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Michel Nicolas, Patrick Gaudreau and Véronique Franche

This study examined the relationship between perceived coaching behaviors, coping strategies during a sport competition, and sport achievement. A prospective design was used in which 80 athletes from individual sports completed measures of perceived coaching behaviors two days before a competition (Time 1) and measures of coping and sport achievement within three hours after a sport competition (Time 2). As expected, results of multiple regressions indicated that supportive coaching was a positive predictor of task-oriented coping and sport achievement whereas unsupportive coaching was a positive predictor of disengagement-oriented coping. Both types of coping were significantly associated with sport achievement. Task-oriented coping was a significant partial mediator in the relation between supportive coaching and sport achievement. This study, which contributes to both the coaching and coping literatures, highlights the role of supportive coaching behaviors in the initiation of effective stress management during sport competitions.

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Stefan Koehn, Tony Morris and Anthony P. Watt

The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of an imagery intervention for enhancing the experience of flow state and performance in junior athletes. On the basis of previous results, a tailored imagery script was developed to target critical flow dimensions, namely challenge-skills balance, clear goals, concentration on the task, and sense of control. It was hypothesized that the use of cognitive and motivational imagery would increase specific flow dimensions, which, in turn, would enhance flow state and competition performance. Participants in a single-case, multiple baseline A-B design study were four nationally ranked athletes. Following a 6-week baseline phase monitoring flow state and performance and a 6-week intervention phase using relaxation in conjunction with imagery techniques, three participants showed a sustained increase in flow experiences, and all four participants improved their service performance, groundstroke performance, and ranking-list position.

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Peter Gröpel and Jürgen Beckmann

Researchers suggests that a pre-performance routine (PPR) can improve performance in competitions. The effectiveness of left-hand contractions, a PPR to trigger facilitative cortical processes for skilled motor performance, was tested in two studies. In Study 1, gymnasts competing at the German university championships in artistic gymnastics performed their routines with or without the PPR. In Study 2, gymnasts performed the balance beam exercise either using the PPR or the control task (right-hand contractions) under simulated competition pressure. The qualification performance (Study 1) and the pressure-free performance (Study 2) were controlled. In both studies, participants in the PPR group performed better than control participants. The results indicate that left-hand contractions may be a useful PPR in the field.

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Brad J. Stenner, Amber D. Mosewich and Jonathan D. Buckley

place more importance on competition and performance, physical appearance, and health, whereas female athletes focused on performance, personal success, personal development, and improving ability. Conversely, Reed and Cox ( 2007 ) found that older women were more motivated by factors related to

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Peter Gröpel, Christopher Mesagno and Jürgen Beckmann

Performing successfully in competitions requires skills, practice, and dedication ( Afremow, 2015 ). Even highly motivated athletes with outstanding skills, however, may fail if they become distracted or anxious under competitive pressure, especially when competing in precision tasks ( Nideffer

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Randy O. Frost and Katherine J. Henderson

This exploratory study examined the relationship of perfectionism (from a recently devised multidimensional measure) with female athletes' reactions to athletic competition and coaches' ratings of reactions to mistakes during competition. Athletes who rated high in Concern Over Mistakes (one dimension of perfectionism) reported more anxiety and less self-confidence in sports, displayed a general failure orientation toward sports, reacted negatively to mistakes (by their report and by coaches' ratings), and reported more negative thinking in the 24 hours prior to competition. A second dimension of perfectionism, High Personal Standards, was associated with a success orientation toward sports and more dreams of perfection prior to competition. The possible influence of perfectionism on motivation and performance in sports is discussed.

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Diane L. Gill, M. Karen Ruder and John B. Gross

A total of 352 open-ended attributions were obtained in two field studies with volleyball teams and in two lab experiments, all involving team competition. All attributions were classified along the three causal dimensions of locus of causality, stability, and controllability. Attributions were also classified as referring to the self, to teammates, to the team as a whole, or to other factors and sorted into specific categories. A loglinear analysis revealed that attributions were predominantly internal, unstable, and controllable. A significant win/loss effect reflected the tendency for members of winning teams to use controllable, and particularly unstable, controllable, attributions more than members of losing teams. Overwhelmingly, attributions referred to the team as a whole rather than to individuals or other factors, and teamwork was an especially popular causal explanation. The findings suggest that research on attributions in team competition should focus on causal dimensions rather than the four traditional attributions of effort, ability, luck, and task difficulty, and that further attention should be given to team-referent causal explanations.

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Adrien Bouchet, Thomas W. Doellman, Mike Troilo and Brian R. Walkup

Sport apparel firms fiercely compete for the sponsorship of international football (soccer) clubs’ kits (shirts, shoes, and other apparel). This competition, along with increased media visibility, has resulted in a significant growth in deal values in recent years. For instance, Adidas announced in

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Robert J. Schinke, Stephanie Hanrahan, Duke Peltier, Ginette Michel, Richard Danielson, Patricia Pickard, Chris Pheasant, Lawrence Enosse and Mark Peltier

This study was designed to elucidate the pre-competition and competition practices of elite Canadian Aboriginal athletes. Elite Canadian Aboriginal athletes (N = 23) participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were segmented into meaning units by academic and Aboriginal community-appointed members, and verified with each respondent individually through mail and a password-protected website. Competition tactics were divided into three chronological stages, each with specific athlete strategies: (a) general training before competitions, (b) pre-competition week, and (c) competition strategies. The majority of the numerous strategies they reported could be considered as reflecting native traditions, appropriate attitudes/perspective, or standard sport psychology techniques. Suggestions are proposed for applied researchers and practitioners working with cultural populations, as well as how these strategies might be developed for use with other populations.

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Andrew P. Hill, Joachim Stoeber, Anna Brown and Paul R. Appleton

Perfectionism is a personality characteristic that has been found to predict sports performance in athletes. To date, however, research has exclusively examined this relationship at an individual level (i.e., athletes’ perfectionism predicting their personal performance). The current study extends this research to team sports by examining whether, when manifested at the team level, perfectionism predicts team performance. A sample of 231 competitive rowers from 36 boats completed measures of self-oriented, team-oriented, and team-prescribed perfectionism before competing against one another in a 4-day rowing competition. Strong within-boat similarities in the levels of team members’ team-oriented perfectionism supported the existence of collective team-oriented perfectionism at the boat level. Two-level latent growth curve modeling of day-by-day boat performance showed that team-oriented perfectionism positively predicted the position of the boat in midcompetition and the linear improvement in position. The findings suggest that imposing perfectionistic standards on team members may drive teams to greater levels of performance.