Sport Psychology - New Publication: Obstacles and Goal-Directed Behaviors

A qualitative analysis from the perspective of athletes and coaches to assess inner obstacles and goal-directed behaviors of elite and youth-level cyclists

In their new paper, Anna Hirsch, Maik Bieleke, Wanja Wolff & Julia Schüler (all from the Chair of Sport Psychology) investigate the inner obstacles (and strategies to tackle them) endurance athletes experience in their sport. The paper investigates these questions through the lens of implementation intention theory from the athletes perspective, as well as from the coaches perspective. It has now been published in the Journal of Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology.

The abstract of the paper: “As self-regulation is crucial in top-level performance, prior investigations aimed at studying the efficacy of the self-regulatory strategy of implementation intentions (i.e., if–then plans) in athletic performance. We investigated the inner obstacles (if) that athletes face in competitive situations and assessed the corresponding goal-directed behaviors (then) to design effective implementation intention theory-based interventions. We asked elite and youth-level cyclists (Study 1; N = 34; age: M = 23.7 ± 9.9 years) with a self-designed questionnaire and used a reworded version for assessing these research questions from a coach’s perspective (Study 2; N = 42; age: M = 50.2 ± 9.8 years). Dealing with demanding situations, pressure, and concentration were the most frequently named inner obstacles, while goal-directed behaviors were preparation, self-encouragement, relaxation (athletes), and concentration (coaches). The results highlight the emotional–psychological challenges that elite and youth-level cycling athletes face and provide insights for sport psychological research with implementation intentions.”

The full paper can be accessed at: Inner Obstacles and Goal-Directed Behaviors of Elite and Youth-Level Cyclists: A Qualitative Analysis From the Perspective of Athletes and Coaches: Journal of Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology: Vol 0, No 0 (