The present study evaluated the effectiveness of a Mental Toughness Education and Training Program (MTETP) in elite football officiating. The MTETP consisted of four individual and two group-based workshops designed to develop mental toughness (MT) and enhance performance in three English Football League (EFL) referees. Adopting a single-subject, multiple-baseline-across-participants design, MT and referee-assessor reports were evaluated. Self and coach-ratings of MT highlighted an instant and continued improvement in all three referees during the intervention phases. Performance reports of all referees improved throughout the intervention phases compared with the baseline phase. Social validation data indicated that an array of strategies within the MTETP facilitated MT development. Discussions acknowledge theoretical and practical implications relating to the continued progression of MT interventions in elite sport.
Liam A. Slack, Ian W. Maynard, Joanne Butt and Peter Olusoga
Sherilee Randle and Robert Weinberg
The purpose of the present investigation was to empirically examine Hanin’s (1980) Zone of Optimal Functioning (ZOF) hypothesis using a multidimensional anxiety approach. Female collegiate softball players (N = 13) had optimal cognitive, somatic, and combined cognitive/somatic anxiety zones created using three different methods (retrospective-best, retrospective-postcompetition, precompetition) over seven different competitions to test the relationship between ZOF and both subjective and objective performance measures. Results revealed no significant differences between the three different methods of determining players’ zones of optimal functioning. In addition, no significant differences were found in subjective performance regardless of whether performance was inside or outside players’ cognitive, somatic, or cognitive/somatic combined zones. Nonparametric analyses revealed superior objective performance occurred when players were outside their combined somatic/cognitive ZOF. Results are discussed in terms of Hanin’s ZOF hypothesis and methodological limitations in examining optimal anxiety states, assessing performance, and the operationalization of the optimal zone of functioning.
Sadjad Soltanzadeh and Mitchell Mooney
cannot be understood through a purely objective lens. Objective performance measures still need to be interpreted and justified. It is through a conceptual understanding that we can link different layers of performance from the individual functions to team objectives and to broader cultural norms. Team
Elmer A. Castillo and Graig M. Chow
of double-blinding procedures in the study design is acknowledged. Second, the questionnaires used were not validated and the self-awareness measure had a weak alpha at pretest. Future research may benefit from using validated measures and objective performance measures or behavioral observation as
Ashley M. Duguay, Todd M. Loughead and James M. Cook
performance measures) and indicators of team functioning in three professional football teams. More specifically, athletes who were members of the team with the highest-quality athlete leadership reported significantly higher levels of shared purpose, goal commitment, team confidence, and task