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Karen Howells

This article presents a reflective case example of a sport psychology consultation carried out with a 9-year-old gymnast during the final year of the consultant’s training to become a British Psychological Society–chartered sport psychologist. During this period of time, the author was under the supervision of an experienced applied sport psychologist. The article draws on the published research in applied sport psychology and the wider child development literature to inform and negotiate the challenges of a neophyte practitioner working in a relatively unfamiliar sport with a very young gymnast. The intervention, which took place over 6 months, involved a focus on psychological skills training. This article reflects on the intervention experience and makes observations that may be of benefit to both neophyte and practiced consultants working with very young children. Although the consultancy involved goal setting, relaxation, and commitment, the focus of this article is on those activities and skills that are specific to such a young athlete and that may be of interest to other practitioners in similar scenarios.

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Elisa C. Murru and Kathleen A. Martin Ginis

This experiment examined the effects of a possible selves intervention on self-regulatory efficacy and exercise behavior among 19 men and 61 women (M age = 21.43 years, SD = 3.28) who reported exercising fewer than 3 times per week. Participants were randomly assigned to a control condition, a hoped-for possible selves intervention condition, or a feared possible selves intervention condition. The hoped-for and feared possible selves interventions required participants to imagine themselves in the future as either healthy, regular exercisers or as unhealthy, inactive individuals, respectively. Participants in the control condition completed a quiz about physical activity. Measures of self-regulatory efficacy (scheduling, planning, goal setting, and barrier self-efficacy) were taken immediately before and after the intervention. Participants who received either possible selves intervention reported greater exercise behavior 4 weeks and 8 weeks postintervention than participants in the control group. Planning self-efficacy partially mediated the effects of the possible selves intervention on exercise behavior over the first 4 weeks of the study. These findings highlight the effectiveness of possible selves interventions for increasing exercise behavior and the role of self-regulatory processes for explaining such effects.

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Paul R. Surburg and Paul E. Turner

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Pedro Gómez-Carmona, Ismael Fernández-Cuevas, Manuel Sillero-Quintana, Javier Arnaiz-Lastras and Archit Navandar

Context: Infrared thermography has been used to detect skeletal muscle overload and fatigue in athletes, but its use in injury prevention in professional soccer has not been studied to date. Objectives: To establish a novel injury prevention program based on infrared thermography and to determine its influence on the injury incidence in professional soccer players in the preseason. Design: A cross-sectional, prospective study design was used to compare a conventional injury prevention program (CPP) applied over the first preseason and an infrared thermography injury prevention program (IRTPP) carried out in the following preseason. Setting: Soccer training ground. Participants: Twenty-four players belonging to a first division soccer team from Spain. Main Outcome Measures: Injury incidences of each player were recorded according to the Orchard Sports Injury Classification System (version 10.0) convention to determine the injury classification, location, and type. Results: The incidence of injuries decreased from 15 injuries in the CPP preseason (0.63 [0.77] injuries per player) to 6 injuries in the second preseason when the IRTPP was applied (0.25 [0.53] injuries per player). The days of absence due to injuries also decreased from the CPP preseason (156 d, 10.4 [11.0] d per injury) to the IRTPP preseason (14 d, 2.3 [2.8] d per injury). The injury severity also decreased from the first preseason to the second preseason, and fewer musculoskeletal injuries in the thigh, hip, and groin were reported. Conclusions: The implementation of an IRTPP can reduce the presence of injuries by identifying players potentially at risk and as a result, reducing the injury severity and days lost as a consequence.

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Sandra E. Short, Eva V. Monsma and Martin W. Short

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Shane M. Murphy, Robert L. Woolfolk and Alan J. Budney

In this study, subjects were asked to select three different images they thought would make them angry, fearful, or relaxed. After imagining each scenario, subjects attempted a strength task utilizing a hand grip dynamometer. As predicted by the Oxendine hypothesis, the relaxation image significantly lowered performance on the strength task. Although subjects in the fear and anger conditions reported increased levels of arousal, no increase in strength performance was noted in these two conditions. A cognitive interpretation of the relationship between arousal and performance is advanced in explanation of the present findings. Specifically, it is suggested that preparatory arousal is effective only if subjects focus their attention while aroused on a successful outcome of performance. This explanation is consistent with current conceptualizations of cognitive preparation strategies as coping skill devices by which athletes manage their performance. Future research directions are suggested based upon the present findings.

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Peter Suedfeld and Talino Bruno

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John C. Andre and John R. Means