Coaches’ psychological functioning is becoming an increasingly popular research topic. This is due, in part, to the recognition that coaches can have a positive or negative impact on athletes’ psychological experiences and must be psychologically well to function optimally in their roles
Kylie McNeill, Natalie Durand-Bush, and Pierre-Nicolas Lemyre
Carolina Lundqvist and Fredrik Sandin
This study examined subjective (SWB), psychological (PWB) and social well-being (Social WB) at a global and sport contextual level among ten elite orienteers (6 women and 4 men, median age = 20.4, range 18–30) by employing semistructured interviews. Athletes described SWB as an interplay of satisfaction with life, sport experiences and perceived health combined with experienced enjoyment and happiness in both ordinary life and sport. SWB and PWB interacted, and important psychological functioning among the elite athletes included, among other things, abilities to adopt value-driven behaviors, be part of functional relationships, and to self-regulate one’s autonomy. The ability to organize and combine ordinary life with elite sport, and the use of strategies to protect the self during setbacks was also emphasized. For a comprehensive theoretical understanding of well-being applicable to elite athletes, the need for a holistic view considering both global and sport-specific aspects of WB is discussed.
Andrew T. Wolanin and Lori A. Schwanhausser
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the impact of subclinical psychological difficulties, as assessed by the Multilevel Classification System for Sport Psychology (MCS-SP; Gardner & Moore, 2004b, 2006), on the efficacy of the Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment (MAC; Gardner & Moore, 2004a, 2007) performance enhancement intervention. Thirteen collegiate field hockey and volleyball athletes participated in a 7-week MAC protocol, and their results were compared to those of a control group of 7 same-sport athletes. Nonparametric analysis of the data offers additional support for MAC as a strategy for enhancing the athletic performance of collegiate athletes and suggests the importance of the accurate assessment of subclinical psychological difficulties to ensure the successful application of sport psychology interventions. In essence, these results suggest that the presence or absence of subclinical psychological difficulties may serve as a moderating factor in performance enhancement efforts.
Timothy LaVigne, Betsy Hoza, Alan L. Smith, Erin K. Shoulberg, and William Bukowski
We examined the relation between physical fitness and psychological well-being in children ages 10–14 years (N = 222), and the potential moderation of this relation by sex. Participants completed a physical fitness assessment comprised of seven tasks and a diverse set of self-report well-being measures assessing depressive symptoms, loneliness, and competence. Peers reported on social status and teachers rated adaptive functioning, internalizing symptoms, and externalizing symptoms. Multiple regression analyses indicated a significant association between physical fitness and psychological well-being for both boys and girls. Higher levels of physical fitness were associated with lower levels of peer dyadic loneliness and fewer depressive symptoms; greater cognitive, social, and athletic competence; greater feelings of self-worth; and better teacher reports of adaptive functioning. An interaction between internalizing and sex indicated a significant and negative association between physical fitness and internalizing symptoms for males only. No other moderation effects by sex were observed. Results suggest that physical fitness is associated with a range of well-being indicators for both boys and girls in this age group.
Andy Gillham and Craig Stone
attributed 40–90% of their success in sport to mental factors. Anderson, Hanrahan, and Mallet ( 2014 ) highlighted that elite athletes constantly strive to achieve a superior state of psychological functioning in order to achieve peak performance. Krane and Williams ( 2006 ) noted that athletes report
Patricia Marten DiBartolo and Carey Shaffer
This study examines eating attitudes, body satisfaction, reasons for exercise, and general psychological well-being in female nonathletes and Division III college athletes. A total of 115 nonathletes and 94 athletes completed measures of eating attitudes, body satisfaction, trait affect, reasons for exercise, and perceived self-competence. On the majority of measures, the scores of athletes revealed less eating disorder symptomatology and more healthy psychological functioning than the scores of nonathletes. These results indicate that female athletic involvement can be associated with healthy eating and psychological functioning. Future research should give consideration to which environments may foster healthy sports participation.
Edward McAuley, Shannon L. Mihalko, and Susan M. Bane
This study was designed to examine whether the exercise environment affected individuals’ anxiety responses. Participants either sat quietly (control) or exercised in either a laboratory or a setting of their own choosing. State anxiety measures were assessed at baseline, during activity, and following 15 minutes of rest after activity. Analyses indicated that the exercising conditions significantly reduced anxiety, whereas the control condition did not. Additional analyses indicated that anxiety increased from baseline during exercise and then was reduced upon exercise cessation. The implications of these findings for the examination of acute exercise effects on psychological function are discussed.
Jessie M. Wall, Janelle L. Kwee, Marvin J. McDonald, and Richard A. Bradshaw
This study was the first to explore the treatment effects of observed and experiential integration (OEI) therapy for the salient psychological barriers to performance experienced by athletes. The hermeneutic single case efficacy design was used to explore the relationship between OEI therapy and athlete psychological functioning. The participant was a student-athlete who met the criteria for the performance dysfunction (multilevel classification system of Sport psychology) category, which indicates that subclinical issues were present. After five phases of data collection, a rich case record was compiled and referenced to develop skeptic and affirmative briefs and corresponding rebuttals by two research teams of three experts (OEI clinician, non-OEI clinician, and sport expert). Three independent judges adjudicated the cases and unanimously concluded that the client changed considerably to substantially and that OEI, the therapeutic relationship, and client expectancy were active variables in the change process.
Roger Feltman and Andrew J. Elliot
Recent research has revealed that a person or team wearing red is more likely to win a physical contest than a person or team wearing another color. In the present research, we examined whether red influences perceptions of relative dominance and threat in an imagined same-sex competitive context, and did so attending to the distinction between wearing red oneself and viewing red on an opponent. Results revealed a bidirectional effect: wearing red enhanced perceptions of one’s relative dominance and threat, and viewing an opponent in red enhanced perceptions of the opponent’s relative dominance and threat. These effects were observed across sex, and participants seemed unaware of the influence of red on their responses. Our findings lead to practical suggestions regarding the use of colored attire in sport contexts, and add to an emerging, provocative literature indicating that red has a subtle but important influence on psychological functioning.
Serge Brand, Markus Gerber, Flora Colledge, Edith Holsboer-Trachsler, Uwe Pühse, and Sebastian Ludyga
While there is evidence that acute bouts of aerobic and coordinative exercise positively affect attention and executive functions, no study has focused on the impact of acute exercise on facial-emotion processing. A total of 106 adolescents (mean age 13.0 years) were randomly assigned to a group performing either an aerobic exercise session (AER), an aerobic exercise session with coordinative demands (AER+C), or stretching. Before and after the 35-min experimental session, participants completed computerized facial-emotion labeling and emotion-matching tasks. Facial-emotion labeling, but not emotion matching, increased over time, but more so in AER and AER+C conditions. When aerobic exercise is combined with coordinative demands, greater benefits seem to be elicited for some aspects of facial-emotion recognition. Results suggest a new direction for the influence of exercising on dimensions of psychological functioning, namely on emotion processing and social cognition.