The purpose of this study was to examine possible psychological correlates of flow in a sample of older athletes. Both state and trait, or dispositional flow states, were examined. Masters athletes completed questionnaire assessments on two occasions while competing at an international masters sport competition. The participants (398) completed a questionnaire assessing intrinsic/extrinsic motivation, goal orientation, trait anxiety, perceived ability, and typical flow experiences (trait) when participating in sport. Of these participants, 213 completed a questionnaire after and in relation to one event they competed in at the Games. This second questionnaire assessed state flow, as well as perceptions of success, skills, and challenges in a selected sport event. Correlational and multivariate analyses were conducted to examine psychological correlates of state and trait flow. Patterns of relationships were found between flow and perceived ability, anxiety, and an intrinsic motivation variable. Understanding flow and its relationship with other psychological variables are discussed.
Susan A. Jackson, Stephen K. Ford, Jay C. Kimiecik, and Herbert W. Marsh
Stuart Cathcart, Matt McGregor, and Emma Groundwater
Mindfulness has been found to be related to improved athletic performance and propensity to achieve flow states. The relationship between mindfulness and flow has only recently been examined in elite athletes. To build on this literature, we administered the Five-Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) and the Dispositional Flow Scale to 92 elite athletes. Psychometric analyses supported the validity of the FFMQ. Males scored higher than females on the FFMQ facet of Nonjudging of Inner Experience. Athletes from individual and pacing sports scored higher on the FFMQ facet of Observing than athletes from team-based and nonpacing sports. Correlations between mindfulness and flow were stronger in athletes from individual and pacing sports compared with team-based and nonpacing sports. Mindfulness correlated with different facets of flow in males compared with females. The results support the use of the five-facet mindfulness construct in elite athletes and suggest the relationship between mindfulness and flow possibly may vary by gender and sport type in this population.
Timothy R. Pineau, Carol R. Glass, Keith A. Kaufman, and Darren R. Bernal
The present study explored self- and team-efficacy beliefs in rowers, examining the relations between efficacy beliefs, mindfulness, and flow. Fifty-eight rowers from nine teams completed sport-specific measures of self- and team-efficacy, along with questionnaires assessing mindfulness, flow, sport anxiety, and sport confidence. Self- and team-efficacy were significantly related to mindfulness, dispositional flow, and sport confidence. In addition, both self-efficacy and sport confidence mediated the association between both total mindfulness (and the describe dimension of mindfulness) and the challenge-skill balance dimension of flow. These results provide indirect support for a proposed model, which suggests that mindfulness may positively impact the integral challenge-skill balance aspect of flow in athletes through self-efficacy.
Susan A. Jackson, Andrew J. Martin, and Robert C. Eklund
Long and short flow scales are examined from dispositional (n = 652 long; n = 692 short) and state (n = 499 long; n = 865 short) perspectives. The long flow scales constitute a 36-item multidimensional assessment of flow and have previously demonstrated good psychometric properties. The short flow scales constitute new abbreviated versions of the long forms, contain 9 items, and provide a brief measure of flow from a dimensional perspective. In the current study, long and short flow scales are assessed across a large and diverse physical activity sample. With few exceptions, these flow measures demonstrated acceptable model ft, reliability, and distributions; associations with key correlates in parallel and hypothesized ways; and invariance in factor loadings. Together, the scales provide options for assessing flow in different contexts and when different goals or constraints are operating. Researchers wanting to capture an aggregate of the multidimensional framework might find the short scales a pragmatic alternative when constraints prohibit use of the full-length versions.
