Posts tagged emsep
Posts tagged emsep
“Of Course I T alk to Myself, Sometimes I Need Expert Advice!” - Anonymous
“Dig”, “Dig”… I heard myself say: “Just a little more…there… just around that corner… dig…dig”, and before you know it, I had crossed the finish line in my first Marathon.
Yes, I am a “self-talker”.
The truth is psychologists have known about self-talk for a long time and they have believed that what you say to yourself can change the way you behave (Ellis, 1976). In fact they have used self-talk in order to modify people’s behaviour (Meichenbaum, 1977).
Think about it, have you ever caught yourself in a crunch “ Am I going to make this shot?”
You said to yourself “Yes, I can. It’s no big deal, I have done this a hundred times…here we go…” and you did it, just like that, almost as if you predicted it.
But how does it work? Why does self-talk have such a significant effect on your performance? And what do you have to do to get the most out of it?
Researchers in University of Thessaly, Greece have the answer. They recruited 38 junior basketball players and taught them two different self talk cues: 1. Instructional e.g. “finger, target” and 2. Motivational e.g. “ I can”. After extensive training the researchers tested the players. They found out that motivational self-talk was more effective in “against the clock” situations like shooting the ball whereas the instructional cues were more helpful in improving techniques (Chroni et al, 2007).
But what happens when you tell yourself “I can”? In order to find out researchers decided to do more investigating. This time they used 72 tennis players and divided them into two groups. One group went through extensive self-talk training during practice and the other group just practiced on their own (control group).
After interviewing the athletes, here is what they found: Self-talk improves your self-confidence and lowers your anxiety levels, and this is how it helps you improve your performance!
The tennis players who had no self-talk training actually showed a decrease in performance while the experimental group’s performance was enhanced significantly. Their result also demonstrated a considerable difference in self-confidence and anxiety. The trained group reported less anxiety and also more self-confidence than the control group (Hatzigeorgiadis et al, 2009).
Naturally when you are feeling confident and less anxious, you are going to perform better!
Another important finding, that I personally find quite interesting, was that about 80% of the time the trained group actually used the self-talk techniques that they had learned! Why? Because they found it valuable and it worked for them!
So what’s the take home message for you? Use self-talk!
1. Keep it short - especially at those special moments when you are racing against the clock.
2. Use motivational words, e.g. “I can”, “power”, “I will” or my own favourite, “dig”
3. Use instructional cues for technique enhancement, e.g. while you are trying to serve or pass the ball
4. Practice, practice and practice because mental skills are just like any other skills, you have to practice them if you want to get better at using them.
So go on, talk to yourself, because when all is said and done “one advantage of talking to yourself is that you know somebody’s listening” (Franklin P . Jones).
Chroni, S., Perkos, S., Theodorakis, Y. (2007). Function and preference of motivational and instructional self-talk for adolescent basketball players. Athletic Insight, The Online Journal of Sport Psychology, 9 (1) 19-29
Ellis, A. (1976). R eason and emotion in psychotherapy. New Y ork: Lyle Stuart
Hatzigeorgiadis, A., Zoubanos, N., Mpoumpaki, S., Theodorakis, Y. (2009). Mechanisms underlying the self-talk-performance relationship: The effects of motivational self-talk on self-confidence and anxiety. Psychology of Sport and Exercise 10, 186-192 doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2008.07.009
Meichenbaum, D. (1977). Cognitive-behaviour modification: An integrative approach. New York: Plenum Press
Sepand M. Blank is currently a first year student in the European Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology Program at Lund University (Sweden). She acquired her BSc in neuropsychology from University of British Columbia (Canada).
Her main topic of interest is accessibility of physical activity and utilizing it as a tool to break the social barriers and bridge the gaps created by gender, age, ethnicity and social class.
This article features the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA that has been competing under Gregg Popovich (1998 to 2013). They are one of the longest reigning dynasties to dominate the league over a decade with an astounding level of success including 4 championships, 7 conference finals appearances, 3 regular season best records, all while missing the play-offs only once (ESPN, 2012). The most noteworthy trait of this team was its persistence at the top – many franchises like Miami, Detroit or Philadelphia rose and fell but Popovich’s Spurs stood still. Even the Lakers had to go through a lengthy rebuilding phase after Shaquille O’neal’s departure, but the Spurs have been the only team that remained in the championship contention for the most part of the last fifteen years. This article takes an in-depth look at the team dynamics of the Spurs and the leadership style of the coach.
Making of the Spurs: Popovich leadership and team development
There is no question that coach Popovich did a successful job of creating the right kind of team culture when he started his job as the head coach in 1997 that set the foundation for team building for years to follow (Stewart & Zeysing, 2006). A very critical antecedent for successful leadership is knowing the people that comprise the team which strengthens trust and mutual interdependence (Weinberg & Gould, 2011), and Popovich has always been keen about building trustworthy relationships with his players as well as coaching personnel (MacRae S. , 2010).
A major debate within the leadership literature today is about Authoritative vs. Democratic leadership applications. NBA players are generally paid very highly and an unadulterated despotism would probably lead to a revolt demanding the leader’s removal, hence, it is no surprise that a successful coach like Popovich has never been accused of being an outright autocrat (Porter, 2005). Popovich apparently perfected the leadership style most suitable for this team that has influence of authoritarian, participative, as well as transformational leadership. While he does have the reputation of listening to ideas by players, and he is also famous for being a direct individual and a very intense speaker with no insecure feelings about the decisions he makes and not afraid to communicate the intended message, for example, since joining the Spurs, he has sacked and replaced many of his staff members despite much critics (Adande, 2012). His experience in the US Air force certainly gave him an edge when it comes to controlling his players because in his 15 years as a coach no famous dispute between team members were reported (Roselius, 2012).
In professional sports where financial stakes are so high, many coaches tend to be reluctant in relying on younger players. Popovich has successfully developed many young talents into all-stars through proper nurturing and motivation which remain among the focal points to the Spurs’ success. A homely atmosphere along with adequate control that he envisioned and successfully established evidently served a great deal to the development of a team that accomplished its work superbly, improved as a functioning unit over time, and whose members came away from the group experience wiser and more skilled than they were before, all of which are ideal characteristics of a cohesive group (Messick & Kramer, 2005).
