Dr. Alyson Crozier researches in the area of health, exercise and sport psychology, with a specific interest in group dynamics and social influence. Specifically, she examines how the people that surround us, and ones perceptions of those people, influence ones thoughts, feelings, and behaviours in both sport and exercise settings. One area she is particularly interested in is how social norms (i.e., what behaviour most people engage in & what behaviours others approve of) relate to athlete effort and individual physical activity patterns. Alyson completed her Ph.D. at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada in 2014, and is now a Lecturer at the University of South Australia in Adelaide, Australia. If you have any further questions about her research, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Guest: Betsy Shoenfelt
Dr. Betsy Shoenfelt, University Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences at Western Kentucky University (WKU), is the director of the WKU Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology Graduate Program. She received her Ph.D. in 1983 from LSU in I-O Psychology with minors in Sport Psychology and Statistics. She is a licensed I-O Psychologist, a Certified Consultant and Fellow with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, and a member of the USOC Sport Psychology and Mental Skills Registry. Shoenfelt has 30+ years of consulting experience in business, industry, government, education, and sports. In sports, she works with teams and individually with coaches and athletes training mental skills, team building, and enabling performance excellence in volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, swimming, and golf at the intercollegiate, Olympic, and professional levels.
Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Betsy_Shoenfelt
Guest: Edson Filho
Dr. Filho is a Lecturer is Sport and Exercise Psychology in the School of Psychology at the University of Central Lancashire. He received a doctoral degree in Sport Psychology from Florida State University (USA) and completed a post-doctoral term in Neuroscience and Psychophysiology at the Behavioral Imaging and Neural Dynamics Center at the University of Chieti (Italy). His research agenda revolves around peak performance experiences, team processes and social neuroscience in sports. Dr. Filho has published numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters on topics related to performance, sport and exercise psychology. Dr. Filho also has applied experience, having served as a performance enhancement specialist for athletes and performing artists. He is a Certified Consultant by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology and a member of the Sport Psychology registry of the United States Olympic Committee. Dr. Filho’s research and applied work has been recognized through several awards, including the Diversity Award by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology and the Dissertation Award in Sport and Exercise Psychology by the American Psychological Association.
Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Edson_Filho
Study: Hardiness differentiates military trainees on behavioural persistence and physical performance
Hardiness is a personality trait that drafts courage and motivation during adversity. Research showed that hardiness differentiates elite athletes from their lower rank competitors. In the domain of sport psychology, hardiness also strongly predicts physical performance. Because the military occupation requires resilience and excellence in physical performance, researchers investigated hardiness and behavioural persistence during training. However, in those studies, hardiness’ impact was weak. Besides, military researchers seldom addressed hardiness’ effect on physical performance. We investigated the influence of hardiness on behavioural persistence and physical performance during the military basic training. Participants were 233 trainees involved in a 22-week long basic training. They completed hardiness measures at the beginning of the training and then, two months later, we registered who stayed involved and who had dropped out. The remaining trainees participated in a self-defence exercise and their trainers evaluated their performance. Our analysis indicated that hardiness significantly predicted behavioural persistence: the trainees still involved in the training after two months scored significantly higher on the hardiness scale than those who dropped out (EXP(B) = 1.08; p < .05). Our results however confirm that hardiness has a weak direct effect on persistence of military trainees. During the self-defence exercise, hardiness positively predicted physical performance ( = 9.87; p < .05). We discuss the possible relation of hardiness with other major persistence predictors in the military, such as health, health practices, and social support. Our study is the first to indicate a strong relationship between hardiness and soldiers’ physical performance.
Author: Salvatore Lo Bue
Captain-Commandant (OF-3) Salvatore Lo Bue is Head of the Chair of Psychology at the Belgian Royal Military Academy (RMA). He holds a PhD degree in Psychology (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven – KUL) and in Social and Military Sciences (RMA). In 2003, he starts his professional career as researcher for the Medical Psychology Service of the University Hospital of Liège. In 2004, he joins the Belgian Defense as Mental Readiness Advisor. As such, he deploys three times in Kosovo (KFOR), two times in Afghanistan (ISAF) and one time off the coast of Somalia (EU NAVFOR) to advise commanders on the psychological aspects of a deployment (leadership, cohesion, job satisfaction, and psychosocial support). In 2011, he was appointed to the RMA where his main task is to teach psychology to military cadets and to conduct research in the domain of military psychology.
Today, as a lecturer in Psychology, his main occupation is teaching elements of psychology to the cadets of the RMA. The courses he teaches include “Military Psychology”, “Communication Psychology”, “Human Factors Engineering” and “Didactics”. His main pedagogical objective is how the future officer can use principles of psychology to improve performance and wellbeing among the member of his troop.
Although the theme of his PhD addressed the relevance of hardiness in the military context, his research interests are broader and concern the whole domain of military psychology, in other words all topics helping to improve performance and wellbeing among military service members. At the time being, his main efforts lie on a study concerning the sense of agency and of responsibility (in collaboration with Université Libre de Bruxelles), the strategies of minority groups to cope with a identity-threatening environments (in collaboration with KUL) and a European Defense Agency project on resilience screening for selecting military solicitants.
