Author: Mustafa Sarkar
Dr. Mustafa Sarkar is a Lecturer / Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Nottigham Trent University. Dr Sarkar is also a member of the Sport, Health, and Performance Enhancement (SHAPE) research group. His research focuses on the psychology of sporting excellence and its application to other high performance domains (e.g., business). His work addresses how high achievers thrive on pressure and deliver sustained success. Specific research areas include psychological and team resilience, growth and thriving, sport psychology consultancy.
Study 1: What Doesn’t Kill Me: Adversity-Related Experiences are Vital in the Development of Superior Olympic Performance
Study 2: Resilience training in the workplace from 2003 to 2014: A systematic review
Study 1: Objectives: Recent research suggests that experiencing some adversity can have beneficial outcomes for human growth and development. The purpose of this paper was to explore the adversities that the world's best athletes encounter and the perceived role that these experiences play in their psychological and performance development.
Design: A qualitative design was employed because detailed information of rich quality was required to better understand adversity-related experiences in the world's best athletes.
Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 Olympic gold medalists from a variety of sports. Inductive thematic analysis was used to analyze the data.
Results: The findings indicate that the participants encountered a range of sport- and non-sport adversities that they considered were essential for winning their gold medals, including repeated non-selection, significant sporting failure, serious injury, political unrest, and the death of a family member. The participants described the role that these experiences played in their psychological and performance development, specifically focusing on their resultant trauma, motivation, and learning.
Conclusions: Adversity-related experiences were deemed to be vital in the psychological and performance development of Olympic champions. In the future, researchers should conduct more in-depth comparative studies of Olympic athletes’ adversity- and growth-related experiences, and draw on existing and alternative theoretical explanations of the growth-performance relationship. For professional practitioners, adversity-related experiences offer potential developmental opportunities if they are carefully and purposely harnessed.
Study 2: Over a decade of research attests to the importance of resilience in the workplace for employee well-being and performance. Yet, surprisingly, there has been no attempt to synthesize the evidence for the efficacy of resilience training in this context. The purpose of this study, therefore is to provide a systematic review of work-based resilience training interventions. Our review identified 14 studies that investigated the impact of resilience training on personal resilience and four broad categories of dependent variables: (1) mental health and subjective well-being outcomes, (2) psychosocial outcomes, (3) physical/biological outcomes, and (4) performance outcomes. Findings indicated that resilience training can improve personal resilience and is a useful means of developing mental health and subjective well-being in employees. We also found that resilience training has a number of wider benefits that include enhanced psychosocial functioning and improved performance. Due to the lack of coherence in design and implementation, we cannot draw any firm conclusions about the most effective content and format of resilience training. Therefore, going forward, it is vital that future research uses comparative designs to assess the utility of different training regimes, explores whether some people might benefit more/less from resilience training, and demonstrates consistency in terms of how resilience is defined, conceptualized, developed, and assessed. Practitioner points: Despite conceptual and theoretical support for resilience training, the empirical evidence is tentative, with the exception of a large effect for mental health and subjective well-being outcomes. Most programmes utilize a cognitive-behavioural approach to developing resilience .At this stage, there is no definitive evidence for the most effective training content or format, but it would appear wise to include an element of one-to-one training and support based on individual needs.
“Negative emotions can be useful, it’s just about how individuals go about reflecting on them.”
“Certain Situations that are inevitably going to happen in someone’s life, how do we get athlete’s to react better to them when they do happen.”
Study: See Hear: Psychological Effects of Music and Music-Video During Treadmill Running
Abstract: Background: There is a paucity of work addressing the distractive, affect-enhancing, and motivational influences of music and video in combination during exercise. Purpose: We examined the effects of music and music-and-video on a range of psychological and psychophysical variables during treadmill running at intensities above and below ventilatory threshold (VT). Methods: Participants (N = 24) exercised at 10 % of maximal capacity below VT and 10 % above under music-only, music-and-video, and control conditions. Results: There was a condition × intensity × time interaction for perceived activation and state motivation, and an intensity × time interaction for state attention, perceived exertion (RPE), and affective valence. The music-and-video condition elicited the highest levels of dissociation, lowest RPE, and most positive affective responses regardless of exercise intensity. Conclusions: Attentional manipulations influence psychological and psychophysical variables at exercise intensities above and below VT, and this effect is enhanced by the combined presentation of auditory and visual stimuli.
Author: Jasmin Hutchinson
Dr. Jasmin Hutchinson is an associate professor at Springfield University. She received her undergraduate degree (BSc in sport science, physical education, and social science) from Loughborough University, UK, a master’s degree in exercise science from Eastern Illinois University, and a PhD in sport psychology from Florida State University. Early on in her academic career she found an interest in the dual psychology/physiology relationship and has stuck with that passion ever since. She also has participated in marathons and is a fan of techno music … which Is awesome!
