The present study investigated perfectionism prevalence and its relationship to imagery and performance anxiety. Two hundred and fifty (N = 250) elite students (66.4% female; Mage = 19.19, SD = 2.66) studying mainly classical ballet or contemporary dance in England, Canada, and Australia completed questionnaires assessing perfectionism, imagery, and performance anxiety. Cluster analysis revealed three distinct cohorts: dancers with perfectionistic tendencies (40.59% of the sample), dancers with moderate perfectionistic tendencies (44.35%), and dancers with no perfectionistic tendencies (15.06%). Notably, these labels are data driven and relative; only eight dancers reported high absolute scores. Dancers with perfectionistic tendencies experienced more debilitative imagery, greater cognitive and somatic anxiety, and lower self-confidence than other dancers. Dancers with moderate perfectionistic tendencies reported midlevel scores for all constructs and experienced somatic anxiety as being more debilitative to performance than did those with no perfectionistic tendencies. Clusters were demographically similar, though more males than females reported no perfectionistic tendencies, and vice versa. In summary, the present findings suggest that “true” perfectionism may be rare in elite dance; however, elements of perfectionism appear common and are associated with maladaptive characteristics.
Sanna M. Nordin-Bates, Jennifer Cumming, Danielle Aways and Lucinda Sharp
Vellapandian Ponnusamy, Michelle Guerrero and Jeffrey J. Martin
The quintessential goal of most sport psychology consultants is to teach athletes how to achieve optimal performance in any given circumstance. This is often accomplished through the implementation of a psychological skills training (PST) program wherein a set of psychological strategies (e.g., imagery
Paul J. McCarthy, Marc V. Jones, Chris G. Harwood and Steve Olivier
One reason sport psychologists teach psychological skills is to enhance performance in sport; but the value of psychological skills for young athletes is questionable because of the qualitative and quantitative differences between children and adults in their understanding of abstract concepts such as mental skills. To teach these skills effectively to young athletes, sport psychologists need to appreciate what young athletes implicitly understand about such skills because maturational (e.g., cognitive, social) and environmental (e.g., coaches) factors can influence the progressive development of children and youth. In the present qualitative study, we explored young athletes’ (aged 10–15 years) understanding of four basic psychological skills: goal setting, mental imagery, self-talk, and relaxation. Young athletes (n= 118: 75 males and 43 females) completed an open-ended questionnaire to report their understanding of these four basic psychological skills. Compared with the older youth athletes, the younger youth athletes were less able to explain the meaning of each psychological skill. Goal setting and mental imagery were better understood than self-talk and relaxation. Based on these fndings, sport psychologists should consider adapting interventions and psychoeducational programs to match young athletes’ age and developmental level.
Jeffrey J. Martin and Laurie A. Malone
Although sport psychologists have started to examine elite disability sport, studies of comprehensive mental skill use are rare. In the current study, we examined multidimensional imagery and self-talk, as well as comprehensive mental skills (i.e., coping with adversity, goal setting, concentration, peaking under pressure, being coachable, confident, and feeling free from worry). In addition to descriptive data, we also were interested in the ability of athlete’s mental skills to predict engagement (e.g., being dedicated). Fourteen elite level wheelchair rugby players from the United States participated, and results indicated that athletes employed most mental skills. We accounted for 50% of the variance in engagement with comprehensive mental skills (β = .72, p = .03) contributing the most to the regression equation, while imagery (β = -.02, p = .94) and self-talk (β = -.00, p = .99) were not significant. Athletes who reported using a host of mental skills (e.g., coping with adversity) also reported being engaged (e.g., dedicated, enthused, committed) to wheelchair rugby. Athletes reporting minimal mental skill use were less engaged.
Denise M. Hill, Sheldon Hanton, Nic Matthews and Scott Fleming
This study explores the antecedents, mechanisms, influencing variables, and consequences of choking in sport and identifies interventions that may alleviate choking. Through the use of qualitative methods, the experiences of six elite golfers who choked frequently under pressure were examined and compared with five elite golfers who excelled frequently under pressure. The perspectives of four coaches who had worked extensively with elite golfers who had choked and excelled, were also considered. The study indicated that the participants choked as a result of distraction, which was caused by various stressors. Self-confidence, preparation, and perfectionism were identified as key influencing variables of the participants’ choking episodes, and the consequence of choking was a significant drop in performance that affected negatively future performances. Process goals, cognitive restructuring, imagery, simulated training, and a pre/postshot routine were perceived as interventions that may possibly prevent choking.
Joanne Perry, Ashley Hansen, Michael Ross, Taylor Montgomery and Jeremiah Weinstock
task included a negative sport imagery task that instructed athletes to identify and silently reflect upon a sport experience that was challenging. Similarly, athletes were given 90 seconds to use mental coping strategies following the end of this task. See Table 1 for a detailed outline of the
Robin S. Vealey, Robin Cooley, Emma Nilsson, Carly Block and Nick Galli
% Competition Reflections 10% Ottawa Ment Skill Asses Tool (OMSAT-3) 5% Sport Competition Anxiety Test (SCAT) 9% Athletic Coping Skills Invent (ACSI-28) 4% Sport Anxiety Scale (SAS) 6% Sport Imagery Questionnaire 4% 117 other questionnaires/inventories were listed by 1-5 consultants 113 other questionnaires
Marcus Börjesson, Carolina Lundqvist, Henrik Gustafsson and Paul Davis
, often in combination with imagery, on athletes’ arousal levels, muscle tension, and/or performance ( Lee & Hewitt, 1987 ; McAleney, Barbasz, & Barbasz, 1990 ; Norlander et al., 1999 ; Suedfeld & Bruno, 1990 ; Suedfeld, Collier, & Hartnett, 1993 ; Wagaman, Barabasz, & Barabasz, 1991 ). In general
Linda Corbally, Mick Wilkinson and Melissa A. Fothergill
, and imagery which are grounded in cognitive-behavioral techniques ( Gustafsson, Lundqvist, & Tod, 2017 ; Whelan, Mahoney, & Myers, 1991 ). Despite the support for PST there is still concern that athletes experience difficulty in effective implementation ( Birrer, Röthlin, & Morgan, 2012 ). Moreover
Kendahl M. Shortway, Andrew Wolanin, Jennifer Block-Lerner and Donald Marks
-related thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations. Psychological Interventions to Augment Rehabilitation The majority of psychological interventions to augment physical rehabilitation have focused on psychological skills training (PST) which includes techniques such as relaxation, mental imagery, and self