Study: An empirical examination comparing the Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment approach and Psychological Skills Training for the mental health and sport performance of female student athletes
Abstract: The present study was a randomised controlled trial investigating the effectiveness of the Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment (MAC) approach compared to traditional Psychological Skills Training (PST) for the mental health and sport performance of female collegiate athletes. Two hypotheses were proposed: (a) participants in the MAC group would demonstrate reduced behavioural issues, emotional distress, and psychological symptoms, and increased athletic performance when compared to those in the PST group; (b) MAC participants would exhibit reduced emotion dysregulation and increased psychological flexibility and dispositional mindfulness, compared to PST participants. Participants included 18 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III female student athletes who were randomly assigned into either the MAC or PST group based upon pre-intervention levels of distress; and were assessed pre-intervention, post-intervention, and at 1-month follow-up. A mixed-model ANOVA analysis revealed that the MAC effectively reduced Substance Use, Hostility, and Emotion Dysregulation over time when compared to the PST group. Several within-group differences also emerged, as MAC participants demonstrated reduced Generalised Anxiety, Eating Concerns, and Psychological Distress, as well as increased psychological flexibility from post-intervention to one-month follow-up. As per coach ratings, MAC participants also evidenced improved sport performance from pre-intervention to post-intervention. Results suggest that the MAC is an effective intervention for the mental health and sport performance needs of female collegiate athletes.
Author: Mike Gross
Dr. Mike Gross is a Certified Consultant for the Association of Applied Sport Psychology (CC-AASP) who runs a private practice in Somerset, NJ offering both mental health and performance enhancement services to athletes. Using techniques from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and other mindfulness-based approaches, Dr. Gross seeks to help athletes optimize performance both inside and outside of sport. In addition to his private practice work, Dr. Gross is the Coordinator of Sport Psychology and adjunct professor at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). Dr. Gross is also the Senior Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology (JCSP). He can be reached at email@example.com
Study: Preparing to Take the Field: A Temporal Exploration of Stress, Emotion, and Coping in Elite Cricket
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore the stress, emotion, and coping (SEC) experiences of elite cricketers leading up to and on the day of their first competitive fixture of the season. Four elite male cricketers (M = 21.25, SD = 1.5) completed Stress and Emotion Diaries (SEDs) for the 7-day period leading up to and on the day of their first competitive fixture of the season. We then interviewed the cricketers to explore the content of the SEDs in more detail. We used semistructured interviews to glean insight into the stressors, cognitions, emotions, coping strategies, and behaviors. Inductive and deductive content data analysis provided a holistic and temporal exploration of the SEC process underpinned by the cognitive-motivational-relational theory of emotions (Lazarus, 1999). The results highlighted the ongoing and continuous nature of the SEC process while illustrating the coping strategies the cricketers used leading up to and on the day of competition.
Author: Adam Miles
Adam Miles is a PhD candidate in Sport Psychology at the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Otago, New Zealand. His research focuses primarily on the psychosocial effects of participation in sport. In particular, his current research involves developing, implementing, and evaluating the effectiveness of a life skills intervention with elite athletes. He has also investigated issues such as stress, emotion, and coping in elite sport and the mediating effects of self-talk during skilled motor performance.
Guest: Jean Côté
Dr. Jean Côté is professor and Director in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University at Kingston (Canada). His research interests are in the areas of youth sport, coaching, positive youth development, and sport expertise. Dr. Côté is regularly invited to present his work to both sport governing organizations and academic conferences throughout the world. In 2009, Dr. Côté was the recipient of the 4th EW Barker Professorship from the Physical Education and Sport Science deparment at the National Institute of Education in Sinpapore. He received the Queen’s University Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision for 2013. Dr. Côté’s recent line of research involves the use of observation techniques to examine the influence of different types of coach-athletes relationships on athletes’ outcomes. This work aims at the development of an evidence-based Transformational Coaching training workshop to help coaches create optimal sport environment for the development of better people and athletes.
Additional link: http://youthsportsoftheamericas.org/
Author: Katrien Fransen
Dr. Katrien Fransen has start up a research line on shared leadership within sports teams at KU Leuven (Belgium). As assistant professor, she is eager to continue this research line and further extend her expertise. While most previous research solely focused on the coach of the team, Prof. Fransen’s research established a broad foundation for the leadership of athletes within the team. She continues this research line by designing an athlete leadership development program and identifying the moderators underlying the effectiveness of shared leadership. Besides her academic track record, she has also built up significant coaching experience. As former assistant-coach of the national youth teams and head coach of the university team, a strong motivation drives her to keep her research closely connected to the needs of the field.
