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Veerle Van Mele, Yves Vanden Auweele and Randy Rzewnicki

Making diagnoses is essential if one is to provide a meaningful service to clients, in sport psychology or elsewhere. Discussion of this topic in the sport psychology literature is rare and is usually limited to the use of standardized questionnaires or unspecified interview techniques. A procedure for the diagnosis of an elite athlete is described and explained as a case study. Critical elements include (a) using an integrative diagnostic procedure where the results of one phase are used to guide the generation of further hypotheses and selection of diagnostic tools, (b) attending to an athlete’s strengths and deficiencies, (c) individualizing the procedure and materials and actively involving the athlete where appropriate, and (d) objectively examining interactions between the data at the individual level. Questionnaires, a grid, and a sequential analysis were integrated in phases to refine, confirm, contrast, and clarify points of action to optimize the athlete’s performance.

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Larena Hoeber and Orland Hoeber

There has been little attention given to examining innovation under the conditions in which community sport organizations (CSO) operate. In this case study, the process under which one CSO undertook a technological innovation is explored. The purpose of this research was to classify the determinants that contributed to the innovation process, and identify at which particular stages of innovation those determinants were critical. Interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders were conducted during the innovation process. Observations were made at important points during the implementation of the innovation. Leadership commitment, pro-innovation characteristics, organizational capacity, simple organizational design, and involved and interested external parties were identified as determinants of this technological innovation. The findings illustrate multiple determinants of innovation at the managerial, organization, and environmental levels. Some of these span the entire innovation process, while others are critical only at particular stages.

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Joseph P. Mazer, Katie Barnes, Alexia Grevious and Caroline Boger

Team sports have become a vital informal learning setting in which athletes are taught, motivated, and mentored by their coaches. This experimental study examined the effects of coach verbal aggression on athlete motivation and perceptions of coach credibility. Results revealed that athletes exposed to a verbally aggressive coach were significantly less motivated and perceived the coach as less credible than athletes who were exposed to a coach who used an affirming style. With respect to credibility, athletes perceived a verbally aggressive coach as significantly less competent, trustworthy, and caring than a coach who used an affirming style. Implications and areas for future research are discussed. Case-study questions are presented for discussion by scholars and students.

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Roger Cooper and Tang Tang

The 2012 Super Bowl was the most-watched television program in U.S. history and represented a wide-scale expansion to online and digital environments. This case study examined the role of gender in explanations for viewing the Super Bowl and for simultaneous media uses during the game. Results indicate that both men and women still relied on the traditional television for Super Bowl viewing. Newer media were used as a second-screen experience to complement the telecast or to gain additional information and social interaction. Gender differences underlie explanations for watching the Super Bowl on television and for simultaneous media uses. Findings suggest that women engaged with nonfootball elements that propel the Super Bowl from a sporting event to a societal event, whereas men indicated stronger interests in the game itself.

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John S.W. Spinda, Daniel L. Wann and Michael Sollitto

In this case study analysis, we explored the motives for playing Strat-O-Matic Baseball (SOMB), a baseball simulation played as a board game or online, from the perspective of the uses-and-gratifications theory. In phase I of the study, SOMB manager narratives (N = 50) were analyzed for motive statements. In phase II, an online survey asked SOMB managers (N = 222) to respond to motive items as well as four measures of Major League Baseball (MLB) and SOMB identification. Overall, eight motives for playing SOMB emerged from the 64-item pool of motive items. These eight motives were nostalgia, knowledge acquisition, social bonding, enjoyment, vicarious achievement, game aesthetics, convenience, and escape. Our findings suggest these motives predicted measures of MLB and SOMB identification in significantly different ways. Theoretical implications, future research, limitations, and discussion questions are presented in this analysis.

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Jimmy Sanderson, Blair Browning and Annelie Schmittel

College athletes are active on a variety of social-media platforms. As a result, most athletic departments require them to participate in social-media education. Although this practice is becoming more prominent, little research has explored how college athletes perceive such training. This case study explored college athletes’ social-media use and their perceptions about social-media education. Semi structured interviews of 20 college athletes at a Division I university were conducted. Using social-cognitive theory as a framework, analysis revealed that while participants expressed a desire for social-media education, they indicated that most of the messages they receive about social media tend to be forgettable. Consequently, athletic departments need to take a more refexive approach to social-media education that incorporates college athletes’ feedback to optimize this instruction.

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Nicholas Hirshon

This article uses a case-study approach to develop an understanding of how framing on game telecasts can increase the brand equity of sports venues. In 2014, ESPN ranked the NHL’s New York Islanders last in “stadium experience” among all 122 teams in the 4 major North American sports leagues. Given the Islanders’ looming relocation, the 2014–15 NHL season afforded the last opportunity to consider how telecasts would portray the team’s arena, Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island. Based on a textual analysis of Islanders telecasts, 2 frames emerged: atmosphere (loud cheering and tributes to veterans) and nostalgia (famous moments and players from the arena’s history). Teams that play in poorly regarded venues can encourage broadcasters to employ frames such as atmosphere and nostalgia to increase attendance and sales of venue-related merchandise.

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Stewart Cotterill

Effective leadership in sport at the elite level can make the difference between success and failure. However, although the importance of leadership is acknowledged there is little published evidence regarding how the required skills could or should be developed. The current case study reports the implementation of a leadership development program with elite professional cricketers. The intervention itself was focused at three levels: (a) captaincy development, (b) leadership skill development, and (c) personal growth and leadership development. Program effectiveness was determined through the feedback provided by the individual players on the program, the reflections of the sport psychology consultant, and feedback from the professional staff. Evaluation and reflection of the program suggest that a formal development program can be both beneficial and impactful in enhancing the leadership capabilities of elite players.

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David Welch Suggs Jr. and Jason Lee Guthrie

Part of the goal of the International Paralympic Committee is to “touch the heart of all people for a more equitable society” by exposing people to adaptive sports, with the goal of improving public views toward people with disabilities. The authors hypothesized that exposure to parasocial contact with images of athletes with disabilities could lead to a change in attitude during the formation of social identity, disrupting the tendency to view the population of individuals with physical disabilities as “other. ” This case study found that viewing a documentary of a Paralympic sprinter produced in the same style as an Olympic feature appeared to affect the emotional components of attitude formation, especially when compared with respondents who viewed a comparable documentary about an able-bodied athlete. These findings are of interest to proponents of adaptive sports, producers of adaptive-sports media, and marketers who use athletes with disabilities in advertising campaigns.

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Fraser Carson and Remco C. J. Polman

The aim of this case study was to investigate the emotional factors and coping strategies used by a professional rugby union player during rehabilitation from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. A dominant (qualitative) - less dominant (quantitative) mixed methodological approach was established concurrent with the athlete’s rehabilitation. Twice monthly interviews and a self-report diary were completed throughout the rehabilitation process. Six questionnaires were used to assess specific aspects of injury rehabilitation identified from previous literature, including emotional response, coping, social support, and perceived autonomy. Content analysis of each phase of the rehabilitation process established 34 higher-order themes split into two general dimensions: Influential Emotions or Coping Strategies. Findings highlight the benefit of problem-focused coping to improve autonomy and confidence. A sequential movement through a series of emotions (shock, depression, relief, encouragement, and confidence building) was also identified.