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Some Future Directions for Sport Psychology Research. Lew Hardy Institute for the Psychology of Elite Performance School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences, Bangor University, Wales, UK. Overview. Self-indulgent selection of domains
Some Future Directions for Sport Psychology Research Lew Hardy Institute for the Psychology of Elite Performance School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences, Bangor University, Wales, UK
Overview • Self-indulgent selection of domains • Previous research what do we know what are the limitations? • Future research What would it be interesting to explore?
Health Warning • Contrary view of the world - “Good, the new bad ...” • Simple additive (main effect) models of the world are just wrong • The world is full of complex interactions
Stress and Performance • Cue utilisation – narrowing and selectivity • Processing efficiency theory, attention control theory • Regression effects - conscious processing, degrees of freedom • Ironic effects – doing the very thing you least want to do • Motivational effects – when and in what direction?
Stress and Performance II:The Hidden Gremlins • Multiple stressors, mechanisms & task demands: • Ego, physical harm, interpersonal, fatigue, financial, daily hassles • Perceptual changes, cognitive deficits, regression effects, ironic effects, motivational effects, emotion • Batting against spin, power lifting, ultra marathons, sailing dinghies • What is causal and what correlational?
Mental Toughness • Disposition to be robust and resilient to a wide range of stressors • Limitations of current research – poor conceptualisation, lack of theory, self-report questionnaires, interviews • Conceptualisation – mental toughness vs mental perfection • Informant or objective measures • Reinforcement sensitivity theory • Performance vs health?
Other Aspects of Personality in Sport • Shotgun approach of early research • Limited research in sport – goal orientations, competitive anxiety • Performers are people first: Big five factors – conscientiousness, openness, extraversion & neuroticism overdone? Narcissism – training vs the big occasionPsychopathy– single point of focus Interactions
A Darker Side to Motivation • Achievement goal theory • Self-determination theory • Is high level performance always underpinned by a mastery focus and self-determined regulation? • Obsessive motivation – extremely high training volume, emotional dependence on success, training when injured, serial medallists, loss of identity on retirement?
A Darker Side to Development • Nurturing environments – high self-esteem, confidence, highly skilled, mastery focused • Learning from failure – experimenting and making mistakes, learning what consequences are and how to deal with threat ... Punishment • Insecure attachments and striving • Experiencing loss, pain, defeat, humiliation Williamson & Gogarty (2009)
Training • Performers spend 95% of time in training • Very little research • To what extent is competitive performance predicted by training behaviour? • What are the most important training behaviours for different sports? • What are the determinants of training behaviour? • How can we influence training behaviour?
Group Dynamics • Leadership – decision making and “recognition” styles • Transformational leadership and other theories – mechanisms vs “boxology” • Coaching vs instructing • Effective teamwork – moving beyond group cohesion and role variables ... • How exactly do teams interact effectively?
Some Methodological Opportunities • Cognitive neuroscience • Psychophysiology • Genetics • Statistical methods to identify patterns in very complex datasets • High quality participant observation studies
Thank you Institute for the Psychology of Elite Performance School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences, Bangor University, Wales, UK