Researcher: Sam Vine
I am an Experimental Psychologist, with a broad range of interests in the area of skill learning, expertise and performance under pressure. I am particularly interested in how visual attention (examined through eye tracking) and other physiological processes mediate motor skill and decision making performance. I apply my research to a range of different domains (e.g., sport, surgery, military, and aviation) and populations (e.g., children, elite performers and patient groups).
Eye tracking Consultancy: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/business/consulting/eyetrack/
Virtual Reality Human Factors Training: http://www.cineon.training/
Study: Psychological Factors in Ultrarunning
The psychological processes of ultramarathon runners are not well-understood in the current literature. Previous studies have primarily focused on the physical and physiological components of ultrarunning and the few studies exploring the psychological components of ultrarunning have relied predominantly on retrospective inquiry. The purpose of this study was to use a mixed-methods, multimodal approach to examine the psychological aspects of ultrarunning. “Live” in-task quantitative and video data were collected during the course of a 100 mile and 100 km ultramarathon races that spanned 32 hours of data collection. These data were supplemented with an immediate, short postrace interview directly following the runner completing or withdrawing from the race, and then a second, in-depth interview approximately six weeks following race weekend. For the quantitative data collection, single-item, in-task measures assessed runners’ pain, fatigue, affective valence (i.e., a feeling state of “bad” or “good”), energy, attentional focus, confidence to finish, and perceived exertion. Video cameras were also used to visually record changes the runners experienced during the run. Both postrace interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed with a phenomenological lens. A total of 11 runners in the 100 mile race and five runners in the 100 km race participated in this study; six runners completed the 100 mile race and four runners completed the 100 km race. Due to the lower number of participants in the 100 km race, inferential statistics were completed only with the 100 mile runners. Independent samples t-tests were conducted to examine the mean in-task ratings of finishers and non-finishers in the 100 mile run. Finishers had significantly higher confidence ratings than non-finishers at mile 65 and at mile 75. A series of repeated-measures analyses of variance (ANOVAs) assessed changes in in-task measures over the course of the ultramarathon race for the six finishers in the 100 mile race. There was a significant effect of time on the in-task measures of pain, affective valence, fatigue, energy, and exertion, with pain, fatigue, and exertion increasing and affective valence and energy decreasing over the course of the race. The videos taken during the race were used as memory prompts during the runners delayed postrace interview following race weekend. Phenomenological analysis of the interview transcripts revealed eight major chronological phases depicting the psychological aspects of the runners’ race experience: pre-race, the start, chugging along, getting dark, it gets real, final push, the finish, and post-race reflections. There were also two overarching subthemes identified in analysis that went beyond the chronological phases: the natural environment of the race and the social community of ultrarunning. Implications for theory and practice, as well as suggestion for future studies, are identified and explored.
Author: Dolores Christensen
Dolores Christensen was born and raised in Northern California. She earned her bachelor's degree in psychology and political science from Southern Oregon University (Ashland, OR) where she was a member of the women's volleyball team. She then went on to earn her master's degree in Sport and Performance Psychology from the University of Denver. Dolores is currently a fifth-year student in the Counseling Psychology PsyD program at Springfield College (Massachusetts) and is completing her internship at the University of California, Davis in the eating disorders emphasis area. Dolores has focused her clinical training on collegiate student-athletes and her dissertation is on the psychology of ultramarathon runners. She enjoys running on mountain trails in her free time.
Study: Predicting Sport Experience during Training: The Role of Change-Oriented Feedback in Athletes’ Motivation, Self-Confidence and Needs Satisfaction Fluctuations
Change-oriented feedback (COF) quality is predictive of between-athletes differences in their sport experience (Carpentier & Mageau, 2013). This study extends these findings by investigating how training-to-training variations in COF quality influence athletes’ training experience (within-athlete differences) while controlling for the impact of promotion-oriented feedback (POF). In total, 49 athletes completed a diary after 15 consecutive training sessions to assess COF and POF received during training, as well as situational outcomes. Multivariate multilevel analyses showed that, when controlling for covariates, COF quality during a specific training session is positively linked to athletes’ autonomous motivation, self-confidence and satisfaction of their psychological needs for autonomy and relatedness during the same session. In contrast, COF quantity is negatively linked to athletes’ need for competence. POF quality is a significant positive predictor of athletes’ self-confidence and needs for autonomy and competence. Contributions to the feedback and SDT literature, and for coaches’ training, are discussed.
Author: Joelle Carpentier
I am a Social and Sport Psychologist. I am interested in the explicit and implicit impacts of social environments on athletes’ experience, performance and goals pursuit. My current research focuses on the provision of change-oriented feedback (aka negative feedback) by coaches and between teammates. Can change-oriented feedback be autonomy-supportive? Can it lead to positive consequences? Should it be given or avoided? Should teammates give feedback to one another? Obviously, this line of research can also be extended to other learning contexts. I am also interested in people’s implicit perception of autonomy-supportive and controlling environments.
Study: Sensorimotor Rhythm Neurofeedback Enhances Golf Putting Performance.
Sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) activity has been related to automaticity during skilled action execution. However, few studies have bridged the causal link between SMR activity and sports performance. This study investigated the effect of SMR neurofeedback training (SMR NFT) on golf putting performance. We hypothesized that preelite golfers would exhibit enhanced putting performance after SMR NFT. Sixteen preelite golfers were recruited and randomly assigned into either an SMR or a control group. Participants were asked to perform putting while electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded, both before and after intervention. Our results showed that the SMR group performed more accurately when putting and exhibited greater SMR power than the control group after 8 intervention sessions. This study concludes that SMR NFT is effective for increasing SMR during action preparation and for enhancing golf putting performance. Moreover, greater SMR activity might be an EEG signature of improved attention processing, which induces superior putting performance.
Author: Ming-Yang Cheng
Ming-Yang Cheng is a PhD student in Bielefeld University, Germany and specializes in sport psychophysiology. He grew up in Taiwan and earned his master degree there. Now, he’s conducting a line of research regarding how to fine-tune athletes’ focused attention by using electroencephalography (EEG), so called neurofeedback training. The results are very encouraging.
Study: Coaching on the Wave: An Integrative Approach to Facilitating Youth Development
Central to the ability of successfully utilizing sport as a social intervention to promote youth developmental outcomes is the role of the youth sport leader (YSL). While many YSLs care for the youth-athletes with whom they work, many YSLs do not have a purposeful intent when facilitating sport as a social intervention. One strategy developed to increase the YSL's ability to intentionally facilitate sport towards youth development is the Coaching on the Wave model, which offers a framework for YSLs to apply theory and research into their coaching practices to intentionally promote positive youth outcomes such as life-skill development.
Author: Tarkington Newman
Tarkington J. Newman (MSW, University of Michigan; MS, The Ohio State University) is a fourth year doctoral student in the College of Social Work. He is currently serving as a Graduate Research/Teaching Associate for Dr. Anderson-Butcher in The LiFEsports Initiative. Prior to his work as a Graduate Associate, he was awarded a Graduate Enrichment Fellowship through The Ohio State University. Tarkington’s research interests lie within sport-based positive youth development among high-risk urban minority youth. Specifically, his focus is on the role of the youth sport leader and their ability to facilitate and transfer life skill development. Tarkington has co-authored several publications in peer-reviewed journals such as: Research on Social Work Practice, Psychology of Sport & Exercise, and Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. Additionally, Tarkington co-developed the experiential-based Coaching on the Wave model, which has been presented at conferences such as Experiential Education Annual International Conference and International Adventure Therapy Conference. Tarkington has also taught a variety of undergraduate courses in both social work and sport science departments such as: Engagement & Interview Skills, Prevention and Youth Development though Sport, Recreation and Play; Contemporary Issues in Sport, and Coaching the Young Athlete. In addition to his academic work, he was trained as a school social worker, where he specialized in adventure therapy and crisis intervention. He has also spent the last decade coaching track & field at the high school and collegiate club levels.
Article: Psychological Momentum During and Across Sports Matches: Evidence for Interconnected Time Scales
This study on psychological momentum (PM) in sports provides the first experimental test of an interconnection between short-term PM (during a match) and long-term PM (across a series of matches). Twenty-two competitive athletes were striving to win a prize during a rowing-ergometer tournament, consisting of manipulated races. As hypothesized, athletes who had developed long-term positive PM after two successful races were less sensitive to a negative momentum scenario in the third race, compared with athletes who had developed long-term negative PM after two unsuccessful races. More specifically, the exerted efforts, perceptions of momentum, and self-efficacy were higher for participants who had developed long-term positive PM, and their perceptions of momentum and self-efficacy decreased less rapidly. These results illustrate a typical complex dynamical systems property, namely interconnected time scales, and provide deeper insights into the dynamical nature of PM.
Author: J.R. (Ruud) den Hartigh
Dr. Ruud Den Hartigh is currently assistant professor at the Department of Psychology, University of Groningen (Netherlands), where he is also the coordinator of the international Master’s program Talent Development & Creativity. In April 2015, he defended his PhD thesis (awarded by the collaborating universities of Montpellier (France) and Groningen with the distinction cum laude) on the study of complex processes of human performance. In general, Ruud’s research focuses on providing an understanding of the “laws” of emergence and adaptation of psychological and performance patterns, mostly in sports. Typical examples of questions he is working on are: ‘How can we understand the complex development of talent?’, and ‘How do periods of positive and negative psychological momentum develop?’
Checkout the new MSc. program Ruud and his colleagues have started:
Youtube video where Ruud discusses the current study:
“It’s not always the case that if you have momentum it is guaranteed success, and if you have negative momentum it is a guarantee that you will lose.”
“I think that it (momentum) does shape your feelings of confidence, your efforts that you exert during a match.”
“The way athletes respond to setbacks during a match is related to, I would even say embedded in the momentum process that has developed during the tournament.”
“The idea that athletes’ responses are actually shaped by the process, is surprisingly often omitted.”
