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Stacy L. Gnacinski, William V. Massey, Courtney W. Hess, Mellanie M. Nai, Monna Arvinen-Barrow and Barbara B. Meyer

To enhance the specificity of psychological skills training (PST) interventions, the purpose of the current study was to examine stage of change and gender differences in the combination of transtheoretical model (TTM) constructs (i.e., decisional balance pros and cons, self-efficacy, cognitive and behavioral processes of change) among collegiate student-athletes. Participants (N = 602) completed all TTM measures, and a factorial multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was conducted to examine the effects of stage of change and gender on the combination of TTM constructs. No significant interaction effect was identified, yet significant main effects of stage of change and gender were identified. Post hoc tests revealed unique linear combinations of decisional balance, self-efficacy, and processes of change for each stage of change contrast. Taken together, study findings may be used to enhance the specificity of behavior change interventions when delivering PST programs to both male and female collegiate student-athletes.

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Robin S. Vealey

This decade has been marked by the development of several approaches to psychological skills training (PST). To assess current trends in PST in order to ascertain if consumers’ needs are being met, a content analysis of PST approaches published in books in North America between 1980 and 1988 was conducted with regard to target populations, content areas, and format characteristics. Based on the content analysis, six needs representing viable future directions for PST are outlined. These needs include targeting youth and coaches in addition to elite athletes, moving beyond basic education into specific implementation procedures, differentiating between psychological skills and methods, adopting a holistic approach based on the interactional paradigm and a personal development model, defining the practice of sport psychology based on the personal development of sport consumers, and facilitating the theory/practice relationship through research-based PST programming and evaluation research.

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Stephanie J. Hanrahan, J. Robert Grove and Richard J. Lockwood

This paper presents the development and implementation of a psychological skills training program for blind athletes. The structure of the program was based on the personal accounts of successful athletes and the results of studies using sighted athletes. Skills designed to give insight to the body/mind relationship, raise or lower arousal levels, maintain motivation, prepare for competition, and improve problem-solving abilities were introduced to the athletes. Participants completed a self-assessment of psychological skills to determine the skill areas they had strengths in and therefore should take advantage of as well as those mental skill areas in which they could improve. A qualitative evaluation of the program is presented and recommendations for future programs are discussed. Overall, few changes were needed to accommodate for the athletes’ visual impairments.

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Thad R. Leffingwell, Steven P. Rider and Jean M. Williams

In an effort to apply the transtheoretical model of change to the area of psychological skills training, questionnaires measuring stage of change, decisional balance, and self-efficacy were developed and cross-validated on two samples of NCAA Division I intercollegiate student-athletes. The measures showed good internal reliability and construct validity and exhibited hypothesized functional relationships with each other. In addition, the stage of change measure predicted sport psychology consultations initialed by athletes during the year following questionnaire administration and may prove to be a useful tool in predicting subsequent initiation of individual sport psychology consultation. Several potentially useful lines of research are discussed and recommendations are made regarding the development of sport psychology interventions tailored according to athletes’ stage of change.

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Colleen M. Horn, Jenelle N. Gilbert, Wade Gilbert and Dawn K. Lewis

The present study examined a 10-week psychological skills training (PST) intervention called UNIFORM (Johnson & Gilbert, 2004) with a community college softball team. The intervention was based on the transtheoretical model (Prochaska & Marcus, 1994). Results showed that the athletes learned the skills, enjoyed the intervention, and significantly increased their application of relaxation and goal setting during practice and their application of relaxation, imagery, and self-talk during competition as measured by the Test of Performance Strategies (Thomas, Murphy, & Hardy, 1999). Though there were some positive changes, decisional balance and self-efficacy scores (DB-PST, SE-PST; Leffingwell, Rider, & Williams, 2001) were not statistically significant. The UNIFORM approach enabled community college athletes to learn psychological skills and apply them during practice, competition, and in their everyday lives.

