are provided. The participants qualitatively evaluated the program. Conclusions related to group process, program structure, and diversity are presented. These conclusions should be of value in terms of shaping future group mental skills training programs.

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Stephanie J. Hanrahan

This paper presents general considerations for working with athletes with disabilities and the usefulness and possible modification of specific mental skills for those athletes. Common concerns for athletes with specific disabilities are discussed. Specific disabilities are considered under the headings of amputees, blind and visually impaired, cerebral palsy, deaf and hearing impaired, intellectual disabilities, and wheelchair. Arousal control, goal setting, attention/concentration, body awareness, imagery, self-confidence, and precompetition preparation are discussed in terms of disability-specific issues as well as suggestions for application.

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Ronald E. Smith, Robert W. Schutz, Frank L. Smoll and J.T. Ptacek

Confirmatory factor analysis was used as the basis for a new form of the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory (ACSI). The ACSI-28 contains seven sport-specific subscales: Coping With Adversity, Peaking Under Pressure, Goal Setting/Mental Preparation, Concentration, Freedom From Worry, Confidence and Achievement Motivation, and Coachability. The scales can be summed to yield a Personal Coping Resources score, which is assumed to reflect a multifaceted psychological skills construct. Confirmatory factor analyses demonstrated the factorial validity of the ACSI-28, as the seven subscales conform well to the underlying factor structure for both male and female athletes. Psychometric characteristics are described, and preliminary evidence for construct and predictive validity is presented.

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Yoojin Suh, Madeline Weikert, Deirdre Dlugonski, Brian Sandroff and Robert W. Motl

Background:

Persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) are often physically inactive and sedentary. This observation has prompted the search for modifiable variables derived from established theories that act as correlates of physical activity. Such variables would presumably represent targets for interventions designed to promote change in physical activity behavior among persons with MS. The current study examined social cognitive variables as correlates of physical activity in persons with MS.

Methods:

Persons (N = 218) with relapsing-remitting MS completed a questionnaire battery that assessed physical activity behavior; self-efficacy for physical activity; physical, social, and self-evaluative outcome expectations for exercise, functional limitations as an impediment for physical activity, and exercise goal-setting. The battery was delivered and returned through the US postal service. Data were analyzed using covariance modeling in Mplus 3.0.

Results:

Self-efficacy had indirect effects on physical activity via impediments (path coefficient = .10, P < .005), self-evaluative outcome expectations (path coefficient = .07, P < .025), and goal-setting (path coefficient = .09, P < .01). The model explained 40% of variance in self-reported physical activity.

Conclusions:

This cross-sectional study suggests that self-efficacy is indirectly associated with physical activity by way of goals, self-evaluative outcome expectations, and impediments in persons with relapsing-remitting MS.

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Robert P. Mooney and Nanette Mutrie

The present study examines the effects of goal specificity and goal difficulty on performance in a sports setting for children while attempting to control for the effects of social comparison. Participants (N = 46) were matched on their baseline performance on two badminton tasks (underhand serve and drop shot) and then randomly assigned to one of three goal setting conditions: (a) easy goals, (b) difficult goals, and (c) do-your-best goals. Results suggest that the easy and difficult groups showed a significant improvement in performance for both experimental tasks, whereas the do-your-best group did not display any improvement. However, no significant differences were found between easy goals and difficult goals. Further analyses reveal that age effects were not significant. Manipulation checks indicate that all children accepted their assigned goals and intended to try extremely hard to reach them. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of Locke’s (18) goal setting theory as well as previous research in physical activity settings. Future directions for research are suggested.