As influential as Coach Popovich has been, to give all credit to him without acknowledging the impact made by the players would be a grave leader attribution error (Forsyth, 2010). There could be a two dimensional arguments to the kind of players he has worked with over the years. Some argue that his accomplishment is no less praiseworthy than that of Pat Riley or even Phill Jackson, both of whom have won more championships as a head coach, because Popovich never had the same level of talent in the team. The counter argument to this notion is Popovich never had to deal with the ego of Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, or the relentless media interest drawn by Michael Jordan’s start power.
In any case, what served to the benefit of the team is how the behavioural attributes of the players fit right into Popovich’s leadership style. He was successful in creating an atmosphere where everybody had to stick to task and give 100% and whoever joined the team had to adapt to the system. High task orientation, collective sense of identity, distinctive roles, and low outcome emphasis were central to his coaching style (Roselius, 2012; Porter, 2005). Key players like Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker were drafted by the Spurs and were practically raised by Popovich (Stewart & Zeysing, 2006) and it is no surprise they grew up with the same philosophy as the coach. At the same time, Popovich has always been careful about recruiting players and mostly resorted to players whose talents were complemented by high work ethic and drive for collective success. For example, noteworthy acquisitions like Hobert Horry, Michael Finley, and Antonio McDyess all shared the reputation of being unselfish team-men with a good grasp of the concept of ‘team before individual’ (MacRae S. , 2010).
Throughout his tenure he has always tried to avoid signing talented players whose personalities were not in line with his team’s philosophies or anyone who could create role ambiguity within the team. In his fourteen years as a coach, he has never displayed any trace of impatience in signing big names. When big free agencies unveiled throughout the years, teams like Bulls, Heat, and Cavaliers were on one another’s throat in signing a superstar, Popovich stood silently and continued to keep faith on his own roster members and stick to the old formula of task orientation (LeBoutillier, 2007). Some teams like the Knicks went as far as releasing several key players to enhance signing of a big superstar. But the Spurs were never in the news for desperate persuasion of Lebron James or Carmelo Anthony (Stewart & Zeysing, 2006).
A classic example of role ambiguity was Alan Iverson’s tenure after 2008 in several teams. Even passed his prime Iverson was still capable of finding a spot in top teams that could allow him to win his first NBA championship. But the problem was he did not just want to win a championship, he wanted the leading role of a team that could win a championship and continued to refuse to accept a less significant role (Gerstner, 2012). There is no surprise that the Spurs never got in touch with Iverson’s agent.
Outcomes and conclusion
Not only that the Spurs have been very successful during the last fourteen years, they have achieved their success at high efficiency rate. The Spurs have clearly been overachievers with respect to the talent on their roster. For a team that was built around one future hall of famer, two guards of mediocre fame and lots of role players, four championships and 8 Conference finals appearances has to be considered very efficient. Not only were they efficient in terms of talent to success ratio, they were also literally cost effective. In their championship years 2003, 2005, and 2007, the Spurs stood 15th, 18th, and 6th in terms of player salary expenditure (Roselius, 2012).
Among the most remarkable characteristics about the Spurs’ basketball is how they catch people completely off guard. In 2011, everyone had considered them as a team too old to be relevant during play-offs. But Tim Duncan at age 36, along with Ginobili (34) and Parker (30) led the Spurs to NBA’s season best record and reaching the conference finals with a record 20 consecutive wins (Adande, 2012). They have shaken the whole NBA community with their perseverance and resilience especially those that considered them ‘too old’ to make a post-season impact. They eventually lost to a younger and faster Oklahoma City Thunders in the conference finals, but they have certainly left their trace and proven that with proper building structure and cohesion, a real team is capable of defying all odds – even nature.
Adande, J. (2012). Gregg Popovich’s portable program. Retrieved July 15, 2012, from ESPN.com: http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2012/story/_/page/Adande-120504/nba-______playoffs-gregg-popovich-spurs-effect
Carron, A. V., & Eys, M. A. (2012). Group dynamics in sport. Morgantown, WV : : Fitness Information Technology.
Forsyth, D. R. (2010). Group dynamics. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Gerstner, J. (2012). Inside the NBA: Detroit Pistons. Edina, MN.: ABDO Pub. Co.
Kimmerle, M., & Côté-Laurence, P. (2003). Teaching dance skills: a motor learning and development approach. Andover, N.J.: J. Michael Ryan Pub.
LeBoutillier, N. (2007). The story of the San Antonio Spurs. Mankato, Minn.: Creative Education.
MacRae, S. (2009). Meet Tony Parker : basketball’s famous point guard. New York: PowerKids Press.
MacRae, S. (2010). The San Antonio Spurs. New York: PowerKids Press.
Messick, D. M., & Kramer, R. M. (2005). The Psychology of Leadership New Perspectives and Research. Mahwah, N.J: Erlbaum Associates.
Porter, D. L. (2005). Basketball : a biographical dictionary. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.
Roselius, J. C. (2012). San Antonio Spurs. Edina, Minn.: ABDO Pub. Co.
Smith, M. (2009). Baseballs, basketballs and Matzah balls : what sports can teach us about he Jewish holidays and vice ver. Bloomington, Ind.: AuthorHouse.
Stewart, M., & Zeysing, M. (2006). Team Spirit: The San Antonio Spurs. Norwood House Press: Chicago, Ill.
Weinberg, R. S., & Gould, D. (2011). Foundations of sport and exercise psychology. Leeds: Human Kinetics.
Ybarra, A. (2012). Phoenix Suns. Edina, MN: ABDO Publishing Company.
Adlul Kamal is a second year student in the European Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology Program at the Lund University (Sweden). He has completed a Master degree in Sport Management from Sheffield Hallam University (UK) and a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from North South University (Bangladesh). Some of his areas of interests include imagery use in sport performance enhancement, and positive youth development. Email- firstname.lastname@example.org
Music is a part of peoples’ daily routines for different reasons. These may be mood regulation, motivation, leisure, and as a form of cultural manifestation. What we call music is the organization of five primary elements: melody, harmony, tempo, rhythm, and dynamics (Karageorghis & Terry, 2011). Athletes are often seen listening to their favorite tracks before performing as part of their pre-performance routine. The rationale behind athletes’ use of this routine is the common association between listening to music and changes in mood. Research has shown that listening to music can enhance physical performance by acting as a stimulant or sedative and thus altering athletes’ arousal levels (Bishop, 2010). That would suggest music as an appropriate component of pre-performance routines as one of its aims is to help athletes achieve an optimal level of arousal (Lidor, 2007).