“Examining the process can actually give you answers to the question of when and how athletes psychological states and performance actually change.”
“Do not omit the process, rather, focus on the process.”
‘If you want to understand when and how the psychological states and performance of an athlete changes, the answer probably lies in
Study: Stereotype Fit Effects for Golf Putting Non-Experts
Research has connected stereotype threat and regulatory fit by showing improved performance for individuals with negative stereotypes when they focused on minimizing potential losses. In the current study, non-Black participants, who were nonexperts at golf putting, were told that a golf putting task was diagnostic of natural athletic ability (i.e., negative stereotype) or sports intelligence (i.e., positive stereotype). Participants tried to maximize earned points or minimize lost points assigned after every putt, which was calculated based on the distance to a target. Results showed better performance for participants experiencing a fit between their global task stereotype and the task goal, and that regulatory fit allowed for increased attention on the strategies beneficial for task performance. Interestingly, we found that performance of individuals high in working memory capacity suffered greatly when those individuals experienced a regulatory mismatch. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
Author: Lisa Grimm
Dr. Lisa Grimm grew up in the Washington, D.C. area and developed an interest in psychology while at Grinnell College (B.A., 2001). After Grinnell, she attended The University of Texas at Austin where she received an M.A., and then a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology (2007). Dr. Grimm remained at The University of Texas as a Lecturer and Post-doctoral Fellow until she started as an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at The College of New Jersey in the fall of 2009. She is now an Associate Professor. Please see Dr. Grimm’s website for more information: http://grimm.pages.tcnj.edu/. For this project, she collaborated with former TCNJ student, Benjamin Lewis, who was instrumental to the success of the study. More information about her amazing students and research lab can be found on her lab website: http://misclab.pages.tcnj.edu/.
“People generally walk around with like a chronic motivational state.”
“If you are in a regulatory fit, you are more able to flexibly switch the kinds of strategies that you are using.”
“People need to be aware of the outside pressures that end up changing the underlying motivation.”
“Part of that mental toughness is recognizing when you need to adapt. It’s kind of the toughness to realize that you have to change course.”
Study: Reappraising Threat: How to Optimize Performance Under Pressure
Abstract: Competitive situations often hinge on one pressurized moment. In these situations, individuals' psychophysiological states determine performance, with a challenge state associated with better performance than a threat state. But what can be done if an individual experiences a threat state? This study examined one potential solution: arousal reappraisal. Fifty participants received either arousal reappraisal or control instructions before performing a pressurized, single-trial, motor task. Although both groups initially displayed cardiovascular responses consistent with a threat state, the reappraisal group displayed a cardiovascular response more reflective of a challenge state (relatively higher cardiac output and/or lower total peripheral resistance) after the reappraisal manipulation. Furthermore, despite performing similarly at baseline, the reappraisal group outperformed the control group during the pressurized task. The results demonstrate that encouraging individuals to interpret heightened physiological arousal as a tool that can help maximize performance can result in more adaptive cardiovascular responses and motor performance under pressure.
Author: Lee Moore
Dr. Lee Moore is a lecturer in Sport and Exercise psychology at the University of Gloucestershire, UK. His two main areas of expertise include the effect of gaze training interventions on the acquisition and refinement of motor skills and how pre-competition psychophysiological states influence motor skill performance. His work has led him to working with several professional organizations including the Rugby Football Union, Professional Games Match Officials Limited and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. He has some very exciting upcoming work involving the relationship between psychophysiological states and concepts such as resilience, mental toughness and hardiness. He is also a huge fan of Universal Studios.
“This is one of the first studies to show that arousal re-appraisal can also have a beneficial effect on motor performance, on the accuracy of motor and sporting skills.”
“We tend to view increases in physiological arousal…as something that will harm our performance…and is associated with feeling anxious. It is actually just our body preparing itself to perform a task and to perform it well.”
Study: Does Grit Influence Sport-Specific Engagement and Perceptual-Cognitive Expertise in Elite Youth Soccer?
Abstract: We examined whether soccer players who score low and high on the personality trait grit can be differentiated based on their sport-specific engagement and perceptual-cognitive expertise. Findings revealed that grittier players accumulated significantly more time in sport-specific activities including competition, training, play, and indirect involvement. Moreover, there was a significant main effect for performance on the perceptual-cognitive skills tests across groups, with grittier players performing better than less gritty players on the assessments of decision making and situational probability. The findings are the first to demonstrate a potential link between grit, sport-specific engagement, and perceptual-cognitive expertise.
Author: Paul Larkin
Paul Larkin is a post-doctoral researcher and tertiary educator with extensive experience and knowledge in conducting research projects and developing tertiary level educational content both face-to-face and online. As a tertiary educator for over 7 years, Paul has extensive experience of e-learning strategies, developing and delivering course content using a variety of pedagogical methods to promote the learners engagement in the content. Recently Paul has been involved with a government funded research project, with a key aim to monitor and evaluate Football Federation Australia’s National Curriculum for Player Development.