John Scott-Hamilton and Nicola S. Schutte
This study examined the role of degree of adherence in a mindfulness-based intervention on mindfulness, flow, sport anxiety, and sport-related pessimistic attributions in athletes. Twelve athletes participated in an 8-week mindfulness intervention which incorporated a mindfulness focus on movement training component. Participants completed baseline and posttest measures of mindfulness, flow, sport anxiety, and sport-related pessimistic attributions, and they filled out daily mindfulness-training logbooks documenting their frequency and duration of mindfulness practice. Participants were identified as either high adherence or low adherence with mindfulness-training based on a composite score of logbook practice records and workshop attendance. Athletes high in adherence, operationalized as following recommended practice of mindfulness exercises, showed significantly greater increases in mindfulness and aspects of flow, and significantly greater decreases in pessimism and anxiety than low adherence athletes. Greater increases in mindfulness from baseline to posttest were associated with greater increases in flow and greater decreases in pessimism. Increases in flow were associated with decreases in somatic anxiety and pessimism.
Jessica Ross and Peter D. MacIntyre
It is a high priority for research in applied sport psychology to understand the processes that accompany optimal performance ( Jackson, Thomas, Marsh, & Smethurst, 2001 ). For over forty years, the concept flow has been associated with peak experiences and optimal functioning in a wide variety of
Stefan Koehn, Alan J. Pearce, and Tony Morris
The main purpose of the study was to examine crucial parts of Vealey’s (2001) integrated framework hypothesizing that sport confidence is a mediating variable between sources of sport confidence (including achievement, self-regulation, and social climate) and athletes’ affect in competition. The sample consisted of 386 athletes, who completed the Sources of Sport Confidence Questionnaire, Trait Sport Confidence Inventory, and Dispositional Flow Scale-2. Canonical correlation analysis revealed a confidence-achievement dimension underlying flow. Bias-corrected bootstrap confidence intervals in AMOS 20.0 were used in examining mediation effects between source domains and dispositional flow. Results showed that sport confidence partially mediated the relationship between achievement and self-regulation domains and flow, whereas no significant mediation was found for social climate. On a subscale level, full mediation models emerged for achievement and flow dimensions of challenge–skills balance, clear goals, and concentration on the task at hand.
Steven Love, Lee Kannis-Dymand, and Geoff P. Lovell
Originally conceptualized by Csikszentmihalyi ( 1975 ), flow was defined as a mental state of operation, in which a person is completely immersed in an activity, accompanied by feelings of awareness, focus, involvement, and success. Flow has been considered an optimal state for performance, because
Joanne E. Perry, Michael Ross, Jeremiah Weinstock, and Terri Weaver
Research has supported mindfulness as a predictor of athletic success. This study used a parallel trial design to examine the benefit of a brief one-session mindfulness training for performance on an individual, nonpacing, closed skill athletic task (i.e., golf putting). All participants (N = 65) answered questionnaires and engaged in two trials of the putting task. Participants were randomly assigned to an intervention or control group using a simple randomization strategy. Between trials, the intervention group received a mindfulness intervention. Mindfulness intervention included psychoeducation, reflection upon previous sport experiences, an experiential exercise, and putting applications. Repeated-measures ANOVAs demonstrated that the intervention group exhibited more successful outcomes on objective putting performance, flow state experience, and state anxiety (p < .05). Results suggest mindfulness may prevent performance deterioration and could produce psychological benefits after a brief training session.
Jay C. Kimiecik and Amy T. Harris
It has been suggested that enjoyment is a key construct for understanding and explaining the motivation and experiences of sport and exercise participants (Scanlan & Simons, 1992; Wankel, 1993). In this paper, definitions of enjoyment used by sport and exercise psychology researchers are reviewed, and the conceptual and measurement implications for the study of sport and exercise experiences are discussed. In many studies investigating enjoyment, researchers have not adequately defined the construct. Also, there are possible limitations with proposed definitions of enjoyment (e.g., Scanlan & Simons, 1992; Wankel, 1993). One possible way of addressing these limitations is to conceptualize and define enjoyment as flow (Csikszentmihalyi, 1993). To support this enjoyment-equals-flow contention, enjoyment/flow is compared with other related constructs: affect, attitude, pleasure, and intrinsic motivation. Implications of the suggested definition of enjoyment as flow for past and present enjoyment research in sport and exercise psychology are discussed.