According to Bishop, Karageorghis and Loizou (2007) music can be used as a strategy to emotional regulation, and can also improve visual and auditory imagery. Moreover, the choice of music and the impact of music listening are influenced by a number of factors, including extra-musical associations, inspirational lyrics, music properties, and desired emotional state (Bishop et al., 2007). Pates, Karageorghis, Fryer, and Maynard (2003) suggested that music can trigger emotions that are important antecedents of the flow experience. The participants in Pates et al. study reported that as a consequence of listening to music movements became more automatic and there was an increase in relaxation, concentration and confidence. Moreover, Karageorghis et al. (1999) proposed that asynchronous motivational music (when there is no conscious attempt to synchronise movement with beat; Karageorghis & Terry, 2009) can be used to control arousal and improve mood.
Understanding the performance emotion relationship is particularly important in applied sport psychology (Hanin, 2004). More specifically it is essential to investigate the influence of pleasant and unpleasant emotional states over sport performance. In order to evaluate this relationship Hanin suggests that instead of a generalized approach a focus on performance experiences of each individual athlete would be more appropriate. For this purpose, Hanin developed the Individual Zones of Optimal Functioning (IZOF). This model has an idiographic approach that focuses on idiosyncratic emotional experiences of individual athletes. Moreover the zone aspect of the model suggests a specific relationship between the perceived intensity of the emotional state and the quality of performance. According to Hanin (2004) optimal emotions are defined as most relevant and appropriate for a particular athlete performing a specific task. The optimal performance state results in a total task involvement and the best recruitment and use of available resources.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of self-selected asynchronous pre-task music on performance in a soccer skill test and in the achievement of participants’ individual zone of optimal functioning (IZOF; Hanin, 2000). An idiographic A-B-A-B single subject design was used. Hrycaiko and Martin (1996) suggested the single subject designs as the most appropriate methodology for applied research. Nine male collegiate soccer athletes from a university in London participated in this study. Participants were asked to describe their most and least successful performances, and the emotions related to these experiences. Based on the information provided, participants’ IZOF was established (Hanin, 2000; 2004). Participants then selected three or four music tracks from their own playlist that they considered would help them in achieving their IZOF. The motivational qualities of the selected tracks were assessed using the BRMI-3 (Karageorghis & Terry, 2011). Participants in each trial were asked to complete two circuits of a soccer skill test (Abouzekri& Karageorghis, 2010) developed to emulate the skills used in a soccer match. Performance was assessed through time to complete the soccer skill test and kick accuracy. The study was composed of four experimental trials; two with pre-task music, and two without. Before the no-music trials, athletes completed the concentration grid as filler. After each trial, participants completed their IZOF and at the end of the study participants completed the intervention evaluation questionnaire.
According to the study results the hypothesis suggesting that pre-task music would improve performance has not been supported. The graphically displayed data did not show a consistent improvement in time or kick accuracy. Moreover results on the IZOF did not present stable improvements in the pre-task music trials. Nevertheless, when asked about the effects of listening to their pre-task music, participants’ comments were positive. The participants reported improvement in concentration, confidence, motivation and arousal. In summary, according to participants’ experiences, music has a positive effect on emotions as a component of their pre-performance routine. However, due to this study’s limitations, it was not possible to establish a direct relationship between a pre-task music choice and improvement in performance or achievement of participants’ zones of optimal functioning. According to the findings of the present study and previous investigations (Bishop et al., 2007), athletes’ music choices are highly idiosyncratic and influenced by cultural background, thus future studies should maintain an individualistic approach.
Fernanda Serra de Queiroz has worked as a sport psychologist with professional soccer, surf and body boarding in Brazil. She completed a Master degree at the University of Queensland, where she investigated the effects of performance routines over performance on open skilled sports. Fernanda graduated from the European Masters of Sport Psychology Program, and her home university was Thessaly, Greece. During her program she was a visiting researcher at Brunel University, London, studying the relationship of music and performance with the supervision of Prof Costas Karageorhis (Brunel University), and Prof Nikos Digelidis (University of Thessaly).
Outstanding performances and absolute domination of some sports of Blacks generated the question, “are blacks better athletes than whites athletes?”. Many were concerned about this question and tried to find an answer (Sokolove, 1988). Caucasians worldwide are searching for proof of the physical advantage of Black athletes while handing them on a platter a psychological advantage - which, until removed, will perpetuate the current state (Hamilton, 2000). Hamilton (2000) claimed that psychology plays a critical role in the dominance of East African (Ethiopian and Kenyan) runners. Psychological factors may perpetuate this dominance by ascribing differences between African and Caucasian runners to stable external factors and in this manner disempowering Caucasian runners and empowering East African runners. Consequently, it is important to study how different stereotypes relate with athletes’ mental skills and affect their participation and performance in sport. To this end, my study aimed at developing a structured scale that can distinguish between different types of stereotypic beliefs, and discover if there are any relationships between athletes’ stereotypic beliefs and their mental skills. In general, the study is intended to examine the relationships between athletes’ stereotypic beliefs regarding themselves and those stable external factors (stereotypic beliefs) to which they attribute their success (their goal achievement and behavioral regulation (Coakley, 2003, Hamilton, 2000)).
The first study was an interview with Ethiopian long distance athletes to assess their perceived reasons for their success in their sport (long distance race). I interviewed eight Ethiopian long distance athletes on the subject, and as a result, the athletes attributed their achievement to different factors. Their reasons included “Because we are Ethiopians”, “We have a better genetic makeup which makes us good in long distance races”, “my family believed that I could make a great long distance athlete and pushed me to it”, “We live on a high altitude which gives us environmental advantage”, “The society believes we are so good in the long distance race and I believe the same”, “It is like a national identity to run long distance, so I believe it is in my blood”, “We train harder than anyone else”, “We have model athletes and it motivates us quite a lot”, “The life style in the country is quite demanding and we had to run everywhere as a child, so it helped us to become great in long distance”. Based on the interview results and what the literature suggests, an initial pool of 48 possible items under four factors was generated and subsequently reduced to 29 items.