“How does (grit) change moving down the talent spectrum?”
“If you do demonstrate kind of grit and tendencies where you have a passion towards long term goals, your hopefully more likely to invest time engaging toward that goal, which hopefully you will be quite successful at.”
“A lot of players will try and play what the coaches call FIFA ball”
Study: Can You Have Your Vigorous Exercise and Enjoy It Too? Ramping Intensity Down Increases Postexercise, Remembered, and Forecasted Pleasure
Abstract: There is a paucity of methods for improving the affective experience of exercise. We tested a novel method based on discoveries about the relation between exercise intensity and pleasure, and lessons from behavioral economics. We examined the effect of reversing the slope of pleasure during exercise from negative to positive on pleasure and enjoyment, remembered pleasure, and forecasted pleasure. Forty-six adults were randomly assigned to a 15-min bout of recumbent cycling of either increasing intensity (0%-120% of Watts corresponding to the ventilatory threshold) or decreasing intensity (120%-0%). Ramping intensity down, thereby eliciting a positive slope of pleasure during exercise, improved postexercise pleasure and enjoyment, remembered pleasure, and forecasted pleasure. The slope of pleasure accounted for 35%-46% of the variance in remembered and forecasted pleasure from 15 min to 7 days postexercise. Ramping intensity down makes it possible to combine exposure to vigorous and moderate intensities with a pleasant affective experience.
Author: Zachary Zenko
Dr. Zachary Zenko recently earned his Ph.D. in Kinesiology from the Department of Kinesiology at Iowa State University. His undergraduate degree is in Health and Physical Education with a major in Human Performance from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. His Master of Science degree is in Health and Physical Activity from the University of Pittsburgh. Zachary combines the field of behavioral economics with exercise psychology in an effort to promote physical activity and exercise behavior. Much of his research focuses on the affective responses to exercise, the measurement of implicit exercise associations, and exercise decision making. Zachary will soon join the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University as a post-doctoral associate.
“It’s important for most people, and listeners to understand that exercise does not need to feel unpleasant or very intense for it to be beneficial.”
“I can’t tell you how many times I hear that advice being given out with new exercisers. People say oh for, let’s say a month or two, this will be unpleasant but there is nothing you can do about it. Once you get over that hump though, then hopefully you will start to enjoy it or it will feel good for you. Umm……..that’s not necessary.
Study: Think aloud: An examination of distance runners’ thought processes
Abstract: Distance running is popular throughout the USA, and to date it has received much attention in the sport psychology literature. One limitation, however, is the retrospective nature of most current research. Subsequently, the present study examined real-time thought processes of runners recorded during a long-distance run. The think-aloud protocol was used with 10 participants ranging in age from 29 to 52 years old (M = 41.3 years, SD = 7.3). Qualitative analysis of the data identified meaning units, which were grouped into major themes. A final thematic structure revealed three major themes that characterized the participant's thought processes: Pace and Distance, Pain and Discomfort, and Environment. Taken together, the present results extend previous research on running and provide a number of suggestions for sport psychology consultants working with runners.
Author: Duncan Simpson
Dr. Duncan Simpson serves as an Assistant Professor in Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology and is the Coordinator of the Undergraduate Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology Program. He received his MS degree in Exercise Science from Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK and his PhD in Sport & Exercise Psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
His teaching experience includes various undergraduate and graduate courses in: applied sport psychology, psycho-social aspects of sport, exercise psychology, psychology of coaching, qualitative research methods and professional practice. In addition to classes taught at Barry University, he has taught at Ithaca College, NY; The University of Tennessee, Knoxville; The University of Leeds (UK) and Leeds Metropolitan University (UK).
Dr. Simpson is an active researcher and his primary research interests include: psychology of endurance sports; performance enhancement through season-long interventions; exploring the experiences of athletes training for competition; stress and coping among elite adolescent athletes; competitive state anxiety in elite adolescents; talent identification and development in physical education, and the acquisition of expertise in sport.
“In the first mile or two for every runner we heard a lot of negative thoughts. Across the board everyone was struggling with some sort of pain or discomfort when they started the run.”
“That old saying, never judge a run on its first mile is really true.”
“Recognize the difference between discomfort and pain. Basically, almost every time you go for a run you are going to feel some form of discomfort. It’s part of the experience of running.”
“I think there is a lesson for athletes that discomfort is sometimes part of the process, and for runners it’s a really important part of the process.”
Study: Appraisal in a Team Context: Perceptions of Cohesion Predict Competition Importance and Prospects for Coping
Abstract: Athletes' precompetitive appraisal is important because it determines emotions, which may impact performance. When part of a team, athletes make their appraisal within a social context, and in this study we examined whether perceived team cohesion, as a characteristic of this context, related to appraisal. We asked 386 male and female intercollegiate team-sport athletes to respond to measures of cohesion and precompetitive appraisal before an in-season game. For males and females, across all teams, (a) an appraisal of increased competition importance was predicted by perceptions of higher task cohesion (individual level), better previous team performance, and a weaker opponent (team level) and (b) an appraisal of more positive prospects for coping with competitive demands was predicted by higher individual attractions to the group (individual level). Consequently, athletes who perceive their team as more cohesive likely appraise the pending competition as a challenge, which would benefit both emotions and performance.
