Sheldon Hanton's research while affiliated with Cardiff Metropolitan University and other places

Publications (106)

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Government-led reforms in the Further Education (FE) sector in the UK have highlighted the impact that FE institutions can have on national productivity and economic growth. This has resulted in growing calls to support the performance of FE teachers in the classroom. There is a paucity of research that has considered effective teaching practice wi...
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Athletes experience a number of within-career transitions that expose them to a multitude of demands. The club-to-international transition (CIT) is one transition that has received minimal attention. Through cognitive-motivational-relational-theory (CMRT), we sought to address this gap by exploring the psychosocial demands, and their situational pr...
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In this 6-year, multi-study paper we summarize a new and effective framework of single-session problem-solving developed in an elite sport context at a world leading national institute of sport science and medicine (English Institute of Sport: EIS). In Study 1, we used ethnography (3.5 years) to observe how single-session problem-solving methods we...
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Hardiness has been identified as a key personal characteristic that may moderate the ill-effects of stress on health and performance. However, little is known about how hardiness might be developed, particularly in sport coaches. To systematically address this gap, we present two linked studies. First, interviews were conducted with pre-determined...
Article
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Little empirical evidence exists to corroborate the proposed benefits that reflective practice may have for service delivery effectiveness in Applied Sport Psychology (ASP). To systematically address this gap, we collected data over a five-year period via a staggered, single-subject multiple-baseline intervention that aimed to: (a) investigate the...
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Informed by and drawing on both the integrated model of response to sport injury (Wiese-Bjornstal, Smith, Shaffer, & Morrey, 1998) and the biopsychosocial model of challenge and threat states (Blascovich, 2008), this multi-study paper examined whether preinjury adversity affected postinjury responses over a five-year time period. Study 1 employed a...
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This manuscript presents two linked studies that together aimed to design, deliver, and evaluate a service-user informed education programme that focused on improving coaches’ understanding of, and ability to facilitate, life skill development through grassroots football in the UK. First, focus groups (n = 14) were conducted with key stakeholders (...
Article
The growing field of sport-based youth development has explored the role of coaches in fostering athletes’ lifelong skills to deal with stressors and challenges they encounter as they transition into adulthood. However, the contribution of sport psychologists in implementing programs has received little attention and could provide a beneficial cata...
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Objective: Athlete development and management encompass a complex interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors. Within elite sport, multidisciplinary sport science and medicine teams play an important role in achieving an optimal balance between preventing athlete ill-health and optimizing health and performance. The psychological...
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Recent research in sport psychology has noted the potential importance of providing sport psychologists with a systematic approach to solve problems in settings constrained by time and pressure. To this end, a growing body of single session therapy (SST) research exists within psychotherapeutic literature and other domains of support work from whic...
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The purpose of the study was to conduct an in-depth examination of the stress and emotion process experienced by three sub-elite-level male cricketers over a series of five competitive performances. Using reflective diaries and follow-up semistructured interviews, the findings highlighted the impact of appraisal, coping, and emotion on performance,...
Book
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Contemporary Advances in Sport Psychology brings together leading international researchers to showcase some of the most important emerging topics in contemporary sport psychology. Each chapter offers a comprehensive review of current knowledge and research on a cutting-edge theme, followed by in-depth discussion of conceptual and methodological is...
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Mental toughness has received increased scholarly attention in recent years, yet conceptual issues related to its (i) dimensionality, (ii) nomological network, and (iii) traitness remain unresolved. The series of studies reported in this paper were designed to examine these three substantive issues across several achievement contexts including spor...
Article
This paper examines the use of reflective practices in the personal learning journey of a part-time, volunteer, youth sport coach. Using autoethnographic and reflective texts, the paper explores the centrality of values in coaching practice, the tensions and conflicts created by them and their denial, and the consequent impact on the coach’s behavi...
Article
Objectives The purpose of this study was to examine motivational correlates of mentally tough behaviours among adolescent tennis players. Design Two-phase study, involving the development of an informant-rated measure of mentally tough behaviours, followed by a cross-sectional survey including athlete and parent assessments of study variables. Me...
Article
The measurement of mental toughness, which has gained increased popularity among scholars in the past decade, is an area of research that has typically lacked a synergy between theory and method. In a psychometric examination of the Mental Toughness Questionnaire-48 (MTQ48; Clough, Earle, & Sewell, 2002), Gucciardi, Hanton, and Mallett (2012) propo...
Data
Objectives: This study aimed to improve the practice of individuals operating in a sport organization by providing an intervention to develop emotion abilities and strategies. Design: A two-phase action research approach was adopted to facilitate the objective and to assess the intervention's effectiveness. Method: In the first phase of the interve...
