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Deirdre Lyons, Philip Clarke, and Robert C. Dempsey

-being service, and their later reflections on mental health experiences in a high-performance environment. Journey to Disclosure This theme focuses on players’ journeys of recognizing and disclosing having difficulty with their mental health, something which was discussed in detail by all the participants. The

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Matthew A. Pain, Chris Harwood, and Richard Mullen

The aim of the current study was to facilitate systematic reflection and action to improve the performance environment of a soccer team during a competitive season. Using the Performance Environment Survey (PES; Pain & Harwood, 2007) as a diagnostic instrument, the researcher worked with the coach to collaboratively identify areas in which team preparation and functioning could be improved. Completed by the players and coach after each match, the PES captured feedback around team preparation and performance in the physical, psychological, coaching, social, planning/organizational and environmental domains. Analysis of this feedback provided the stimulus for weekly discussions with the coach. Results suggested that coach and player reflection increased during the study, and the coach reported that the PES data and his reflections on that data were beneficial to managing the performance environment. In areas where change was targeted—in particular the social and the phaysical domains—improvements in team functioning were reported. Team feedback meetings were also perceived as helpful to improving player ownership and cohesiveness.

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Jing Wen Pan, Pui Wah Kong, and John Komar

This study aimed to investigate individual trial-to-trial performance in three tests to define adaptive regulation as a key feature of expertise in nine-ball. Thirty-one male players were assigned into the low-skilled (n = 11), intermediate (n = 10), or high-skilled groups (n = 10). The power control, cue alignment, and angle tests were selected to assess participants’ ability to control the power applied in shots, strike the ball straight, and understand the ball paths, respectively. Error distance and correction of error distance were identified for each shot using 2D video analysis. Results of one-way analysis of variance showed that the high-skilled group performed better in two out of the three tests than the other two groups (p = .010 for the cue alignment test; p = .002 for the angle test). However, the adaptation effect represented by the decreased error distances across trials was not observed. Pearson correlation revealed only a few significant correlations between the error distance and its correction within each participant in all tests (p < .05), and hence, the hypothesis that “low correction happened after small error and vice versa” is not supported.

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Bruce H. Miles

Competitive opportunities for handicapped or disabled athletes are burgeoning. Different populations have different capabilities. Moderately (MO-MR) and mildly mentally retarded (MI-MR) athletes have unique abilities, and many physical educators, teachers, and volunteers spend countless hours preparing individuals and teams for tournaments and competitions. Two models are presented to assist in assessing MO-MR and MI-MR athletes’ abilities and levels of social functioning. Additionally a hierarchy of motor performance environments is presented. Discussion entails proper placement of athletes in a motor performance environment after ability and social functioning assessments have been completed.

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Charlotte Woodcock, Mark J.G. Holland, Joan L. Duda, and Jennifer Cumming

The aim of the current study was to extend previous research by Holland and colleagues (2010) into the required psychological qualities of young talented rugby players by considering the perceptions and supportive role of influential others. Perceptions of players’ parents (n = 17), coaches (n = 7), and sport administration staff (SAS; n = 2) were explored through focus group discussions. Findings show that these influential others considered the same 11 higher order themes for psychological qualities previously identified as desirable by players. Their views on how they assisted in developing these player psychological qualities were classified into three higher-order themes, namely progressive development, professional environment, and performance environment. Specific behaviors contributing to each context and deemed helpful by influential others were discussed in terms of ecological systems theory (Bonfenbrenner, 1977). Recommendations for future research and applied implications for consultants are subsequently offered.

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Lynne Evans, Leigh Jones, and Richard Mullen

The purpose of the present study was to explore the use of imagery by an elite rugby union football player and to examine the effects of an imagery intervention in a practical performance environment. The study took place over a 14-week period of the competitive season. Data collection comprised semi-structured interviews, diaries, and the Sport Imagery Questionnaire. The findings suggested that the participant primarily used cognitive specific and cognitive general imagery. Post-intervention, the participant reported greater clarity; detail; control over his anxiety, activation, and motivation levels; an improvement in his ability to generate confidence in his playing ability prior to games; and more structure to his imagery use. The study highlighted the importance of individualizing imagery interventions to meet the specific needs of different athletes.

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Mitchell Naughton, Joanna Miller, and Gary J. Slater

Athletes involved in contact sports are habitually exposed to skeletal-muscle damage in their training and performance environments. This often leads to exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) resulting from repeated eccentric and/or high-intensity exercise and to impact-induced muscle damage (IIMD) resulting from collisions with opponents and the playing surface. While EIMD has been an area of extensive investigation, IIMD has received comparatively little research, with the magnitude and time frame of alterations following IIMD not presently well understood. It is currently thought that EIMD results from an overload of mechanical stress that causes ultrastructural damage to the cellular membrane constituents. Damage leads to compromised ability to produce force, which manifests immediately and persists for up to 14 d following exercise exposure. IIMD has been implicated in attenuated neuromuscular performance and recovery and in inflammatory processes, although the underlying course over time remains unclear. Exposure to EIMD leads to an adaptation to subsequent exposures, a phenomenon known as the repeated-bout effect. An analogous adaptation has been suggested to occur following IIMD; however, to date, this contention remains equivocal. While a considerable body of research has explored the efficacy of recovery strategies following EIMD, strategies promoting recovery from IIMD are limited to investigations using animal contusion models. Strategies such as cryotherapy and antioxidant supplementation that focus on attenuating the secondary inflammatory response may provide additional benefit in IIMD and are explored herein. Further research is required to first establish a model of generating IIMD and then explore broader areas around IIMD in athletic populations.

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Steve M. Smith, Stewart T. Cotterill, and Hazel Brown

The performance environment of athletes has been defined as “the array of factors impacting individual and team performance in competitive situations. It includes only those factors that are temporally and organizationally related to the competitive situation” ( Pain & Harwood, 2008 , p. 2

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Athanasia Smirniotou, Flora Panteli, and Apostolos Theodorou

In dynamic performance environments, motor performance depends on a distinctive interaction between the person, the task, and the environment ( Newell, 1986 ). Ecological dynamics suggests that human behavior emerges through continuous interaction with possibilities for action (affordances

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Shona L. Halson, Alan G. Hahn, and Aaron J. Coutts

In high-performance environments, the interaction of sport scientists with coaches and athletes is often referred to as servicing. In some cases, providing services to athletes (eg, collecting training data) is considered one of the primary roles of the sport scientist. In both professional and