Author: Svenja Wolf
Dr. Svenja A. Wolf is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Social Psychology Program at the University of Amsterdam. In her work, Svenja focuses on two prominent attributes of almost any performance context, emotions and groups, and investigates how these two factors interact. At the moment, Svenja and her collaborators are fascinated by the idea of collective emotions or emotional convergence in sport and other performance teams and explore why teams converge emotionally, which environmental and personal factors impact this convergence, and, crucially, how collective emotions relate to team performance, group climate, and member adherence. Having competed both in individual and team sports, Svenja has experienced both the supportive and pressure inducing effects of a team firsthand and investigated these effects in a more structured fashion when obtaining her Doctorate in Sport Science (area Sport and Exercise Psychology) at the German Sport University Cologne. In this podcast, Svenja shares some insight from her past and current research as well as from her work as an applied sport psychology consultant.
“The more unified teammates were in regards to goals, and the more they felt the team environment was a place for them to play well, the more important they viewed an upcoming competition.”
“If I feel I have friends on the team, and I feel I can lean on these others, then I feel like I have more resources to deal with the upcoming competition.”
Study: “Athletes” and “exercisers”: Understanding identity, motivation, and physical activity participation in former college athletes.
Abstract: Self-identity influences physical activity participation, and individuals who are motivated by self-determined and volitional reasons are more likely to maintain their exercise behavior. The present study incorporates tenets of identity theory and self-determination theory to investigate the relationships among identity, motivation, and physical activity in former college athletes. Former Division I student-athletes (N = 282) completed an online survey consisting of the Exercise Identity Scale, the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale, the Behavioral Regulation for Exercise Questionnaire, the Godin Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire, and demographic items. Exercise identity and athletic identity were both positively related to physical activity and significantly interacted in their prediction of physical activity participation. Motivation, and specifically identified regulation, appears to have a mediating effect on the relationship between exercise identity and physical activity. The findings of this study add to our understanding of former college athletes’ physical activity behavior within an identity and self-determination theory framework.
Author: Erin Reifsteck
Dr. Erin Reifsteck is an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology and M.S. and Ph.D. in kinesiology with a sport and exercise psychology concentration. Erin is a former NCAA Division I student-athlete, having played field hockey at St. Francis University in Pennsylvania. Drawing on her research and experience as a former athlete, Erin led the development of Moving On!, a physical activity and health transition program for student-athletes, which she discusses in this interview. Prior to joining the kinesiology department at UNCG, Erin completed her post-doctoral fellowship with the Institute to Promote Athlete Health and Wellness.
“There is this misconception out there that athletes by nature of being athletes know how to be active, have always been active, and therefore will always be active, but the evidence suggests that is not the case.”
“Student athletes who had developed or maintained a broader active identity, so seeing themselves as physically active people, not just specifically maybe a basketball player, that those were the people that were more likely to be physically active.”
“Having that higher exercise identity was also related to greater self-determined motivation.”
“Results suggest that…Identity and motivation could be impactful components of interventions that we might develop to try to foster physical activity in former student athletes.”
“Knowing that identity and motivation are key factors in influencing people’s behaviors and what they do or don’t do in life, that’s a key take a way point to understand regardless of what setting you are in.”
Author: Dr. Blair Evans
Dr. Michael Blair Evans is an assistant professor of kinesiology at Pennsylvania State University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University, Masters of Arts in Kinesiology and Physical Activity from University of Lethbridge and his Bachelor of Arts in Sport Psychology at Laurentian University.
His research interests include how personal relationships influence the experiences of athletes and exercisers, group dynamics, and youth sport. With several studies published already, Dr. Evans is expanding his research interests and following several specific lines of research that he discusses during the show.
Articles mentioned in the interview:
Bruner, M. W., Eys, M. A., Evans, M. B., & Wilson, K. (2015). Interdependence and Social Identity in Youth Sport Teams. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 27, 351-358.
Evans, M. B., McGuckin, M., Gainforth, H., Bruner, M. W., & Côté, J. (2015). Informing programs to improve interpersonal coach behaviours: A systematic review using the RE-AIM framework. British Journal of Sport Medicine, 49, 871-877.
Evans, M. B., & Eys, M. A. (2015). Collective goals and shared tasks: Interdependence structure and perceptions of individual sport team environments. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 25, e139–e148.
Evans, M. B., Eys, M. A., & Bruner, M. W. (2012). Seeing the ‘we’ in ‘me’ sports: The need to consider individual sport team environments. Canadian Psychology, 53, 301-308.