The second study tested the psychometric properties and the factor structure of the sport stereotype scale (SSS) through exploratory factor analysis in the Amharic language. The results showed the need for another construct due to one factor splitting into two different factors. As a result, five clear factors emerged for the SSS, I.e. natural factors, environmental factors, social factors, commitment factors, and Ethiopian tradition factors.
The third study had two purposes: (1) to examine the psychometric properties and the factor structure of the second version of the sport stereotype scale (SSS) through confirmatory factor analysis, and (2) to translate and adapt two scales (Behavioral Regulation Sport Questionnaire (BRSQ; Lonsdale, Hodge, & Rose, 2008) and the Achievement Goals Questionnaire (AGQ; Papaioannou et al, 2007) into the Amharic language. The results produced an acceptable psychometric properties and factorial structure of the second version of SSS - and the two questionnaires were translated and adapted to the Amharic language.
The fourth study had three purposes: (1) to further measure the psychometric property of the Amharic versions of SSS, BRSQ, and AGQ, (2) to identify the most prominent stereotypic beliefs of the Ethiopian athletes regarding their sport, and (3) to examine the relationships between athletes’ stereotypic beliefs, their goal achievement, and behavioral regulations. The results provided adequate support for the five-factor model of the SSS, and an acceptable internal consistency. The results of the study also provided supportive evidence for the construct validity of the Amharic version of the two questionnaires (AGQ and BRSQ). Although some items and constructs were removed, the remaining items and constructs produced an instrument matching better the original AGQ and BRSQ. The results showed that Ethiopian athletes scored moderately high, with the highest scores observed for the Ethiopian tradition (M=4.02) and commitment (M=3.94) stereotypes. Finally, the three individual stereotype dimensions correlated positively and significantly with social approval of AGQ.
Commitment stereotype had the highest positive correlations with athletes’ goal orientation of social approval, performance approach, and mastery. The correlation between natural stereotype and mastery goal orientation of the athletes was the only negative correlation. The Ethiopian tradition factor showed a moderate positive correlation with the three factors of AGQ. Overall, the results of the present investigation provided considerable evidence and support for the validity of the sport stereotype scale. The results also confirmed that Ethiopian athletes hold stereotypes of different stable external factors ranging from Natural ability stereotype to life style, environmental, commitment, and traditional. The most prominent stereotypes found were the Ethiopian tradition factors, commitment factors, and physical environment factors. These beliefs showed significant relationships with athletes’ behavioral regulation, and goal orientations.
Likawunt Wendwosen has finished his masters in European masters in sport and exercise psychology from the university of thessaly and university of leipzig. Likawunt has also finished a masters in Athletics coaching from Addis Ababa University. He is currently working in the area of counselling and sport psychology in Ethiopia.
I am not sure how aware all of us are of the influence of our own “talk”, but I can assure you it is there. This verbal dialogue, where we interpret our feelings and perceptions, evaluate ourselves, and give ourselves instructions and reinforcement, we call self-talk. My interest within this concept grew when I became aware how much I utilize it in everyday life. So why not investigate how much this self-talk influences and is influenced by other concepts within my own field - sport and exercise psychology? Thus, I was interested to observe the mediating role of self-talk on the relationship between perceived motivational climate and self-efficacy beliefs in youth soccer players. Within the sport psychology literature, research on what influences it, and the outcomes of self-talk is rather sparse. Among the existing evidence, the role of the coach in shaping athletes’ self-talk has been identified, and also the effect of positive self-talk on athletes’ self-efficacy has received some support. This is where I started to formulate my question and idea. In the literature we can find the wide-reaching behavioral, motivational, affectual and cognitive consequences of self-talk, but it has been suggested that a greater understanding of the factors that shape and influence athletes’ self-talk is required. Among the antecedents or the factors that shape and influence athletes’ self-talk, the role of coach was found important. This was found in terms of the social support provided by coaches, in the form of esteem support, and it has been shown that it mediated the relationship between coaches’ supportive behavior and athletes’ positive self-talk. Thus, the role of significant other has been shown to influence athletes’ cognitions and behavior.
In many sports coaches promote the use of self-talk to their athletes in order to increase confidence, to improve concentration, etc. This is shown to positively influence athletes and their thoughts. On the other hand, the coaches’ negative behaviors, including distracting athletes or acting inappropriately, are affecting athletes’ thoughts of failure and negative self-talk. Overall, coaching behaviors impact athletes’ use of and shape their self-talk. With regard to social and environmental factors, the importance of motivational climate is evident; where it seems to be an influential determinant of athletes’ self-talk. Furthermore, the importance of the outcomes or consequences of self-talk has been apparent, although most investigated relationship is self-talk- performance.
Non-performance outcomes have been receiving recently more attention, within which one of the important outcomes is considered to be self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is grounded in Bandura’s social-cognitive theory. It is defined as a “beliefs in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to produce given attainments” (Bandura, 1997,p.3). These beliefs influence behavior, affect and selection of environment, and are influenced by behavior, affect and environmental events. It is shown that self-talk influences two specific motivational factors, among which is self-efficacy. It is suggested that self-talk may influence self-efficacy (Hardy, 2006) by acting as a form of self-delivered verbal persuasion. That positive self-talk, for example, might increase self-efficacy and subsequent effort. When talking about the sources of self-efficacy beliefs, we focused on verbal persuasion. It is a way to increase a person’s self-efficacy through direct statements (including self-statements) or social persuasion from significant others. The verbal persuasion can come from coaches, sport psychologists, and significant others. This can be in the form of feedback (“here is how you need to do this”) or motivational (“come on, you can do it!”) statements.
The present study wanted to combine these lines of research and explore the relationships between perceptions of motivational climate, athlete’s self-talk and self-efficacy beliefs. The study involved 292 young soccer players that were asked to fill out questionnaires about self-talk, perceived motivational climate in sport and self-efficacy self-reported measure. For the purposes of the study, participants were recruited from 8 youth soccer clubs in the area of Thessaloniki (N= 291), Greece. The questionnaires were distributed to these young athletes one month after the beginning of the season. We measured self-talk to evaluate athletes’ self-talk content. The questionnaire used consisted of 40 items assessing four positive and four negative dimensions. Motivational climate was assessed with a questionnaire that assessed perceptions of a task-involving climate and ego involving climate. Lastly, participants were asked to complete a self-efficacy measure specifically designed for soccer. They reported how confident they are to perform each of the 10 independent soccer skills during competition. The items from the scale were prefaced with the generic statement: “My confidence in my ability to… is: ____ % “. Item content included the following independent skills: dribble past an opponent, pass the ball accurately, challenge an opponent for the ball, trick and opponent, protect the ball, head the ball accurately, recover the all, provide support under pressure, drive (strike) the ball, instigate a foul and take a foul.
