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William L. Dunlop, Daniel J. Beatty, and Mark R. Beauchamp

This research examined the relative effects of other-efficacy and self-efficacy beliefs in relation to individual performance within a cooperative dyadic setting. Pairs of female participants (M age = 20.08, SD = 1.93) performed three practice trials on a dyadic dance-based videogame. Other-efficacy and self-efficacy beliefs were then manipulated through the provision of bogus feedback regarding each pair member's coordination abilities. Following the administration of this feedback, pairs performed a final trial on this dance-based task. The results revealed a main effect for other-efficacy, such that participants in the enhanced other-efficacy conditions outperformed those in the inhibited other-efficacy conditions on this task. A main effect for self-efficacy was not observed. Furthermore, there was no evidence of an interaction between other-efficacy and self-efficacy. The results of this study suggest that other-efficacy may supersede the effects of self-efficacy in supporting personal performance within cooperative relational contexts.

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James Du, Jeremy S. Jordan, and Daniel C. Funk

The current study was an investigation of the role of personal performance, an internal assessment of timegoal achievement, on participants’ event satisfaction that would contribute to positive outcomes. Multiattribute online surveys were distributed to participants at two distance participant sport events held in the Southeast and Northeast United States (N = 3,476 and 4,828). A multidimensional Participant Sport Event Attribute and Service Delivery (PSEASD) scale was developed to capture a spectrum of service touch points encountered during the event experience. Empirical results using covariance-based structural equation modeling was used to test and support a proposed model revealing that personal performance was a stronger positive determinant of event satisfaction than traditional service quality and perceived value. A significant negative interaction effect between service quality and personal performance was also revealed. Collectively, the model explained 41% of variance in event satisfaction, and 26% of behavioral intentions. Based on the findings, we suggest managing personal performance expectations is important to holistically manage and promote overall event satisfaction in a participant sport event setting.

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Tara K. Scanlan and Rebecca Lewthwaite

This field study examined predictors of generalized and specific performance expectancies for 76 male wrestlers, ages 9 to 14 years, who participated in the first two rounds of a competitive wrestling tournament. Generalized expectancies were defined as the participants' overall expectancies for successful performance. Specific expectancies were operationalized by asking wrestlers to indicate how sure they were about winning each of their first two tournament matches. High generalized expectancies were predicted by high self-esteem, greater outcome success in the preceding tournament, and boys' perceptions of (a) greater parental and coach satisfaction with their season's performance and (b) a lack of noncontingent performance reactions by their parents. Then high generalized expectancies, along with high perceived wrestling ability and perceptions of greater adult satisfaction with the season's performance, predicted high specific expectancies for the first tournament round. High specific expectancies for the second round were predicted by high generalized expectancies and high perceived wrestling ability. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for a nomological network of wrestlers' specific performance expectancies.

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Tara K. Scanlan and Michael W. Passer

Identification of factors influencing expectancies of successful performance in competitive youth sports is important to understanding the way in which children perceive and respond to this evaluative achievement situation. Therefore, in this field study involving 10- to 12-year-old female soccer players, intrapersonal factors affecting players' pregame personal performance expectancies were first identified. Soccer ability and self-esteem were found to be related to personal performance expectancies, but competitive trait anxiety was not Second, the impact of game outcome, the previously mentioned intrapersonal variables, and the interaction of game outcome and intrapersonal variables was examined by determining players' postgame team expectancies in a hypothetical rematch with the same opponent. The postgame findings showed that winning players evidenced higher team expectancies than tying and losing players. Moreover, the expectancies of tying players were low and, in fact, similar to those of losers. The results of this study successfully replicated and extended previous findings with young male athletes.

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Benjamin James and David Collins

A qualitative investigation was conducted to identify sources of stress and the self-presentational mechanism that may underpin them during competition. Twenty athletes described factors they perceived as stressful during competition. Content analysis revealed eight general sources of stress, including significant others, competitive anxiety and doubts, perceived readiness, and the nature of the competition (e.g., importance). Two thirds (67.3%) of all stress sources appeared to heighten the athletes’ need to present themselves in a favorable way to the audience. Factors that increased perceived likelihood of poor personal performance lowered the athletes’ ability to convey a desired image to their audience. Social evaluation and self-presentation was also identified as a general source of stress in its own right. These findings suggest that (a) these athletes were sensitive about the impressions people form of them during competition, and (b) stress responses maybe triggered by factors that primarily influence the self-presentational implications of performance.

