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Perception of Coaching Behaviors, Coping, and Achievement in a Sport Competition

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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Imagery Intervention to Increase Flow State and Performance in Competition

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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A Pre-Performance Routine to Optimize Competition Performance in Artistic Gymnastics

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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The Effect of Competition on Salivary Testosterone in Elite Female Athletes

Lisa Dawn Hamilton, Sari M. van Anders, David N. Cox, and Neil V. Watson

The association between androgens and competition in women has been understudied compared with men. The current study examined the link between testosterone (T) and competition in elite female athletes, using a sample of female wrestlers that included athletes competing at both the national and international level. In a repeated-measures design, saliva samples were collected before and after wrestling bouts, with comparable samples of wins and losses, and subsequently analyzed for T. Study results showed a 22% increase in circulating bioavailable T from pre-to postbout, F(1, 12) = 9.71, P = .009. There was no significant difference in T between win or loss outcomes. These findings—showing a link between individual head-to-head competition and T in women—demonstrate that women’s androgenic responses to environmental contexts are dynamic and may be an important factor to address in research on competitive performance.

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International Swimming League: Do Successive Events Lead to Improve Swimming Performance?

Robin Pla, Arthur Leroy, Yannis Raineteau, and Philippe Hellard

In 2019, a new international competition circuit was born: the International Swimming League (ISL), including the world’s best swimmers. During the second edition, the circuit consisted of 13 meets in 5 weeks, allowing the swimmers to swim up to 7 meets during that period (if the swimmers have

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Swimming Fast When It Counts: A 7-Year Analysis of Olympic and World Championships Performance

Iñigo Mujika, Luis Villanueva, Marijke Welvaert, and David B. Pyne

The Olympic Games, taking place every 4 years, and FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation) World Championships, which are held in pre- and post-Olympic years, are the 2 preeminent international swimming competitions. Qualifying for these events usually requires that swimmers achieve a fitness

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World Championship and Olympic Games Experience Influences Future Medal Performance in Track-and-Field Athletes

Timothy J. Fulton, Marissa N. Baranauskas, and Robert F. Chapman

, United States Track & Field [USATF]) send athletes who may not be expected to place high or medal. This strategy may be viewed as an investment in the future performances of these athletes by allowing them to gain experience at major international competitions. While this strategy carries a financial burden of

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Anthropometric Profiles of Elite Open-Water Swimmers

Gregory Shaw and Iñigo Mujika

physique could be expected. More recently, others have reported on the characteristics of elite OW swimmers during training camps and competition settings. 2 – 5 Swimmers described by Van Heest et al 2 were younger, with similar body mass and height, than those described by Carter and Ackland. 1 Women

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Subjective Sleep Patterns and Jet Lag Symptoms of Junior Netball Players Prior to and During an International Tournament: A Case Study

Jonathon R. Lever, Dina C. Janse van Rensburg, Audrey Jansen van Rensburg, Peter Fowler, and Hugh H.K. Fullagar

and competition. Youth athletes (under 18 y of age) who are less accustomed to international competition and travel requirements may face heightened stress from being away from home, where typically greater guidance and resources may be available. 2 Athletes have been shown to experience inadequate

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Preexercise Cycling Protocol Alters Pacing Behavior in Competitive Time Trials

Marco J. Konings and Florentina J. Hettinga

Athletes are required to continuously make decisions during their competition about how and when to invest their available energy resources. 1 This goal-directed regulation of their exercise intensity is also known as pacing. 2 However, the underlying mechanisms behind this decision