Our study showed that the perceived task-involving climate was a significant predictor of athletes’ self-efficacy beliefs and mediated by positive self-talk. The predictive ability of perceived task-involving climate with the mediation of positive self-talk suggests that climate created by coach could have an important impact on athletes’ self-talk, which in turn impacted their self-efficacy levels. This could indicate that task-involving climate was important for increases in athletes’ use of positive self-talk, but also increases in their self-efficacy beliefs.
This research should provide more insight in how self-talk works and facilitate better understanding of the factors that shape them, so one could affect self-talks’ outcomes; in this case, non performance based outcomes, such as self-efficacy. This researched tried to provide a better understanding of these relationships; hence in the future sport psychologists would be able to manipulate the antecedents in order to influence self-talk’s outcomes.
Adisa Haznadar is currently enrolled into Doctorate program in Counseling Psychology (concentration: Athletic Counseling) at Springfield College in Massachusetts, USA. She received her Bachelor in Psychology at University of Sarajevo (Bosnia) in 2009. and a M.Sc. from the European Master’s in Sport and Exercise Psychology at the University of Thessaly, Greece and also M.Sc from the University of Leipzig in Diagnostics and Intervention (2012). Her area of interest and current research area are psychological skills and their implementation; mainly self-talk.
Let’s make a bet. We’ve got a shiny new penny that says many of you out there have found yourselves wondering, “What in the world am I going to do with my degree?” This question can breed some anxiety, especially early on, when career tunnel vision only allows one to see professional or college athletics as a viable option. However, as most of you have probably figured out, consulting positions with professional and collegiate teams are few and far between. For instance, one startling figure purports that out of the roughly 1,000 NCAA- sanctioned schools in America, only about 30 have a full-time sport psych consultant on staff. That is a shocking statistic, but fear not colleagues, the beauty of our work lies in its adaptability - these techniques can be used to help a wide variety of populations. Specifically, we have found an alternative career avenue to consider that we found quite interesting and rewarding.
This past summer, we both worked as Behavioral Coaches (BCs) at a weight-loss facility for overweight adolescents ages 11-18. So, how does working with this population relate to the field of sport psychology? To begin, this particular company believes in an “athlete, not addict” approach to weight loss; these clients were successful because they bought into the idea that they were developing a lifestyle like an athlete training for big competition, rather than attempting to “heal” an addiction. This is why an overwhelming percentage of BCs came from a sport psychology background. Who better to teach that type of mental training than sport psych practitioners? The role of a BC is to provide constant guidance/instruction to clients as they learn and master the behaviors, thoughts, and beliefs necessary for a true lifestyle change. The foundation of our work was a combination of both Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) and sport psychology techniques including, but not limited to: (a) goal setting; (b) self-monitoring and journaling; (c) diaphragmatic breathing; (d) progressive muscle relaxation and autogenics; (e) imagery; and (f) positive self-talk. The subsequent paragraphs will provide information about how these techniques were specifically used.
Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals
S.M.A.R.T. goals were the foundation of the program. Goals served this population by providing daily and weekly roadmaps, increasing confidence and ability to refocus, increasing accountability and autonomy, and, most importantly, by allowing these young people to believe they could work hard to accomplish something they never thought possible. As BCs, we did not set our clients’ goals, but rather understood how the act of creating their own goals would inevitably breed valuable autonomy and intrinsic motivation. We met them with support and encouragement, giving them room to realize that even if a goal was not met, they had the ability to re-focus and adjust accordingly.
Self-Monitoring or Journaling
Self-monitoring was imperative for the long-term success of the clients. Our clients were taught to log daily food intake and physical activity. By evaluating these logs, the clients gained an understanding of their food and exercise patterns, and ultimately developed feelings of control – they were in charge of what they ate and the physical activity they did or did not partake in. When our clients assessed their weight loss each week, having this concrete evidence provided a chance for them to reflect on what was beneficial or detrimental to their weight loss journey. Additionally, our clients were encouraged to write down feelings/behaviors they experienced during that specific day as well as possible solutions to their problems. This allowed the clients to reflect on ways to cope with difficult situations as well as reinforce the importance of their goals.
Diaphragmatic Breathing, Imagery, and Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)
Becoming a long-term weight controller is not an easy process. To be successful, one must make a true lifestyle change; a process that can breed feelings of stress and anxiety. To help combat negative thoughts, we consistently employed different combinations of the following relaxation techniques with our clients. Diaphragmatic breathing, or deep belly breathing, allowed our clients to instantly feel a sense of calm and relaxation. Imagery taught our clients how to manage and cope with stress and plan for sticky situations upon their return home. PMR allowed the clients a chance to gain awareness into their bodies; specifically, where they held areas of tension and how to feel the difference between a relaxed and tense muscle. Plus, they loved the chance to relax and be still amongst all the hard work.
Sadly, many members of this specific population came in believing a whole host of negative, automated thoughts built up from a lifetime of unfortunate treatment. As behavioral coaches, we challenged thought patterns that lead to negative self-talk (i.e., all-or-nothing thinking, catastrophizing, etc…) and taught techniques to promote positive self-talk, such as: (a) thought-stoppage and disputing beliefs; (b) rephrasing extreme statements; and (c) positive affirmations. This type of cognitive restructuring allowed our clients to challenge their thoughts, which promoted positive emotions, and ultimately increased healthy behaviors.
Hopefully this article has served to increase your faith in the applicability of this profession. This is what we love about the techniques in sport psychology – they do not only apply to those who are working with athletes competing in sport. For us, this summer really drove the point home that these techniques are extremely valuable in increasing quality of life. We truly believe that the field of health psychology, specifically focusing on sustained behavior change, can provide many career opportunities for us sport psychologists.
Adam graduated with a master’s degree from the Adler School of Professional Psychology. He currently works as a mental skills coach at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, providing sport psychology services to both athletes and non-athletes.
Tyler is a second-year master’s student and Teaching Fellow at the University of North Texas. He is also a consultant at the UNT Center for Sport Psychology and Performance Excellence, where he provides sport psychology services to athletes, coaches, and teams.
