distancing themselves from the team, pessimism, and placing blame on others ( Wann, 2006 ), and we see these strategies employed by fans in practical sport settings. However, we know much less concerning the extent to which fans employ problem-focused coping (i.e., efforts to remedy the threat via direct or
Elizabeth B. Delia
Bonita C. Long and Colleen J. Haney
The present study describes the results of a 14-month follow-up evaluation of 39 stressed working women randomly assigned to aerobic exercise (i.e., jogging) or progressive relaxation interventions. At this follow-up, both intervention groups reported significantly less anxiety and greater self-efficacy. In addition, subjects tended to increase their use of problem-focused coping as compared to emotion-focused coping, and 64% of them were still regularly using some structured form of relaxation or exercise. The proportion of subjects reaching clinically significant improvements was 24% at the end of treatment and 36% at the 14-month follow-up.
Nico W. Van Yperen
This prospective study was designed to identify psychological factors that predict career success in professional adult soccer. Post hoc, two groups were distinguished: (1) Male soccer players who successfully progressed into professional adult soccer (n = 18) and (2) Male soccer players who did not reach this level (n = 47). Differences between the two groups were examined on the basis of data gathered in the initial phase of their careers, 15 years earlier. The psychological factors that predicted career success while statistically controlling for initial performance level and demographic variables were goal commitment, engagement in problem-focused coping behaviors, and social support seeking. On the basis of their scores on the significant predictor and control variables, 84.6% of the adolescent youth players were classified correctly as successful or unsuccessful.
Fraser Carson and Remco C. J. Polman
The aim of this case study was to investigate the emotional factors and coping strategies used by a professional rugby union player during rehabilitation from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. A dominant (qualitative) - less dominant (quantitative) mixed methodological approach was established concurrent with the athlete’s rehabilitation. Twice monthly interviews and a self-report diary were completed throughout the rehabilitation process. Six questionnaires were used to assess specific aspects of injury rehabilitation identified from previous literature, including emotional response, coping, social support, and perceived autonomy. Content analysis of each phase of the rehabilitation process established 34 higher-order themes split into two general dimensions: Influential Emotions or Coping Strategies. Findings highlight the benefit of problem-focused coping to improve autonomy and confidence. A sequential movement through a series of emotions (shock, depression, relief, encouragement, and confidence building) was also identified.
Siobhain McArdle, Phil Moore and Deirdre Lyons
Career pathways in high performance sport include a number of emotionally resonant transitions. Sport systems must be able to effectively support the athlete’s endeavors to negotiate such challenges. This study investigated qualitatively the experiences of Olympic athletes who took part in a three-tier, post-games career transition support program. The aim of the program was to increase athletes’ coping resources to successful negotiate the post-Olympic period. Ten athletes who participated in the program were recruited to participate in semi structured individual interviews. Directed content analysis was employed to identify key themes in the data. Athletes perceived two components of the program as particularly helpful, the normalization of the emotional and psychological challenge of the post Games period and the use of problem focused coping to redirect athlete focus to the future. The findings from this study provide a preliminary framework for the planning of future post-Games career transition support programs.
Peter R.E. Crocker and Thomas R. Graham
This study evaluated patterns of coping, relationships between coping and negative and positive affect, and gender differences in coping and affect in competitive athletes. A sample of 235 female and male athletes reported recent stressful performance situations and indicated appraisals related to performance goals, coping, and affective responses. Lack of goal attainment (goal incongruence) was used as a measure of stress. Group means for coping indicated that athletes primarily used strategies such as increasing effort, planning, suppressing competing activities, active coping, and self-blame. Females used higher levels of seeking social support for emotional reasons and increasing effort to manage goal frustration. Males experienced higher levels of positive affect. For positive affect, regression analysis found a significant five-variable solution (R 2 = .31). For negative affect, there was also a significant five-variable solution (R 2 = .38). The gender differences were not congruent with views that males would use higher levels of problem-focused coping.
Roy David Samuel
Soccer referees are performers on their own merit, yet little research has focused on their career transitions. This case study attempted to bridge this gap by examining 4 referees’ transition to the Israeli Premier League. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected as the referees advanced through their transitions. Data collection was done as part of a consultation process, designed to facilitate an effective transition adaptation. The analysis of data was guided by the framework of the scheme of change for sport psychology practice. The results indicated that the transition presented various on- (e.g., modifications of refereeing style) and off-field demands (e.g., social assimilation). The referees perceived the transition as a significant and positive career change event, yet 3 of them felt low to moderate perceived control over the new situation, as it was dependent on external factors. The referees coped with the transition through decision making, consulting with others, and applying problem-focused coping. They perceived the transition outcome as positive, maintaining balanced identities. The consultation process is discussed with several examples for the application of processes of change, with the objective of reaching a decision to change. The conclusions emphasize a balanced dual career, the rigor of the case study, and the role of the consultant.
Brendan Cropley, Lee Baldock, Stephen D. Mellalieu, Rich Neil, Christopher Robert David Wagstaff and Ross Wadey
This study aimed to gain an insight into the general coping strategies used by sport psychology consultants (SPCs) based in the UK, and an in-depth understanding of their development and impact. To achieve these aims a mixed-method approach was adopted by means of two linked studies. In study one, BASES accredited and/or BPS chartered SPCs (n = 29) completed the modified COPE inventory (Crocker & Graham, 1995) to gain a better understanding of the general coping strategies used by practitioners. In study two, follow-up interviews (n = 6) with participants sampled from study one were conducted to explore how the reported strategies were developed, the perceived impact of coping/not coping with stressors, and how future SPCs may be better prepared for the stressful nature of consultancy. Findings suggested that the participants had a statistically significant preference to using problem-focused coping strategies. Further, the interviews suggested that coping strategies were primarily developed through reflection on experiences in different contexts. The impacts of coping/not coping and the practical development implications raised are discussed.
Nikos Ntoumanis and Stuart J.H. Biddle
The purpose of the present study was to examine how coping strategies in sport relate to differences in levels of anxiety intensity and to the interpretation of these levels as being facilitative or debilitative to performance. British university athletes were asked to recall a recent stressful situation in their sport, the coping strategies they used, and the intensity and direction of their anxiety symptoms. Results showed that perceptions of facilitative cognitive anxiety were related to the use of problem-focused coping. High levels of cognitive anxiety intensity were related to emotion-focused coping and avoidance coping. With regard to somatic anxiety, there was a significant interaction between the intensity and direction dimensions in that similar high levels of anxiety intensity were related to different coping strategies, depending on whether somatic anxiety was perceived to be facilitative or debilitative. From a practical point of view, the results show that athletes with positive perceptions of their anxiety level are able to use effective coping strategies. Lastly, suggestions are offered for further exploration of the nature of the interrelationship between coping strategies and anxiety.
Zenzi Huysmans and Damien Clement
( Neff et al., 2005 ), which suggests that, when appropriate, self-compassionate individuals are more likely to take action in a stress-provoking situation. Attempts at managing or altering the issue that is causing distress (i.e., problem-focused coping; Lazarus & Folkman, 1984 ) are useful when action