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This study examined the relationship between basic psychological skills usage (i.e., goal-setting, imagery, self-talk, and relaxation) and the intensity and directional dimensions of competitive anxiety. Semistructured interviews were used on a sample of 15 elite athletes (M age = 24.3 years, SD = 4.2) from a variety of team and individual sports....
Article
Grounded in Lazarus’ (1999) Cognitive Motivational Relational Theory of Emotions and informed by Courneya and Carron’s (1992) Game Location Framework, this study examined the influence of stress and emotions on the decision-making of UK association football referees who were refereeing at different competitive levels. Through the use of interviews,...
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This study aimed to contribute to a growing theoretical body of literature relating to the role of emotional intelligence abilities and emotion regulation strategies in creating optimally functioning in sport organizations. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 21 participants (athletes, coaches, administrators, national performance directo...
Article
This study investigated athletes' appraisals of organizational stressors. Four elite sport performers (two males and two females) completed Stress Appraisal Logs over a six-week competition period regarding the stressors they encountered within their sport organization. The participants predominantly appraised sources of organizational strain (i.e....
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The purpose of this paper is to review the literature relating to the positive aspects of organizational psychology research in sport. To this end, the narrative is divided into three main sections. The first section defines and delimits relevant concepts, including organizational psychology, positive psychology and positive organizing. The second...
Article
PURPOSE: This study examined the direct, moderating, and indirect effects of dispositional optimism on the prediction of, and athletes' responses to, injury. METHODS: A two-year longitudinal design was conducted with a baseline sample of 694 asymptomatic participants (389 men, 305 women; M age = 19.17, SD = 1.69 years), 104 of which subsequently be...
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Objectives. This qualitative follow-up study aimed to enhance the interpretability and meaningfulness of the findings that emerged from a quantitative study that explored the effect of hardiness on the prediction of, and response to, sport injury (i.e., Wadey, Evans, Hanton, & Neil, 2012). Design. Using theory-based and maximum-variation sampling t...
Article
Mental toughness has received increasing attention in the field of performance psychology, yet issues remain about its measurement by self-report. In this article, we have summarized mental toughness measurement issues and, as an example, provided a psychometric examination of the most frequently used measure. In an effort to operationalize mental...
Article
In the study reported here, 12 sport performers (six elite and six non-elite) were interviewed with regard to organizational-related issues they had experienced in preparation for competition. Grounded theory procedures facilitated the development of a conceptual framework of organizational stressors consisting of five general dimensions: factors i...
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Two experimental studies are reported investigating the relationship between competitive anxiety intensity and interpretation and performance within the sports of rugby union and basketball. Study 1 employed video recall procedures and the Immediate Anxiety Measurement Scale (IAMS) to assist an elite and non-elite rugby union performer recall their...
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The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to examine the stressors experienced by injured athletes during three phases of their recovery from sport injury, and (b) to explore the differences in the stressors experienced by team as compared to individual-sport athletes. Participants comprised previously injured high-level rugby union players (n = 5...
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We investigated athletes' responses to organisational stressors. Ten sport performers (five males and five females) were interviewed with regard to the organisational-related demands they had encountered and their responses to these stressors. The main emotional responses that were revealed were anger, anxiety, disappointment, distress, happiness,...
Article
This primary objective of the study was to examine the direct and moderating effects of hardiness on the prediction of sport injury, and the direct and indirect effects of hardiness on athletes' responses to injury. This study employed a longitudinal methodological design. Specifically, the injury status of 694 asymptomatic participants was monitor...
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The 9-month ethnography reported here investigated the critical factors underpinning organizational functioning in a national sport organization. The findings illustrate the pivotal importance of interpersonal relationships and highlight the emergence of emotion-related abilities as highly influential in successful person-organization dynamics. Spe...
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The effects of a systematic cognitive-behavioral intervention program were examined upon the further appraisals (i.e., emotional orientation) of four golfers who interpreted their emotions as debilitative towards upcoming performance and the subsequent effect on actual performance. A systematic, theoretically underpinned, multiple-baseline single-s...
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Using a mixed-method design, we compared athletes' abilities to recall intensity and frequency of competitive anxiety. In Phase 1, performers (n = 35) completed the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (Martens, Burton, Vealey, Bump, & Smith, 1990) at four pre-competition and four post-competition intervals to compare actual and recalled responses...
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of experience upon the interpretation of anxiety‐related symptoms in elite performers. Initially, a preliminary inductive generalization (Patton, 2002), consisting of a focus group interview (n = 3) and individual interviews (n = 6), was conducted in order to explore the conceptual understa...
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The purpose of this study was to examine the interactive effects of hardiness (high vs. low hardiness) and anxiety direction (facilitators vs. debilitators) on performers' competitive anxiety intensity responses, self-confidence levels and the frequency and effectiveness of coping usage. Significant interaction effects showed that the high hardines...