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

Research on the psychological characteristics of elite performers has primarily focused on Olympic and World champions; however, the mental attributes of young developing and talented athletes have received less attention. Addressing this, the current study had two aims: (a) to examine the perceptions held by youth athletes regarding the mental qualities they need to facilitate their development and (b) to investigate the mental techniques used by these athletes. Forty-three male youth rugby players participated in a series of focus groups. Inductive content analysis revealed 11 categories of psychological qualities, including enjoyment, responsibility, adaptability, squad spirit, self-aware learner, determination, confidence, optimal performance state, game sense, attentional focus, and mental toughness. Techniques employed included personal performance strategies, refection on action, taking advantage of a supportive climate, and team-based strategies. Findings are discussed in relation to their implications for mental skills training program development and evaluation in the case of youth elite team sport athletes.

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Tara K. Scanlan and Rebecca Lewthwaite

This field study investigated the influence and stability of individual difference and situational factors on the competitive stress experienced by 9- to 14-year-old wrestlers. Stress was assessed by the children's form of the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory and was measured immediately before and after each of two consecutive tournament matches. Wrestlers' dispositions, characteristic precompetition cognitions, perceptions of significant adult influences, psychological states, self-perceptions, and competitive outcomes were examined as predictors of pre- and postmatch anxiety in separate multiple regression analyses for each tournament round. The most influential and stable predictors of prematch stress for both matches were competitive trait anxiety and personal performance expectancies, while win-loss and fun experienced during the match predicted postmatch stress for both rounds. In addition, prematch worries about failure and perceived parental pressure to participate were predictive of round 1 prematch stress. Round 1 postmatch stress levels predicted stress after round 2, suggesting some consistency in children's stress responses. In total, 61 and 35% of prematch and 41 and 32% of postmatch state anxiety variance was explained for rounds 1 and 2, respectively.

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Andrew P. Hill, Joachim Stoeber, Anna Brown, and Paul R. Appleton

Perfectionism is a personality characteristic that has been found to predict sports performance in athletes. To date, however, research has exclusively examined this relationship at an individual level (i.e., athletes’ perfectionism predicting their personal performance). The current study extends this research to team sports by examining whether, when manifested at the team level, perfectionism predicts team performance. A sample of 231 competitive rowers from 36 boats completed measures of self-oriented, team-oriented, and team-prescribed perfectionism before competing against one another in a 4-day rowing competition. Strong within-boat similarities in the levels of team members’ team-oriented perfectionism supported the existence of collective team-oriented perfectionism at the boat level. Two-level latent growth curve modeling of day-by-day boat performance showed that team-oriented perfectionism positively predicted the position of the boat in midcompetition and the linear improvement in position. The findings suggest that imposing perfectionistic standards on team members may drive teams to greater levels of performance.

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Damon Burton

Sport psychologists believe that contemporary sport’s pervasive preoccupation with winning may actually be responsible for athletes’ anxiety, motivation, and self-confidence problems. Winning is a goal that lacks the flexibility and control necessary for athletes to (a) achieve consistent success and (b) take credit for success. Martens and Burton (1982) concluded that performance goals (PGs) based on attaining personal performance standards offer the flexibility and control needed to develop high perceived ability and performance. Thus the purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to evaluate whether a goal setting training (GST) program could teach athletes to set appropriate PGs, and (b) to assess the impact of the GST program on the perceived ability, competitive cognitions, and performance of collegiate swimmers. A collegiate swim team (N=30) participated in a season-long GST program, and program effects were systematically evaluated with a multimethod approach using interteam, intrateam, and case study data. Interteam and case study data generally supported both predictions. Intrateam analyses revealed that high-accuracy GST swimmers demonstrated more optimal cognitions and performance than low-accuracy teammates, suggesting that goal setting skill mediated GST effectiveness.

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Tara K. Scanlan and Michael W. Passer

The purpose of this field study was to examine the effects of game win-loss and margin of victory or defeat on postgame attributions. Male competitive soccer players (N= 160) were asked to attribute causality for their teams' win or loss and for their individual performance during the game to the internal factors of ability and effort and to the external factors of opponent difficulty and luck. It was proposed that, in sport, self-esteem protecting biases could be constrained by the emphasis placed on internal causal determinants of performance, and by situational norms which limit the acceptability of external attributions. In accordance with these contentions, the findings showed that although winning players attributed greater causality to internal factors than did losers, losing players still assessed internal attributes to be the most important determinants of game outcome and personal performance. Further, losers were not more external in their causal ascriptions than winners. The margin of victory or defeat did not affect players' causal attributions or their judgments of how much ability, effort, difficulty with the opponent, and luck they personally had in the game. The margin of outcome did impact players' judgments regarding how much of these attributes their team had demonstrated during the game.