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The Associations Between Talent Development Environments and Psychological Skills in Iranian Youth Athletes: A Variable and Person-Centered Approach

Russell Martindale, Chunxiao Li, Georgios Andronikos, Marziyeh Jafari, and Rokhsareh Badami

the most influential research in this area has highlighted that a holistic approach is vital ( Henriksen et al., 2010 ; Martindale et al., 2007 ). As such, given the clear suggestion within current research that psychological skills are crucial for successful development and overcoming multiple

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Assessing and Maximizing Collegiate Athletes’ Psychological Skills Under Constraints: A Preseason Brief Intervention Approach

Tsz Lun (Alan) Chu and Trent A. Petrie

to focus on physical, technical, and tactical training instead of psychological skills training ( Zakrajsek et al., 2013 ). When SPPs encounter such time and scheduling challenges in their work with collegiate teams, learning how to develop and implement evidence-based interventions within short

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Psychological Skills and Characteristics Facilitative of Youth Athletes’ Development: A Systematic Review

Lea-Cathrin Dohme, David Piggott, Susan Backhouse, and Gareth Morgan

Research has long attested to the important role of psychological skills and characteristics (PSCs) in determining elite athletic performance. According to Dohme, Backhouse, Piggott, and Morgan ( 2017 ), psychological characteristics are commonly defined as trait-like dispositions that can be

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Developing and Implementing an App-Based Blended Psychological Skills Training: A Case Study

Lukas Stenzel, Melissa Röcken, Simon Borgmann, and Oliver Stoll

Psychological skills training (PST), also known as mental skills training, refers to the systematic and consistent practice of psychological/mental skills to improve performance, increase enjoyment, and/or achieve greater self‐satisfaction ( Weinberg & Gould, 2019 ). Vealey ( 2007 ) differentiated

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Coaches Coaching Psychological Skills—Why Not? A Framework and Questionnaire Development

Rosemary A. Arthur, Nichola Callow, Ross Roberts, and Freya Glendinning

This study is part of a program of research arising from the interests of Sport Wales (a U.K. National Sport Institute) in coaches delivering psychological skills (PS) to their athletes, with the overarching aim of gaining insights into the coaching of PS and developing an effective intervention to

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Psychological Skills for Injury Prevention and Recovery

Leilani Madrigal

Psychological skills such as goal setting, imagery, relaxation and self-talk have been used in performance enhancement, emotional regulation, and increasing one’s confidence and/or motivation in sport. These skills can also be applied with athletes during recovery from injury in the rehabilitation setting or in preseason meetings for preventing injury. Research on psychological skill use with athletes has shown that such skills have helped reduce negative psychological outcomes, improve coping skills, and reduce reinjury anxiety (Evans & Hardy, 2002; Johnson, 2000; Mankad & Gordon, 2010). Although research has been limited in psychological skill implementation with injured athletes, these skills can be used when working with injured athletes or in the prevention of injury. Injured athletes may use psychological skills such as setting realistic goals in coming back from injury, imagery to facilitate rehabilitation, and relaxation techniques to deal with pain management. In prevention of injury, the focus is on factors that put an individual at-risk for injury. Thus, teaching strategies of goal setting, imagery, relaxation techniques, and attention/focus can be instrumental in preparing athletes for a healthy season.

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Psychological Skill Development in Children and Adolescents

Maureen R. Weiss

Psychological skills and methods that can be applied to working with children and adolescents in sport are examined from a theory-to-practice as well as a practice-to-theory approach. In addition to an emphasis on the reciprocal nature of theory and practice, the philosophy adopted in this paper includes a focus on personal development rather than performance, and a multidisciplinary or integrated sport science approach to understanding children’s experiences in the physical domain. The types of psychological skills discussed are self-perceptions, motivation, positive attitude, coping with stress, and moral development. Psychological methods include environmental influences such as physical practice methods, coach and parent education, communication styles, and modeling; and individual control strategies in the form of goal setting, relaxation, and mental imagery. Numerous anecdotal stories based on the author’s experiences working with children and adolescents are used to support the major philosophical themes advanced in this paper.

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Future Directions in Psychological Skills Training

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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Psychological Skills and Exceptional Athletic Performance

Michael J. Mahoney, Tyler J. Gabriel, and T. Scott Perkins

To assess psychological skills relevant to exceptional athletic performance, a 51-item questionnaire was administered to a national sample of 713 male and female athletes from 23 sports. The athlete sample comprised 126 elite competitors, 141 preelite athletes, and 446 nonelite collegiate athletes. Sixteen leading sport psychologists also completed the questionnaire as they thought the ideal athlete might. Omnibus, individual item, discriminant, regression, factor, and cluster analyses all revealed significant differences among the athlete subsamples. The themes of concentration, anxiety management, self-confidence, mental preparation, and motivation were seen to have potential importance in skill-level differentiation, although age-difference confounds as well as gender and sport differences may have been involved. The ideal profile constructed by the sport psychologists generally paralleled the skill differences encountered, although the elite athletes did not report selected amplitudes in the profile.

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Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Psychological Skills Educational Workshop

Daniel Gould, Kenneth Hodge, Linda Petlichkoff, and Jeffery Simons

The present investigation examined athletes’ responses to a psychological skills training program spanning a 3-month period. Two studies were conducted to evaluate the degree to which a week-long psychological skills training program changed elite wrestlers’ knowledge, perceived importance, and use of relaxation, visualization/imagery, goal setting, and mental preparation techniques. In Study 1, 18 senior elite wrestlers ranging from 17 to 32 years of age participated in a week-long training camp involving a psychological skills training program and completed assessments immediately before and after camp and again 3 months later. Study 2 was identical to Study 1 except that 33 elite junior wrestlers, ages 14 to 18, were studied. Overall, the results demonstrate that the educational program was effective in changing the athletes’ knowledge, perceived importance, and use of the four psychological skills. MANOVA procedures revealed that the relaxation and visualization/imagery portions of the program were particularly effective, perhaps because they were incorporated into actual on-the-mat practice sessions. The importance of conducting evaluation research and methods of facilitating psychological skills development are discussed.