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Michael J. Greenspan and Deborah L. Feltz

Although sport psychologists utilize numerous interventions and techniques intended to enhance the performance of athletes in competition, the selection of those interventions has not always been based on research for which adequate validity has been established. In an attempt to provide sport psychologists with a working body of accurate knowledge and suggestions for future intervention research, an analysis and synthesis of research is presented that addresses the efficacy of different psychological interventions with athletes performing in competitive situations in the sport in which they regularly compete. From information reported in 19 published studies, covering 23 interventions, it was concluded that educational relaxation-based interventions and remedial cognitive restructuring interventions with individual athletes are, in general, effective.

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John G.H. Dunn and A. Brian Nielsen

To fully understand why athletes experience anxiety in specific competitive situations, the psychological dimensions upon which threat perceptions are based must also be understood. No studies to date have been designed primarily to facilitate direct cross-sport comparisons of the constructs. The purposes of this study were (a) to identify the psychological dimensions upon which athletes in ice hockey and soccer base threat perceptions towards specific anxiety-inducing game situations, and (b) to determine whether athletes from these sports held similar threat perceptions towards parallel cross-sport situations. Seventy-one athletes rated the degree of similarity of threat perceptions across 15 sport-specific game situations. A multidimensional scaling analysis revealed similar three-dimensional solutions for each sport. However, certain distinct between-sport differences were also observed. Furthermore, the perceptions of threat towards certain situations were found to be multidimensional. The implications these findings have for competitive-anxiety research are discussed.

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Charles B. Corbin

Male and female subjects (N = 80), ranging in age from 17 to 25 years, participated in a study designed to determine if the sex of the sex of the subject, the sex of the subject's opponent, or the perceived ability of the subject's opponent, (good vs. poor ability) affected subjects' self confidence after competing at a task (TV Pong Game) of “neutral” sex orientation. a 2 x 2 x 2 mixed factorial design, with 10 subjects assigned to each cell, was used. All subjects competed in five games against a confederate and in all cases subjects lost all but the second of the five games. Data were treated using an ANCOVA, with preperformance confidence being used as the covariate. Ragardless of sex of the opponent, females expressed postperformance confidence levels equal to males after performing against an opponent thought to be poor in ability, but they were significantly less cofident after performing against opponents perceived to be good in ability. These findings are consistent with those of Argote, Fisher, McDonald, and O'Neal (1976), who note that the performance expectations of females tend to be unstable and change with single encounters, whereas males are less likely to allow one failure to affect performance assessments.

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Mário A.M. Simim, Marco Túlio de Mello, Bruno V.C. Silva, Dayane F. Rodrigues, João Paulo P. Rosa, Bruno Pena Couto and Andressa da Silva

application to the referred modalities. Conclusions The main variables for load monitoring in competitive situations are distance, speed, and duration; the variables for training situations are HR, VO 2 , TRIMP, and RPE. Both external and internal methods can be used to monitor the athlete’s training load

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Marco J. Konings and Florentina J. Hettinga

, different behavior of the opponent has been shown to invite different pacing responses. 5 However, apart from the opponents as most obvious affordances in competition, many other external cues will be presented simultaneously to an exerciser in real-life competitive situations. Therefore, it seems likely

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Boris Blumenstein, Michael Bar-Eli and Gershon Tenenbaum

A five-step approach of mental training incorporating biofeedback (BFB) with videocassette recorder (VCR) is presented in this article. The technique consists of five stages, with flexible time-session limits that can be individualized. These are (a) introducing mental techniques, (b) determining and strengthening the appropriate BFB modality, (c) BFB training with simulated competitive stress, (d) transformation of the mental training to practice, and (e) realization of the technique in competitive situations. The technique and some findings are further discussed.

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Robert S. Weinberg, David Yukelson and Allen Jackson

The present investigation was designed to extend Weinberg, Gould, and Jackson's (1979) efficacy-performance results to a back-to-back competitive situation as well as to determine whether performance would be affected by the solicitation of public vs. private expectancy statements. Subjects (56 males and 56 females) were randomly assigned to either a high or low self-efficacy condition and either stated their expectancy of success publicly or privately in a 2 × 2 × 2 (sex × self-efficacy × publiclprivate) factorial design. Self-efficacy was manipulated by having subjects compete against a confederate on a muscular leg-endurance task in which the confederate was said to be either a varsity track athlete who exhibited higher performance on a related task (low self-efficacy), or an individual who had a knee injury and exhibited poorer performance on a related task (high self-efficacy). The results supported self-efficacy predictions, and thus extended Weinberg et al.'s findings to a back-to-back competitive situation. The public/private manipulation produced no significant performance effects. In addition, the sex by self-efficacy interaction indicated that the self-efficacy main effect was due primarily to high-efficacy males extending their legs significantly longer than low-efficacy males. These results are discussed in terms of the differing patterns of sex-role socialization.

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Annelies Knoppers, Jayne Schuiteman and Bob Love

The purpose of this study was to explore the dimensionality, situation specificity, and magnitude of game orientation in teenagers across the independent variables of gender, athletic status (athlete, nonathlete) and ethnicity (Anglo, Black, Hispanic). Subjects (N = 864) completed a Likert version of Webb’s Professionalization Scale (1969) in response to a description of a recreational and of a competitive situation. Responses to questions pertaining to the importance of victory and of skill comprised a professional orientation while questions focusing on fun and equity constituted a play orientation. The results indicated that game orientation was multidimensional and situation specific, and was mediated to some extent by ethnicity but not by gender and athletic status. The discussion includes a focus on methodology and instrumentation used in other studies pertaining to game orientation.

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Philippe Romand and Nathalie Pantaléon

The purpose of this study was to attain a deeper understanding of youth coaches’ attitudes toward the display of moral character (e.g., the values they try to teach their players, the concrete means they use to teach game rules, and prosocial norms) and to examine how they make rule abidance compatible with intensive efforts to achieve success. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 16 coaches of adolescent rugby teams. The interviews dealt with how values are taught to players and how rule following is enforced during practice and competition. A lexical analysis (Alceste software) and a thematic analysis were performed on the interview answers. The findings illustrate the complexity of the coaching role—coaches must impart a certain number of rules and ways of acting to their athletes while simultaneously inciting them to a high performance level that can lead players to go overboard in competitive situations.

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Robin C. Jackson and Julien S. Baker

This paper presents a case study of the most prolific rugby goal kicker of all time. In the first part of the study, the consistency of his preperformance routine was analyzed over kicks of varying difficulty. Results indicate that while certain physical aspects of his routine remain consistent, both his concentration time and physical preparation time increase with kick difficulty. In the second part of the study, the participant was interviewed about his physical and mental preparation for rugby goal kicking in competitive situations. The interview revealed that the participant incorporates a number of psychological skills into his routine, including thought stopping, cueing, and imagery but does not do so consistently. However, he perceives the timing of his routine to be highly consistent. Implications of these findings for the recommendation that performers strive for temporal consistency in their routines (Boutcher, 1990) are discussed.