Psychological Determinants of Burnout, Illness and Injury among Elite Junior Athletes

Authors: F. Moen, K. Myhre and Ø. Sandbakk

Corresponding Author:
Frode Moen
E-mail address: frmoe@online.no, Tel. : +47 932 487 50
Postal address: Department of Education, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway

Frode Moen is currently the head manager of the Olympic Athlete program in central Norway, where he also has a position as a coach / mental trainer for elite athletes and coaches. He also is an associate professor at the Department of Education at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He previously has worked as a teacher in high school where sport was his major subject, and he has been a coach for the national team in Nordic combined in Norway for several years. Frode received his Ph.D. in coaching and performance psychology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. His research focuses mainly on coaching in business, coaching in sport, communication, performance psychology and relationship issues.

Psychological Determinants of Burnout, Illness and Injury among Elite Junior Athletes

ABSTRACT
This article looks at how psychological variables such as passion, perceived performance, affect, worries and working alliance are associated with athlete burnout and illness and injuries among junior athletes in sport. A sample of 356 junior elite athletes from different sports such as cross country skiing, biathlon, Nordic combined, shooting, ice-hockey, ice-skating, ski jumping, alpine skiing, cycling, track and field, football, orienteering, handball, football and volleyball participated in the investigation. Our results show that harmonic passion, perceived performance, positive and negative affect, worry and working alliance are uniquely associated with athlete burnout, whereas sex, perceived performance and working alliance uniquely are associated with illness and injuries. The results are discussed in regard of applied implications and possible future research.

Keywords: passion, performance, stress, worries, athlete burnout

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Coaching environments and student-athletes: Perceptions of support, climate and autonomy

Authors: Jeff Noble, Mark Vermillion*, and Kewa Foster

*Corresponding Author:
Mark Vermillion, PhD
Wichita State University
Department of Sport Management
Wichita, KS 67260-0127
Mark.vermillion@wichita.edu
316-978-5444

ABSTRACT
Understanding how athletes interact with coaches is an important topic for not only increasing performance, but also for managing developmental dynamics so often associated with coaching. As a result, the purpose of the research is to examine student-athletes’ perceptions of coaching environments as related to autonomy-supportive motivational climates. Division I (formerly known as Division I AAA) student-athletes were surveyed (n=143) as part of a larger data collection process by the athletic department. Self-determination theory is applied to examine motivation, autonomy, and support, while psychosocial student development theory is used to influence variable selection relating to the student-athlete population. Statistical results indicate an overall positive perception of coaching environments by student-athletes and no differences based upon gender. Regression analyses indicate only 28% of the variance is explained by current variables/questions on athletic department survey instrument with variables of gender, type of sport played, and student classification having little to no statistically significant impact. In accordance with previous research, coaches have the ability to create a positive atmosphere and in this study student-athletes had an overall positive view of their coaches’ ability to develop autonomy-supportive team climates. However, many personal-level factors could account for the large percent of variance not explained by statistical analyses in the current study.

Keywords: student-athletes, motivation, coaching climate, self-determination

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Big 12 Football: Competitive Balance Before and After Realignment

Authors: Jeffrey S. Noble*, Martin M. Perline, G. Clayton Stoldt

Institutional Affiliation of Authors: Wichita State University

*Corresponding Author:
Jeff Noble, Ed.D
Department of Sport Management
Wichita State University
1845 Fairmount
Wichita, Kansas 67260-0127
Email: jeffrey.noble@wichita.edu
Phone: (316)978-5442

Abstract
Conference realignment among athletic programs that compete at the Division I level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has been prevalent among various institutions over the past decade, particularly among institutions that sponsor football. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects on competitive balance when a conference lost member institutions who chose to join other conferences, and then added new institutions to replace those which had departed. Specifically, the effects on competitive balance in football in the Big 12 Conference, which lost four members and replaced with two additional schools, were examined. Using the standard deviation as our measure of competitive balance it was discovered that competition among the football programs were not as competitively balanced as before the initial realignment began.

