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Katherine A. Tamminen and Peter R.E. Crocker

This paper is a critical commentary on the article “Adaptation Processes Affecting Performance in Elite Sport” (Schinke, Battochio, Lidor, Tenenbaum, Dube, & Lane, 2012). We review relevant literature and highlight theoretical and conceptual concerns regarding Schinke et al.’s model, particularly regarding their characterization of adaptation as a process versus an outcome, and the role of appraisals, emotions, emotional regulation, coping, and Fiske’s (2004) core motives within their model of adaptation. Adaptation or adjustment among elite athletes is a valuable area of research in sport psychology; however, Schinke et al.’s model oversimplifies the adaptation process and has limited utility among sport psychology researchers and practitioners.

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Robert J. Schinke, Randy C. Battochio, Timothy V. Dube, Ronnie Lidor, Gershon Tenenbaum and Andrew M. Lane

Sport researchers have considered the processes that elite athletes undergo to achieve positive psychological adaptation during significant chronic stressors throughout sport careers and also, acute stressors within important competitions. This review contains a description of competitive and organizational stressors that can hamper an elite athlete’s pursuit of adaptation within the aforementioned circumstances, followed by an identification of the responses that together can foster the desired outcome of adaptation. The authors propose that there are four parts that contribute to an elite athlete’s positive psychological adaptation, presented as parts of a process: (a) the appraisal of stressors, (b) coping strategies, (c) self-regulation strategies, and (d) a consolidated adaptation response. Subsequently, athlete adaptation is considered through examples taken from anecdotal literature and formal research studies pertaining to elite athlete adaptation. Implications are discussed for sport psychologists, mental training consultants, sport scientists, coaches, and athletes.

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Robert J. Schinke, Gershon Tenenbaum, Ronnie Lidor and Andrew M. Lane

Within this opportunity to dialogue in commentary exchange about a previously conceived adaptation model, published in the Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, we revisit the utility of our model (Schinke et al., 2012a) and consider Tamminen and Crocker’s (2014) critique of our earlier writing. We also elaborate on emotion and emotion regulation through explaining hedonistic and instrumental motives to regulate emotions. We draw on research from general and sport psychology to examine emotion regulation (Gross, 2010). We argue that when investigating emotion, or any topic in psychology, the process of drawing from knowledge in a different area of the discipline can be useful, especially if the existing knowledge base in that area is already well developed. In particular, we draw on research using an evolutionary perspective (Nesse & Ellsworth, 2009). Accounting for these issues, we clarify the adaptation framework, expand it, and arguably offer a model that has greater utility for use with athletes in relation to training and competition cycles and progressions throughout their career. We also clarify for the readership places of misinterpretation by the commentary authors, and perhaps, why these have resulted.

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Jeannine Ohlert, Thea Rau and Marc Allroggen

of situations are not acceptable. Simply put, these experiences might often not seem to be “severe enough” to tell anyone or to search for support or help. In the context of elite sport in particular, where the tolerance of transgressions of other kinds is necessary to reach top performance

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Michael Hutchison, Paul Comper, Lynda Mainwaring and Doug Richards

The baseline / postconcussion neuropsychological (NP) assessment model has been shown to be of clinical value and currently contributes significant information in sport concussion evaluation. Computerized NP batteries are now widely used in elite sport environments and are rapidly becoming more commonly utilized at the community level. With the growth of computerized NP testing, it is important to identify and understand unique characteristics with respect to baseline NP performance. The Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics (ANAM) is a library of computerized NP tests designed to detect speed and accuracy of attention, memory, and thinking ability. This article describes baseline ANAM test scores in a sample of Canadian university athletes and explores the following two factors: (a) performance differences between male and female student-athletes using ANAM tests and (b) the relationship between self-reported history of concussion and baseline NP performance.

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Randy C. Battochio, Robert J. Schinke, Danny L. Battochio, Wayne Halliwell and Gershon Tenenbaum

Through adaptation studies in elite sport, researchers can delineate the strategies that amateur and professional athletes employ during career transitions (e.g., promotion, relocation). Fiske (2004) identified five core motives as catalysts to adaptation: understanding, controlling, self-enhancement, belonging, and trusting, which were recently contextualized in sport as a result of one archival study examining the second hand experiences of National Hockey League (NHL) players. The purpose of the present study was to learn about the adaptation process of NHL players based on a first hand data source (i.e., semi-structured interview). A semi-structured open-ended interview guide was utilized to learn about the experiences of four groups of NHL players (n = 11): prospects (n = 3), rookies (n = 3), veterans (n = 2), and retirees (n = 3). There is an indication that adaptation strategies and sub-strategies vary according to the player’s career stage and the challenges related to seeking and maintaining a roster spot. The findings are also consistent with Fiske’s five core motives and earlier adaptation sub-strategies, in addition to uncovering three novel sub-strategies (i.e., understanding one’s performance, distraction control, and trusting player agents). Implications and recommendations are provided for sport researchers and practitioners.

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Susanna Kola-Palmer, Samantha Buckley, Gabrielle Kingston, Jonathan Stephen, Alison Rodriguez, Nicole Sherretts and Kiara Lewis

that physical activity confers positive effects on mental health (e.g.,  Harvey, Hotopf, Øverland, & Mykletun, 2010 ), it has also been suggested that experience of performing at an elite sporting level is associated with the potential for negative mental health outcomes. Elite sport is stressful, and

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Florence Lebrun, Áine MacNamara, Dave Collins and Sheelagh Rodgers

the period of peak performance in sport ( Rice et al., 2016 ; Sebbens, Hassmén, Crisp, & Wensley, 2016 ). As such, the existence of depressive disorders in elite sport is, perhaps, unsurprising given this overlap ( Gulliver et al., 2012 ; Kessler & Bromet, 2013 ). Elite athletes are confronted with

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A.P. (Karin) de Bruin and Raôul R.D. Oudejans

everywhere.” (track-and-field athlete). Sport body image experiences: Regarding athletic body image, the respondents recognized an increased body awareness in the elite sport arena. “Before I went to that elite gymnastics club, I already heard things like ‘you cannot eat candy anymore’ and so on. When I

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Hannah Butler-Coyne, Vaithehy Shanmuganathan-Felton and Jamie Taylor

, retirement and “struggling in silence” were all referenced as particular “pressure points” impacting on athletes’ mental health. The research led to the development of the Performance Matters: Mental Health in Elite Sport report, accessible in the public domain. In response, governing bodies from targeted