“I think there is huge potential to start teach coaches about more elements of team dynamics that extend beyond maybe norms and maybe motivational climate and enter into things like roles of members, interdependence and how you socialize people into groups and create that positive group environment.”
Study: A qualitative study of perfectionism among self-identified perfectionists in sport and the performing arts
Abstract: When adopting any measure of perfectionism to examine the characteristic in sport or the performing arts, researchers make assumptions regarding its core features and, sometimes, its effects. So to avoid doing so, in the current study we employed qualitative methods to examine the accounts of self-identified perfectionists. Specifically, the purpose of this study was to explore the opinions and perceptions of high-level, self-identified perfectionists from sport, dance, and music. In particular, we sought to obtain detailed information regarding (a) participants’ perceptions of the main features of being a perfectionist and (b) how they perceived being a perfectionist to influence their lives. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 international/ professional athletes, dancers, and musicians. Thematic analysis was used to identify patterns and themes within the transcripts. Three overarching themes were identified: drive, accomplishment, and strain. Being a perfectionist was characterized by the participants as having ever-increasing standards, obsessiveness, rigid and dichotomous thinking, and dissatisfaction. The participants also described how being a perfectionist influenced their lives by, on the one hand, providing greater capacity for success in their respective domains but, on the other hand, contributing to varying degrees of personal and interpersonal difficulties. The accounts suggest that, in the main, the content of current models and measures adequately capture the features of being a perfectionist in sport and performing arts. However, a greater focus on obsessiveness, dissatisfaction, and intra- versus interpersonal dimensions of perfectionism would provide further insight into the lives of perfectionists in these domains.
Author: Andrew Hill
Dr. Andy Hill is the Head of Programme for Taught Master’s degrees in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at York St. John University. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Sport Studies (BSc) at De Montfort University and a PhD in Sport and Exercise Psychology at the University of Bedfordshire. He primarily teaches Sport and Exercise Psychology and Research Methods with an emphasis in motivational processes, personality and individual differences. Growing up a big sports fan and keen participant in various sports, Andy can turn on any sports event and get lost in the drama and spectacle of watching athletes perform. He thinks sport is an excellent context in which to view human behavior.
Book: The Psychology of Perfectionism in Sport, Exercise and Dance
Quotes from the Episode:
“On one hand, perfectionism is a kind of powerful motivational force. It makes them train harder, train longer, it provides them a greater capacity for success. But the flip side to this, is they all reported to varying degrees some elements of difficulty coping with their perfectionism.”
“If they (perfectionists) can’t do it perfectly, they don’t do it at all.”
“Any successes are tainted or any successes are in context of this dark cloud that hangs over them.”
“There is nothing wrong with having exceptionally high standards, it’s essential for most domains, including sport, exercise and dance. But what is not essential is for every single little failure you experience that you engage in debilitating self-criticism to the point at which you are unable to persevere and return to the task.”
Study: Interdependence and Social Identity in Youth Sport Teams
Abstract: The degree to which team members believe that they rely on one another to perform successfully and achieve collective outcomes may relate to perceptions about the extent that they integrate the group within their own identity. This study examined the relationship between interdependence and social identity among 422 high school team sport athletes. Youth completed measures of task and outcome interdependence, as well as social identity. Multilevel analyses revealed that higher perceptions of outcome interdependence at an individual and team level predicted greater social identity. Results highlight the role of outcome interdependence on athletes’ perceptions of social identity in sport teams.
Author: Mark Bruner
Dr. Mark Bruner is an associate professor at Nipissing University in Ontario Canada. Mark grew up playing sports in high school and then football and water polo at McMaster University while obtaining a degree in kinesiology. Following his undergraduate degree Mark travelled to Australia to obtain his teaching degree while playing ice hockey. After his time in Australia he returned to Canada to teach high school and coach basketball and football. He soon fostered an interest in sport psychology due to the influence of several friends and notable mentors. Form his many experiences being involved with teams, his research interests followed suit and he was soon examining group dynamics. He now finds himself at Nipissing University with his wife, where his program will be proudly accepting their first cohort of masters students this year.
Study: Mean Girls: Adolescent Female Athletes and Peer Conflict in Sport
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore adolescent female athletes’ experiences with peer conflict. In-depth, semistructured interviews (N = 15) were conducted with female athletes participating in high school/club-level sport. Inductive and deductive content analysis was then completed, and 4 distinct themes emerged regarding interpersonal conflict in the sport domain: causes of sport peer conflict, manifestations of sport peer conflict, outcomes of sport peer conflict, and attempts to reduce conflict. Findings imply that sport peer relationships can result in conflict behaviors that are both consistent with developmental literature and distinctive within the adolescent sport domain.
Author: Julie Partridge
Julie Partridge is an associate professor and faculty athletics representative at Southern Illinois University. She obtained her PHD in Social Psychological Kinesiology from the University of Northern Colorado, her Master’s degree from the University of North Carolina and undergraduate degree from Kansas State University. Her research interests include social influence, emotions (specifically shame and embarrassment in sport) and fan behavior.