Keywords: college athletics, conference realignment, economic inequality

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Leadership: Athletes and Coaches in Sport

Authors: Dr. Sharon P. Misasi*, Dr. Gary Morin and Lauren Kwasnowski

Dr. Sharon P. Misasi is a Professor of Exercise Science at Southern Connecticut State University. Dr. Gary Morin is a Professor of Exercise Science, Assistant Athletic Trainer and Program Director of the Athletic Training Education Program. Lauren Kwasnowski is a Research assistant for this study, undergraduate student in the Allied Health Program at the University of Connecticut and a member/captain of the UCONN Division I Lacrosse team.

*Corresponding Author:
Sharon P. Misasi PhD, AT.
Southern Connecticut State University
501 Crescent Street
PE 002B
New Haven CT 06515
misasis1@southernct.edu

ABSTRACT
This study investigated the interpersonal aspects and perceptions of the coach-athlete relationship as it pertains to collegiate athletes at Division I and II universities and athletes and coaches of different genders. Electronic surveys were emailed to 50 NCAA Division I and 50 Division II head coaches in the Northeast. Coaches were requested to respond to the survey and email the athlete survey to their respective athletes. These surveys were completed by both coaches and athletes: Coach-Athlete Relationship Questionnaire (CART-Q), Leadership Scale for Sports (LSS). The final instrument, Coaching Behavior Scale for Sports (CBS-S), was completed by only the athletes. There were no significant differences found with the CART-Q. The LSS illustrated several areas of significances in the categories of Training, Democratic Behavior, Autocratic Behavior and Social Support. Although there was no significance found in Positive Feedback there was an interesting finding in that female coaches felt they were less likely to provide positive feedback than their male counterparts. The CBS-S has subscales which include: physical training and planning, technical skills, mental preparation, competition strategies, personal rapport and negative personal rapport. Statistical significance was found in the following subscales: competition strategies, personal rapport and negative personal rapport. The coach is a meaningful person in the lives of athletes and the role they play is vital in the athlete’s sport experience. Our results indicate that the level of competitive division appears to play a role in how athletes perceive their coaches and how coaches perceive themselves. In addition, gender differences among coaches’ affect responses of the athletes and the coaches. Leadership is not a simple process. There is no one way to lead and what works for one may not work for all. Therefore, the best one can do is get to know their athletes and work hard to understand their goals, motivations and needs.

KEYWORDS: Coaching, Effective Leadership, Successful Leadership

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Great British Athletes’ Perceptions of Competing at the London 2012 Olympic Games

Author: Rachel Kent*

*Corresponding Author Address:
Rachel kent
E-mail: coach_kent@hotmail.com

Abstract
To review Great British (GB) athletes’ perceptions of home court advantage and competing ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews was conducted. The seven topics discussed in the interview were based on previous research. Five female GB Olympic sprinters were interviewed at their training facility in West London as they trained for the 2012 Olympic Games. Athlete responses were coded into categories then analysed using phenomenological analysis.

Athletes had a range of reasons why they believed they had a ‘home advantage.’ All athletes agreed that media representation could be good if media was positive but was bad when the media coverage was negative. Athletes reported a range of expectations some expressing high expectations and associated higher levels of performance anxiety. Athletes reporting lower levels of expectations had lower levels of performance anxiety. Athletes reported different sources of expectations and the significance of the source to them and their anxiety. The implications of the research findings suggest recommendations for media and sponsors, coaches, family, and friends to help provide the athletes with the optimum levels of unconditional support to aid in performance and prevent pressure, stress and pre-competitive anxiety.

KEYWORDS: Olympic Games, Olympics, Home Court Advantage, Expectancy Theory, Self-fulfilling prophecy, Media bias, Athletes, Phenomenological Analysis

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