Some Future Directions for Research in Sport

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
 Self-indulgent
selection of domains
 Previous
what do we know
what are the limitations?
 Future
What would it be interesting to explore?
 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
 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
 Multiple
stressors, mechanisms & task
 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?
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
 Informant or objective measures
 Reinforcement sensitivity theory
 Performance vs health?
 Shotgun
approach of early research
 Limited research in sport – goal orientations,
competitive anxiety
 Performers
are people first:
Big five factors – conscientiousness,
openness, extraversion & neuroticism
Narcissism – training vs the big occasion
Psychopathy – single point of focus
 Achievement
goal theory
 Self-determination theory
 Is high level performance always
underpinned by a mastery focus and selfdetermined regulation?
 Obsessive
motivation – extremely high
training volume, emotional dependence on
success, training when injured, serial
medallists, loss of identity on retirement?
 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)
 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
 How can we influence training behaviour?
 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?
 Cognitive
 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

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