I come from an area nearby that’s known as the “Land of Sun, Sea, and Wind”. Lying on the shore one day, I said to myself— “Why not combine those three elements and learn something new?” So I decided to take a course on windsurfing.
Pretty soon I realized windsurfing was quite difficult to grasp. So many techniques in the right order to remember – up hauling, tilting, jibing, beam reach, close-hauled …just to start with – and so many variables to take into account: feet movement on the board, hand grip on the boom, and general posture. Not only that but the timing of each movement is crucial and one has to also deal with people popping out of nowhere, sudden wind blasts, and dodgy waves continually testing your balance. Windsurfing truly seemed like a hopeless endeavor. It was quite obvious I couldn’t take care of these things all at once and that I had to select just part of the big picture. Thankfully, not at the cost of running anyone over.
Being human beings, our cognitive resources are limited and thus we have something called attentional processes. Through attention, we can select the pieces of information which seem more relevant to our specific purposes in a certain moment. Whether we do it consciously or unconsciously, what we focus on has important consequences on how we execute motor actions.
I experimented with different focus strategies: using either an external or an internal one. (Internal)— During the times I was thinking whether my feet or my hands were in the right place, one of those rogue waves would sneak up on me and toss me in the water; rather frustrating I might add. (External)— But when I focused more on the direction I was heading, letting the movements feel more natural and fluid, this allowed me stand longer on the board.
That’s basically the idea of the Constrained Action Hypothesis (Wulf et al., 2001): focusing on the movement’s consequences (external focus of attention) rather than on the movements themselves (internal focus of attention); leading to better motor execution.
Having an internal focus of attention and stressing over the (presumed) proper technique while learning a new, possibly complicate skill sounds quite obvious – just remember when you began learning how to drive a car. As we practice though, automaticity kicks in allowing us to focus less and less on the specific movements, leaving us with plenty of additional attentional resources which can be used for processing other things, such as the music played on the radio. That can still be dangerous though; better to focus on the road instead. Basically, as we get better at doing something, we gradually switch from an internal attentional focus towards a more external one (Adams, 1971; Wulf, 2007a).
Yet, what would happen if we try to instil an external focus of attention from the very beginning in a novice attempting at learning something new like learning to windsurf? Well, after extensive research (Wulf, 2007b, for a review), it turned out that not only did the external focus of attention strategy improve motor performance but it also proved itself to be more functional for motor learning by speeding up the process and making it more robust against decay, interference and choking under pressure. According to Wulf and colleagues (2001), having an internal focus of attention impairs motor execution by disrupting automatic processes which would normally take care of movements in an effective and efficient way. Oppositely, an external focus of attention results in more fluid execution, more functional muscular activation, and in turn leads to better motor performance.
The Constrained Action Hypothesis has been supported by cognitive, kinesiological and physiological evidences so far. Compared to an internal one, an external focus results in a lower load on the cognitive system (Wulf et al., 2001), which results in a greater automaticity of the movements (Abernethy, 1988). Such an external focus of attention is also associated to faster frequency of movement adjustments (McNevin et al., 2003) typical of skilled expert performances (Thompson & Stewart, 1986) and to an increased economical recruitment of muscle fibers by making the same movements outcomes achievable even with inferior muscular activity and better agonist-antagonist coordination (Vance et al., 2004).
Learning to windsurf is quite hard (but a lot of fun too!). Yet, focusing on the effects of movements (e.g. where we want the board to go) can definitely help in the learning process – as Wulf herself (2007a) acknowledges in describing her own experience with windsurfing.
That’s all very interesting… But what are we going to remember from this article? That the focus of attention influences motor learning? Possibly. What’s more important though is trying to tie what we study to our own experience. Combining theory with the lived experience will make it easier to remember and apply it in the future.
“Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I’ll remember. Let me do and I’ll understand” (Confucius).
Germano Gallicchio is an EMSEP student at Lund University (Sweden) and Leipzig University (Germany). He also received a BSc in Psychobiology, a MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Padova (Italy) and has been working as research assistant in Sport Psychophysiology at the University of Birmingham (UK). He recently turned out to be a rock climber and a capoerista. His main interests currently lie in motor skill learning and healthy lifestyle promotion.
- References -
Abernethy, B. (1988). Dual-task methodology and motor skills research: Some applications and methodological constraints. Journal of Human Movement Studies, 14, 101-132.
Adams, J. A. (1971). A closed-loop theory of motor learning. Journal of Motor Behavior, 3, 111-150.
McNevin, N. H., Shea, C. H., Wulf, G. (2003). Increasing the distance of an external focus of attention enhances learning. Psychological Research, 67, 22-29.
Thompson, J. M. T., Stewart, H. B. (1986). Nonlinear dynamics and chaos. Wiley. New York, USA.
Vance, J., Wulf, G., Töllner, T., McNevin, N. H., Mercer, J. (2004). EMG activity as a function of the performer’s focus of attention. Journal of Motor Behavior, 36, 450-459.
Wulf, G., McNevin, N. H., Shea, C. H. (2001). The automaticity of complex motor skill learning as a function of attentional focus. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 54A, 1143 - 1154.
Wulf, G. (2007a). Advantages of Attentional Focus on the Movement Effect. In Wulf, G. Attention and Motor Skill Learning (pp 107 -135). Human Kinetics. Champaign, USA.
Wulf, G. (2007b). Attentional Focus and Motor Learning: A Review of 10 Years of Research. E-Journal Bewegun und Training, 1, 4-14.
Imagine a referee in a soccer game who observes Team A’s striker falling in a duel with a defender in Team B’s penalty area. However, the referee could not observe whether it was a foul or the striker just lost his footing. Thus, she does not call the foul and does not award a penalty kick. Five minutes later she observes a foul committed against Team B’s striker in the penalty zone of Team A. Does she call the foul and thereby award a penalty kick for Team B? The answer to this question is at the heart of the discussion about whether referees’ judgments and the following decisions should be made context-free or within the context of the game (Bar-Eli & Raab, 2006; Mascarenhas, O’Hare, & Plessner, 2006).
photo credit: naso.org
These two positions can be labeled rule administration and game management (Brand & Neß, 2004; Mascarenhas, Collins, & Mortimer, 2002). If rule administration is the correct approach to refereeing, referees in the described situation must award the penalty. If referees follow this approach, they have to make their decisions in a context-free manner. They have to evaluate each individual situation in isolation, separately from the current match, score, or playing time, and then make a decision according to the rules and regulations in place (Plessner & Haar, 2006). In this position I propose that they could benefit from mindfulness training (to be in the moment) and also some techniques to promote their self- confidence (to support their call). However such methods obviously need to be experimented with more to find out how exactly referees can perform better and which techniques will be most appropriate for them.