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This study offers an investigation into the concept of effective practice in applied sport psychology (ASP) with emphasis being placed upon the role that reflective practice may have in helping practitioners to develop the effectiveness of their service delivery. Focus groups (n = 2), consisting of accredited and trainee sport psychologists, were c...
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The Value of Reflective Practice in Professional Development: An Applied Sport Psychology Review The purpose of this review is to situate the concept of reflective practice within the professional training and development of applied sport psychology (ASP) practitioners. In particular, to consider the progression of the field of ASP into professiona...
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Eleven superelite participants (7 performers, 2 coaches and 2 sport psychologists) were interviewed regarding the development and maintenance of mental toughness. Findings revealed that this process occurred over four distinct career phases: three developmental phases, and one maintenance phase. Factors influencing development and maintenance inclu...
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Choking under pressure is a pejorative colloquial term (Clark, Tofler, & Lardon, 2005) used to describe a sub-optimal sporting performance under stressful conditions. In order to prevent its occurrence and enable performers to achieve their potential under pressure, a full understanding of the phenomenon is necessary. By reviewing critically the co...
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Using a goal-setting model (Burton, Naylor, & Holliday, 2001), the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a goal-setting intervention upon performance as a function of skill level. A multiple-baseline across-individuals single subject design was employed with 3 elite and 3 nonelite male boxers aged between 15–17 years (M = 16; SD = 1)....
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The purpose of this review is to demonstrate how the use of qualitative inquiry has advanced competitive anxiety and competition stress research. We first identify the potential reasons for researchers adopting qualitative approaches in the field, and then provide an overview of how these investigations have increased our understanding of performer...
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We examined the performance and organizational stressors encountered by elite and non-elite athletes within the competition environment. Twelve sport performers (6 elite, 6 non-elite) were interviewed about both performance and organizational-related demands experienced when preparing for competition. The framework presented identifies five perform...
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We offer an examination of the processes athletes undertake following a sporting experience in order to learn how to interpret their anxiety-related symptoms as facilitative to performance. Six experienced, elite athletes were interviewed regarding the reflective practices adopted following both positive and negative critical incidents with a view...
Chapter
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IntroductionClarification and contextualization of key termsCompetition stressors and athletes' responsesThe relationship between anxiety and sport performanceHow to assess anxiety symptomsA reduction approach to stress management interventionA restructuring approach to stress management interventionFurther reading
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ObjectivesTo investigate the efficacy of a motivational general-arousal based imagery strategy in modifying precompetitive symptom interpretations.MethodA staggered multiple baseline single-subject design was employed with five male collegiate rugby union players (M = 24.5; SD = 3.05). The dependent variable was monitored over a full competitive se...
Data
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be used for research, teaching and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, re-distribution, re-selling, loan or sub-licensing, systematic supply or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents will be co...
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This study examined the use of four advanced psychological strategies (i.e., simulation training, cognitive restructuring, preperformance routines, and overlearning of skills) and subsequent competitive anxiety responses. Semistructured interviews were employed with eight highly elite athletes from a number of team and individual sports. Participan...
Article
For the first time in a sport setting this study examined the intensity and direction of the competitive state anxiety response in collegiate athletes as a function of four different coping styles: high-anxious, defensive high-anxious, low-anxious and repressors. Specifically, the study predicted that repressors would interpret competitive state an...
Article
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This study examined the relationship between basic psychological skills usage (i.e., goal-setting, imagery, self-talk, and relaxation) and the intensity and directional dimensions of competitive anxiety. Semistructured interviews were used on a sample of 15 elite athletes (M age = 24.3 years, SD = 4.2) from a variety of team and individual sports....
Article
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Retrospective perceptions and causal beliefs regarding the temporal patterning of precompetitive psychological responses were examined in 12 elite rugby union players. Composite sequence analysis resulted in a series of temporal networks to describe participants' cognitive, affective, and behavioural responses in a time-to-event paradigm. Match-rel...
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This report reflects on the man books and articles which describe and attempt to understand mental toughness. In doing so, the authors sought to (a) raise awareness of the key conceptual and methodological issues, and (b) stimulate research activity in this area. Populist texts, anecdotal evidence, and personal accounts have defined mental toughnes...
Article
In this study, we examined the influence of competitive experience (high vs. low) and performance status (current-elite vs. past-elite) upon athletes’ (N=217) multidimensional trait anxiety, self-confidence, and coping responses. Significant interaction effects showed that the current-elite group, with high experience, had the highest levels of sel...
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The area of competitive anxiety continues to be extensively researched with considerable attention focused on the notion of ‘direction’. The purpose of this review is to demonstrate how the study of direction has advanced our understanding of the competitive anxiety response through providing an overview of the existing research, and emphasizing wh...