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Kyle J. Paquette and Philip Sullivan

Multiple conceptual frameworks support the link between coaches’ attitudes and behaviors, and their effect on a variety of athlete outcomes, such as performance, motivation, and athlete self-perceptions. The present study explored the relationships among coaches’ attitudes and behaviors, with respect to psychological skills training (PST), and the beliefs of their athletes. One hundred and fifteen coaches completed PST attitude (SPA-RC-revised) and behavior measures, while 403 athletes completed two perception measures (CCS and SCI). Structural Equation Modeling showed that the proposed relationships were statistically significant, except for the pathway between coaches’ attitudes and their behaviors. Results support the disconnect between coaches’ attitudes and behaviors previously established in PST research, as well as the theoretical links between coaches’ behaviors and athletes’ perceptions (i.e., evaluation of their coach and self-confidence).

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Marla K. Beauchamp, Richard H. Harvey and Pierre H. Beauchamp

The present article outlines the development and implementation of a multifaceted psychological skills training program for the Canadian National Short Track Speedskating team over a 3-year period leading up to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. A program approach was used emphasizing a seven-phase model in an effort to enhance sport performance (Thomas, 1990) in which psychological skills training was integrated with biofeedback training to optimize self-regulation for performance on demand and under pressure. The biofeedback training protocols were adapted from general guidelines described by Wilson, Peper, and Moss (2006) who built on the work of DeMichelis (2007) and the “Mind Room” program approach for enhancing athletic performance. The goal of the program was to prepare the athletes for their best performance under the pressure of the Olympic Games. While causation cannot be implied due to the lack of a control group, the team demonstrated success on both team and individual levels.

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Virginie de Bressy de Guast, Jim Golby, Anna Van Wersch and Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville

This study presents a complete psychological skills training (PST) program with a wheelchair athlete and examines the program effectiveness using a mixed-method approach. After initial testing, the athlete followed a two-month program of self-confidence building, motivational, visualization/relaxation, and injury management techniques. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to examine the impacts on performance and psychological abilities. The triangulated results suggest that the PST program was perceived as effective by the athlete in terms of his sporting performances and mental skills. The characteristics and implications of a PST program with this wheelchair athlete are discussed, as well as the study limitations and the perspectives for future research.

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Trish Gorely, Anne Jobling, Kellie Lewis and David Bruce

The purpose was to develop an evaluative case study of six 3-hr sessions, spaced over 3 months, of psychological skills training (PST) provided to athletes with an intellectual disability who were training for the Basketball Australia State Championships. Participants were 7 males and 7 females, aged 15.8 to 27.1 years, with a receptive language level of 7 to 13.7 years, 2 female coaches, 2 psychologists, and 1 registered psychologist supervisor. Sessions focused specifically on stress management, with primary attention given to cue words, breathing techniques, and positive thinking. Findings, based on interviews and participant observations, revealed that all participants believed that the PST was appropriate and worthwhile.

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Jessica Daw and Damon Burton

This investigation examined the impact of a comprehensive psychological skills training for tennis (PSTT) program on collegiate tennis players. PSTT players were exposed to three psychological skills (goal setting, imagery, and arousal regulation) and then given the opportunity to develop individualized PSTT programs. Program effectiveness was evaluated through (a) case study analyses, (b) intrateam analyses comparing high- and low-commitment PSTT players, and (c) interteam analyses comparing PSTT (n = 12) and non-PSTT (n = 12) players. Results indicated that the PSTT program was successful, with case studies providing strong support for the effectiveness of individual PSTT programs. Additionally, intrateam results revealed that all PSTT players felt their PSTT program helped their tennis games, although high- and low-commitment players differed significantly on only 2 of 15 psychological and performance variables. As expected, interteam results demonstrated significant differences on only 2 of 15 variables, with PSTT players displaying higher state self-confidence and committing fewer double faults than did their non-PSTT counterparts.