If, however, game management is the correct approach, the referees should consider what is best for the game’s smooth flow and what might be considered fair. Because the referee did not award a penalty in an ambiguous situation for Team A, she might not award the penalty for Team B either (Unkelbach & Memmert, 2008). When we add some other factors such as the impact of travel, the influence of the crowd: either normal crowd behaviour (e.g. cheering) or antisocial behaviour (e.g. swearing, chanting obscenities), we can realize this job is a difficult one with many challenges. Despite growing literature exploring the dual concepts of home advantage and referee (official) bias in sports encounters, we can find just a few bits of research of work with referees in order to identify their problems during games and challenges that they have pre-, during and post-match.
This kind of circumstance, which I mentioned as an example, possibly puts referees in a situation that will make them confused and could lead to some conflict in their subconscious, ultimately affecting their decisions.
They won’t be able to whistle as good as they are really capable to, and an injustice to those participating in the match will be the end result. I hope to therefore see more research on other dimensions of this tough job and thereby helping referees to concentrate on the game and give them some techniques to cope with stressors and focus on their own job.
Hossein Shahrohki is student in the European Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology Program (EMSEP) at the University of Thessaly, Greece. He completed his bachelor degree in Psychology at Ferdowsi University (Iran). His research interest is self-talk and its relationship with god-talk (prayer) that he is working on as his thesis.
Just eight weeks ago we took our first steps in the field of Sport & Exercise Psychology with starting the European Master in Sport & Exercise Psychology at the University of Jyväskylä. While reading the first chapters and articles about the topic the curiosity for the work in the “real world” began to rise. What are the experiences and stories from people who are already working in the field right now? How do they apply the knowledge to real life?
With the other students we made our way from high up north in Finland to Budapest, Hungary, and Kosice, Slovakia, the place of the 8th annual workshop of the European Network of Young Specialists in Sport Psychology. (http://enyssp.org/)
The 3,5h train ride from Budapest to Kosice was loaded with happy and loud EMSEP students and attendees of the conference. What we have already realized in Jyväskylä during the last few weeks was confirmed again: future sport psychologists are good company and a lot of fun. At night we finally arrived to Kosice which is a surprisingly sweet and beautiful town with an impressive church, a castle and most important amazing cake shops.
The day after the real learning process started. Chris Harwood did the kick-off with an enthusiastic introduction to life of a sport psychologist. The best tip so far - get experience in the field! Chris told us about his work in different sport clubs and his current job at the national tennis center. Besides tips how to translate a theoretical model into practices in the field, how to cope with over-involved parents and the importance of self-reflection and structural feedback in training he promised us that a job of a sport psychologist includes much more. An exciting career is waiting for us: as water boys and minivan bus drivers. But the message was clear. As a sport psychologist you will properly (and hopefully) become a part of the team and you will be on the field which gives a very dynamic dimension to the working life. And in our opinion running around with water bottles sounds much more attractive than a fancy office job, running from meeting to your computer then to the coffee machine and backwards over and over again.
The timetable for the second day promised to get even better than the first – interesting workshops, poster presentations and of course a lot of time to socialize! A workshop of Caroline Jannes was about over-training and the importance of sleep and rest for athletes (and everybody else as well). Some more practical tips could be gathered during the presentation of Johan Wikman: have fun, network and don’t sell yourself short! And by the way, did you realize that there is a lot of education and personal experience behind our knowledge? Well, he certainly did! ;)
At the end of the second day we made a good attempt at transferring the learnt theories into practice – not that easy, we have to say! But since we know about the importance of relaxation and stretching, we all attended an amazing yoga class from Jonathan Cagas: over an hour full of stretching, yoga stances and relaxation (and a few minutes of sleep, at least for some of us). Yoga seemed to be the perfect preparation for the good and long party night in Kosice which followed.
Starting the last day more or less fit it took us by surprise when we were asked to let go and trust each others, literally! Standing in the middle of a circle composed out of complete or not so strangers who are pushing you around and trying not to drop you – scary at first sight, a lot of fun at the second! Thanks Peter Schneider & Grzegorz Więcław :)
With our heads full of information, inspiration and new experiences we headed back to Budapest. We will keep this quote in mind: “Come out of your comfort zone; that’s where the magic happens.” Don’t stay at home (even if it’s a rainy grey Sunday), but move, to new places, to new people, to new knowledge and experiences. Moving is definitely the biggest part of the magic. These three amazing days made us even more excited about sport psychology, the EMSEP program and the amazing working life that comes after. Thanks to the organizers and attendees of the workshop we had a wonderful time and are really looking forward to meet all of you (again)!
Yara Rietdijk is currently a first year student in the European Master of Sport and Exercise Psychology at the University of Jyväskylä. She has graduated with a Bachelor in Sport & Exercise Education at the Inholland University of Applied Science in The Netherlands. Current topics of interest are motivational climate and exercise adherence.
Svenja Wachsmuth is currently a first year student in the European Master of Sport & exercise Psychology at the University of Jyväskylä. She graduated as a B.SC. Psychology at the University of Regensburg in Germany. Current topics of interest are self-presentation & team dynamics.
Mindfulness and ‘Acceptance and Commitment Therapy’ (ACT; Hayes, 2004) are rapidly gaining ground in almost every field of psychology: stress, depression, anxiety, psychosis, eating disorders, work performance, just to name a few (Baer, 2003; Birrer, Röthlin, & Morgan, 2012; Moore, 2009). Wouldn’t it be naive and narrow minded to stubbornly believe that these third-wave approaches hold absolutely zero relevance in our own beloved field, sport psychology? Aren’t the theoretical underpinnings and empirical evidence put forward by this new generation a little too sound and strong to ignore? The research base for mindfulness and ACT in sport psychology is young (a very first protocol, the ‘Mindfulness Acceptance and Commitment approach’ (MAC) was brought to the table in 2004, by Gardner and Moore) and still rather small. Nevertheless, the same exponential boom as we have seen (and are seeing) in general psychology, I believe, has also reached our own field. If you are interested in the theoretical fundaments of why I think mindfulness (and ACT) can amend our toolbox of traditional psychological skills training, I would recommend familiarizing yourself with the following building blocks: ‘Ironic Process Theory’ (Wegner, 1994); ‘Cognitive Defusion’ and ‘Experiental Avoidance’ (Hayes, 2004); Flow (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990); and Constrained Action Hypothesis (Wulf, McNevin, & Shea, 2001). If you feel a bite-sized chunk is more like your cup of tea, Birrer et al. (2012) provide a timely and clear overview of the current status of mindfulness in sport.