Study: Swimming Upstream: Former Diversity Committee Chairs’ Perceptions of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology’s Commitment to Organizational Diversity
Commitment to diversity within the field of sport psychology is a crucial yet underrepresented research topic. The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of individuals who have been instrumental in trying to effect diversity change within the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). Seven of 10 former AASP Diversity Committee chairs were interviewed about their experiences as chairs. Three main themes resulted: (a) the overall experience of being diversity chair, (b) perceived challenges to implementation of initiatives, and (c) perceived current state of affairs related to diversity. Future directions for research and application are given, including a recommendation that AASP create a specific diversity action plan, establishing a clear description of what diversity means within AASP. Moving beyond demographic or visual categories (e.g., skin color, sexual identity, ability status), a broader definition that encompasses the values, beliefs, and practices of a variety of intersectional identities is required through careful consideration and discussion.
Author: Emily Roper
Dr. Emily Roper is an associate professor at Sam Houston State University. She obtained her master’s degree in sport and exercise psychology from the University of Toronto and doctoral degree in cultural studies with an emphasis in sport and exercise psychology from the university of Tennessee. Her journey into sport psychology began her junior year of undergrad when she stumbled upon and article about goal setting and tennis performance. From that point on she followed her interest in the blending of psychology and sport. Her current research interests include representations of physically active females in children’s and young adult literature and concerns for safety among women exercising/recreating outdoors and the newly emerging field of cultural sport psychology.
Study: Psychological coping skills aspredictors of collegiate golf performance: Social desirability as asuppressor variable.
Abstract: The distinction made by Lazarus andFolkman (1984) and by Bandura (1997) between coping strategyselection (“ways of coping”) and successful execution of copingbehaviors (coping skills) is the basis for 2 types of sport-relatedcoping measures. First, we discuss how these constructs andmeasures differ. Then we describe a longitudinal study involvingrelations between scores on the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory-28(ACSI) and subsequent athletic performance in a study of 103 menand women collegiate golfers. Significant relations were foundbetween the ACSI scales and performance, and gender differenceswere observed in coping skills as well as in relations of specificACSI subscales to performance. We assessed the potential role ofsocial desirability (Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale) as asuppressor variable that can enhance relations betweenself-reported psychological attributes and behavioral outcomemeasures by extracting systematic error variance from predictorvariables. On average, performance variance accounted for by theACSI subscales increased from 30% to 39% for men and from 23% to30% for women with scores on the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirabilityscale controlled. Finally, we discuss conditions under which theimpression management variant of social desirability acts asuppressor variable or, conversely, attenuates relations betweenpredictor and outcome variables. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016APA, all rights reserved)
Author: Donald Christensen
Don grew up playing golf with his family, and began to play morecompetitively as time went on. In high school he won four statetitles in Washington State. His skills helped him get a scholarshipto play golf at Stanford University (pre-Tiger he added in). Hecites being exposed to some mental coaching as youngster (i.e.reading The Inner Game of Tennis) as the spark the interest thatwould influence his career choice.
After finishing at Stanford Don attended the University ofWashington where he obtained his PHD in Clinical Psychology. Duringhis time at UW and following Don worked with various athletic teamsat the school and teams in the community. He currently works forShoreline Community College, where he has been a professor ofpsychology since 2004.
Study: Great Expectations: Career Planning andTraining Experiences of Graduate Students in Sportand Exercise Psychology
Abstract: The success of upcomingprofessionals in the field of sport and exercise psychology iscritical for its growth. A history of limited applied opportunitiesmay lead to retention issues among trainees interested in appliedcareers. The current study investigated the career goals andperceptions of training among current graduate students. Resultsfound that many master’s and doctoral-level students were seeking acareer that involved applied work, and the majority of thesestudents desired to work with collegiate athletes. These findingscan be used to prepare students for the existing market conditionsand offer insight for future professionals.
Author: Dr. Sean Fitzpatrick
Dr. Sean Fitzpatrick is an associate professor at John F.Kennedy University. He obtained his PhD in Sport and ExercisePsychology, MA in Community Counselling and BS in Sport andExercise Psychology from West Virginia University. He is thecurrent research coordinator for the Sport Psychology program atJFK University. Sean’s research interests include applied ExercisePsychology, specifically the promotion of physical activity amongcancer survivors, as well as training issues in Sport and ExercisePsychology.
Study: Relationships Between Self-Determined Motivation and Developmental Outcomes in Sport-Based Positive Youth Development
Abstract: Building on self-determination theory, this study examined the relationships between self-determined motivation toward sport participation and developmental outcomes in sport-based positive youth development. One hundred twenty participants in a sport-based positive youth development program designed to engage youth through running completed a postprogram survey measuring their self-determined motivation toward running and achievement of developmental outcomes. The results of regression analyses indicated that participants with higher self-determined motivation toward running reported higher general self-efficacy, more positive attitudes toward a healthy lifestyle, and lower engagement in threatening behavior. On the other hand, self-determined motivation was unrelated to self-reported academic performance.
Author: Christine Wegner
Christine Wegner is currently in a doctoral program at Temple University and recently accepted a job at the University of Florida. She obtained her B.A. at Vassar College, M.S. at Brooklyn College and will soon be finishing her PHD at Temple University. Prior to attending Temple she traveled to Japan and was a Sports Exchange Advisor, during which time she coached a boys basketball team. She currently works at the Temple University Sport Industry Research Center where she assists faculty with various community based sports research.
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