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Seven participants from a previous study (Jones, Hanton, & Connaughton, 2002) agreed to be interviewed about the development of mental toughness. We also aimed to determine whether mental toughness requires maintenance. Semistructured interviews were conducted to elicit the participants' perceptions of how mental toughness is cultivated and retaine...
Article
This article offers an exploration of factors that influence the effectiveness of applied sport psychology delivery through reflection on a series of consulting experiences. Knowledge gained by a British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) trainee sport psychologist (Cropley), through a process of reflective practice during the first...
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This study investigated temporal responses associated with competitive anxiety in athletes with facilitative and debilitative interpretations of their anxiety symptoms. Qualitative interviews assessed the intensity, frequency, and direction of cognitive and somatic symptoms experienced during a 7-day competitive cycle and the psychological strategi...
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This study presents part two of a series of investigations examining, temporal anxiety responses and the use of psychological skills during the time preceding competition within elite level sport. Based on information from Part 1 (Thomas, Hanton, & Maynard, 200729. Thomas , O. , Hanton , S. and Maynard , I. W. 2007. Anxiety responses and psychol...
Article
The authors conducted an investigation of mental toughness in a sample population of athletes who have achieved ultimate sporting success. Eight Olympic or world champions, 3 coaches, and 4 sport psychologists agreed to participate. Qualitative methods addressed 3 fundamental issues: the definition of mental toughness, the identification of its ess...
Article
This paper reflects upon important conceptual issues in the area of competition stress. Specifically, the different perspectives of stress are acknowledged, culminating with support for the adoption of a transactional approach, where stress is conceived as a process underpinned by relational meaning. In addition, the importance of an individual’s e...
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This study examined the intensity and direction of competitive anxiety symptoms and psychological skill usage in rugby union players of different skill levels. Elite (n=65) and nonelite (n=50) participants completed measures of competitive anxiety, self- confidence, and psychological skills. The elite group reported more facilitative interpretation...
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The aim of this study was to examine whether self-confidence mediated the relationship between competitive anxiety intensity and direction. Elite (n = 102) and nonelite (n = 144) participants completed the self-confidence subscale of the Competitive Trait Anxiety Inventory-2 and the worry and somatic subscales from the Sport Anxiety Scale. Consiste...
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The purpose of this investigation was to examine whether levels of multidimensional intrinsic, multidimensional extrinsic motivation and amotivation could accurately discriminate scholarship status and gender in United States collegiate athletes. Participants comprised 82 male (M age = 19.89, SD=1.39) and 90 female (M age = 20.26, SD=1.63) collegia...
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Goal-setting effects on selected performance behaviors of 5 collegiate rugby players were assessed over an entire competitive season using self-generated targets and goal-attainment scaling. Results suggest that goal setting was effective for enhancing task-specific on-field behavior in rugby union.
Chapter
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This book provides a review and discussion of the recent move towards the positive aspects and consequences of competitive anxiety. Following a description of competitive stress-related terminologies, conceptual and psychometric developments are considered including the notion of directional anxiety interpretations. The commentary then focuses on t...
Article
Jones's control model was adopted to investigate differences in the labelling of symptoms associated with pre-competition anxiety and self-confidence as a function of goal attainment expectation and competition goal generation. Team sport performers (N = 96) were divided into outcome, performance and process goal groups. Anxiety intensity and direc...
Book
Sport Psychology research has developed and expanded considerably over the last decade or two. Its accelerating volume of research output embraces a wide variety of topics having both academic and practical impact, and relating to other areas of Sports Science and also the broader overall discipline of "mainstream" psychology. In this busy and deve...
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This chapter provides a review of current issues in organizational stress in competitive sport. Two main areas are addressed: (a) conceptual and operational considerations, culminating in definitions of stress-related constructs, and (b) theoretical relationships among stress, emotions and performance, based on a meta-model outlining key processes,...
Article
In this study, we examined the methods used and knowledge required by 16 elite men's gymnastic coaches in the development of skill progressions. Following in-depth interviews, a conceptual model representing the process of skill progression development was generated. We found that: (1) elite gymnastic coaches developed skill progressions through ex...
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The purpose of this study was to compare the content and quantity of competitive and organizational stressors in elite athletes. Ten international performers were interviewed about sources of stress. Content analysis of the data involved categorizing the demands associated primarily and directly with competitive performance (#CS = 21) under the pos...
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Recent research examining organizational stress in competitive sport suggests that as a profession we may need to broaden our competencies in order to address the overall stress experience in performers. In this brief report, the AA. reflect on the extant literature and discuss potential organizational Stressors within the following major categorie...
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Research has not accounted for a small but significant proportion of elite performers who consistently report debilitative interpretations of competitive anxiety-related symptoms. Interviews were used to investigate elite athletes’ precompetitive thoughts, feelings, and mental strategies underlying symptom interpretation. Six male athletes, from a...