“Critical thinking requires independence and open skepticism. That is, being neither gullible nor cynical, neither looking for reasons to believe nor reasons to deny.” (Moore, 2007, p. 10)
For the sake of not turning this plea for mindfulness in sport into a book (but if you really crave one; Gardner & Moore, 2007), I shall (try) to cut to the chase and describe in a more tangible fashion how I feel mindfulness can help athletes in specific situations. Consider the following:
We all know how detrimental stress can be for our athletic performance. Actively trying to suppress, control, or change this annoying feeling/ thought will only make it come back stronger and more frequent. Try to imagine such a situation- a big game is coming up and a lot of pressure is put on your shoulders, and people are expecting you to perform! Don’t you think the resources you ‘waste’ on this stress, could be allocated far more efficiently? What about full concentration on the task at hand? If you can manage to convince yourself of giving acceptance a shot, soon you will see that these negative feelings and thoughts will smoothly disappear… just like any other thought. It is in our human nature to feel and think all kinds of things. Try this: take a moment and watch your mind from a meta-cognitive perspective- surely you will notice how childish it can really be. Constantly bombarding us with new thoughts and feelings. Just be, loose from past or future, into the moment, just here and now and everything around you. It seems so hard. Our mind is constantly crying for attention. Think of those Buddhist monks sitting on mountain tops trying to ‘clear their mind’, easy peasy or pretty tricky? Now here’s a funny thought; how do you think their concentration-capabilities are? Sure would be interesting to investigate, right?
We are prone to so many tendencies: rumination; jealousy; hedonic adaptation; future, past; peer-pressure; group conformity; stereotypes; the urge to judge everything, even our own thoughts; and so on. These reflexes aren’t always bad (moreover, sometimes we need them), and again, they are perfectly normal. This is part of being human. But please give thought to the possibility of merely watching, noticing them, from a distance. Merely being aware of this will take you a long way. While being aware of this toddler that is our mind, also realize how you don’t need to fight these naturally occurring thoughts and emotions, just let them be, peacefully, and they will ebb away.
Let’s go back to our pre-game situation. Your mind is worried. “Wow I feel quite stressed, but I shouldn’t! Stress will make me perform so much worse! I have to relax. I have to!” What do you think will really happen if you let yourself get caught up in this thought-cycle? Just observe these thoughts and emotions: they pop up, but you don’t have to do anything about them. Be aware of them and accept them. As leaves on a stream they will float by… Like tiny soldiers marching in front of your eyes holding signs saying “choking under pressure”, “fear”, “failure”, “what if what if”, “but but”. With the time gained not having to control, deal, struggle with these irrelevant thoughts, you can focus on the matters that will actually get you somewhere. Go out there and have fun, draw from the vast resources that are part of your automatic pilot, which has developed over so many years, doing the thing you do best, playing the sport you love dearly. Your concentration on the task at hand will be through the roof, you don’t have to worry about irrelevant, negative thoughts/ feelings, you know they will come, but you are damn sure of their leaving as well.
“I used to think my mind was my most important organ, until I noticed what was telling me that”
It’s not that our minds are infantile or inefficient, no, our mind is a beautiful thing and we can achieve so many great things with it- if we are aware of its vulnerabilities and pitfalls. Be kind to yourself, try to understand the fallacies and beauty of your own cognition better.
I hope I have succeeded in shedding some light on an alternative point of view. If you are not convinced by the ample empirical evidence and sound theoretical underpinnings (here we go again), please just give it a try for the sake of human curiosity (the toddler in your head wants it!). Maybe, just maybe, you will find some useful tools to add to your backpack of life. Although it has to be said, ACT and mindfulness obviously aren’t just tools as we know them (say goal-setting, self-talk, imagery, etc.). “It’s a being-state, rather than a doing-state”. If you find comfort, relevance, and benefit in all this, it can help you in so many areas of your life, not just sport. Everything is connected. Think of the following example: you’re going through a rough patch and happen to be faced with some setbacks in life, when you step onto that court to play the sport you love, these thoughts can ‘haunt’ you, they can prevent you from reaching your optimal performance. Here too, mindfulness can make things a lot easier for you. As you are trying to be a mindful person, you will already have accepted these worries and you no longer have to struggle with them in your head. Live in the moment!
Baer, R. A. (2003). Mindfulness training as clinical intervention: A conceptual and empirical review. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10, 125–143.
Birrer, D., Röthlin, P., & Morgan, G. (2012). Mindfulness to enhance athletic performance: Theoretical considerations and possible impact mechanisms. Mindfulness. doi: 10.1007/s12671-012-0109-2
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper & Row.
Gardner, F. L., & Moore, Z. E. (2004). A Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment (MAC) based approach to performance enhancement: Theoretical considerations. Behavior Therapy, 35, 707–723.
Gardner, F. L., & Moore, Z. E. (2007). The psychology of enhancing human performance: The Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment (MAC) approach. New York: Springer.
Hayes, S. C.(2004). Acceptance and commitment therapy, relational frame theory, and the third wave of behaviour therapy. Behaviour Therapy, 35, 639–665.
Wegner, D. M. (1994). Ironic processes of mental control. Psychological Review, 101(1), 34–52.
Wulf. G.. McNevin, N, H,. & Shea. C, H, (2001). The automaticity of complex motor skill learning as a function of attentional focus. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 54, 1143–1154.
Joachim Bervoets currently is in his 2nd year of the European Master’s in Sport & Exercise Psychology, research topics of interest include mindfulness, flow, mental toughness, self-talk, goal-achievement theory, etc.. Background: BS Psychology and MS Health & Social Psychology at Maastricht University (NL). He plans on continuing his studies at the PhD level in North America or Australia.