The manipulation of cerebral laterality is a validated brain-based experimental procedure that can be used to induce rapid changes in emotional states associated with potentially disruptive athlete’s profile (AP) constellations as well as brain hemispheric shifts in the preaction to action transition. Priming or stimulating the right visual and blocking the left visual field using special goggles/glasses is an experimental cerebral laterality manipulation (CLM) intervention that has been associated with demonstrated intervention efficiency and efficacy. CLM manipulation can also be directly applied to facilitate the well-documented pre-action relative to left-to-right hemispheric shifts associated with peak performance responses, especially in athletes who have an ideal AP or more ambiguous hemispheric valence profiles. The manipulation of visual-field input leads to activation of the contralateral brain hemisphere and unequivocal evidence of intervention efficiency that is hard to demonstrate for most mental training modalities.
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- Go to chapter: The Athlete’s Profile Model: Primary Higher Order Psychological Mediators of Peak Performance
This chapter presents the athlete’s profile (AP) in an applied context and reviews the primary higher order (PHO) measures that it encompasses and their impact on performance. It describes test instruments, applications/administration, psychometrics and methodology. The AP model is a conceptual and explanatory framework that predicts athlete psychological performance tendencies during pressure situations of competition. The conceptual origins of the AP can be traced to the High Risk Model of Threat Perception (HRMTP) and its isolation of the three so-called subject variables, hypnotic susceptibility (HS), neuroticism (N), and repressive coping (RC). These measures were shown to interact to mediate maladaptive cognitive processing/attention, physiological reactivity, and subliminal coping and resulting symptoms and/or illness. As such, the AP battery should only be administered in the context of a comprehensive athlete evaluation and intervention efficacy testing process.
Athletes who are high in hypnotic susceptibility (HS) are most amenable to hypnosis/self- and active-alert hypnosis. The feeling that one has when under sport and performance-specific hypnosis is one of mental calmness. Once alert-calmness has been attained using sport-specific inductions, as reflected in changes in autonomic nervous system (ANS) responses from the baseline to hypnosis condition, active-alert hypnosis is used to raise activation or intensity levels and prime motor-technical responses. The American Board of Sport Psychology-Carlstedt Protocol (ABSP-CP) approach to interventions uses heart rate variability (HRV) to test efficiency for all mental training modalities and routinely assesses mental imagery/visualization ability, a correlate of HS/subliminal attention (SA) using HRV. Hypnotic procedures have much potential as a mental training intervention, provided that they are not applied indiscriminately. Athletes who score high in HS or analogue measures, SA, or absorption are usually good candidates for self-and active-alert hypnosis.
One of the goals of the intake process is to establish rapport with an athlete, a psychological dynamic that facilitates trust and motivation to participate in eventual assessments and interventions. In an evidence-based approach, the initial intake session is structured and standardized. Components of the intake include the initial response to a client who is interested in sport psychological services, preintake assessment test battery, the first face-to-face contact and discussion of the initial test results, on-the-playing-field evaluation, and the culminating consulting and intervention strategy. This chapter focuses on to the intake session conversation, and provides some additional information on the Internet-based test battery and its relevance to the consulting process. The failure to extend the intake evaluation process to the playing field can have lasting deleterious consequences for an athlete and negatively impact a practitioner’s effectiveness and credibility.
This book is designed to foster interdisciplinary understanding, information sharing, and integrative approaches to athlete assessment, mental training (MT), and outcome research in evidence-based applied sport psychology. Neurocognitive testing (NCT) and quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) are brain assessment procedures that are used to investigate relationships between cortical functioning and context-specific outcome measures to arrive at clinical diagnoses or better informed patient and client evaluations. Research is ongoing to test the premise that NCT and qEEG can serve as reliable criterion-referenced measures for athletes profile primary higher order (AP PHO) constellations, heart rate variability (HRV) responding and eventually macro- and micro-performance outcome. The Polar heart rate variability (HRV)/heart rate deceleration (HRD) paradigm allows for more extensive and time-locked predictive validity statistical analyses so that in-the-moment MT over the course of entire official games/matches/competition can be delineated and quantified in terms of MT’s predictive validity. Behavioral-Motor-Technical (BMT)-based intervention attempts to help support an athlete’s mental game using exposure, confrontation, threshold, and learning principles to improve attention, motor control, and self-confidence, as well as reduce nervousness associated with pressure moments of competition. The goal of BTM-MT is to consolidate optimum technical and motor patterns in long-term procedural memory as well as repetitively attempt to demonstrate peak technical performance under greatest situational pressure, first in training and then during official competition. The book also provides a foundational and fundamental rationale for advancing evidence-based and validated athlete assessment and intervention protocols.
- Go to chapter: Construct Validity in Evidence-Based Applied Sport Psychology: Integrative Mind–Body Bases of Peak Psychological Performance
Construct Validity in Evidence-Based Applied Sport Psychology: Integrative Mind–Body Bases of Peak Psychological Performance
The establishment of construct validity in the context of sport psychological assessment and intervention requires the identification of valid functional mind-body origins or bases of athlete psychological responses and associated performance tendencies during training or competition. Finding additional links between heart rate deceleration (HRD) and concomitant brain activity parameters leading up to action that are also associated with performance outcome would be an extension finding in the construct validation process. Irrespective of whether a practitioner subscribes to the Brain-Heart-Mind-Body-Motor (BHMBM) and its interrelated Athlete’s Profile (AP) and Theory of Critical Moments (TCM) models of peak performance, construct validity should be considered when deciding what assessment instrument to use or intervention to apply. The chapter also presents a comprehensive and integrative explication of key components of the Carlstedt Protocol’s (CP) validated athlete assessment and intervention system.
- Go to chapter: Toward a Gold Standard System of Accountability: Advanced Methodologies in Athlete Assessment and Intervention Efficacy Testing
Toward a Gold Standard System of Accountability: Advanced Methodologies in Athlete Assessment and Intervention Efficacy Testing
This chapter presents an introduction to advanced gold standard accountability procedures for athlete assessment and intervention. The best way to demonstrate the validity of an assessment battery or efficacy of an intervention is through an accountability process. Relative to athlete assessment, accountability can and should be demonstrated in the construct validity of a specific psychological, behavioral, or psychophysiological measure that is being assessed. The field of applied sport psychology is replete with research-based systems, eclectic and hybrid athlete evaluation, and mental training methods, as well as extreme Guru-propagated, “analyze and cure-all” schemes that promise or guarantee incredible success. The preceding data set is consistent with individual athlete differential mind-body responses that have been observed in extensive previous intervention efficacy research. Practitioners should generate and maintain an accountability database throughout the course of their work with an athlete.
Video-based mental programming (VBP) is a more direct intervention modality that accesses and uses visual processing to facilitate, especially motor and technical, performance; although it can also be used in attempts to increase motivation, emotional engagement, and attain individual zone of optimum functioning (IZOF) established levels of physiological reactivity. VBP can be viewed as a very direct mental training approach, one that circumvents esoteric and extraneous intervention procedures that are more difficult to assess in terms of efficiency and efficacy. It can also be used as a stress test, whereby an athlete’s underlying psychophysiology is monitored while watching his or her self-performance over the course of a complete game or match. Baseline heart rate variability (HRV) profiles should be compared with intervention-induced HRV to establish intervention efficiency. The chapter also presents a real case study to illustrate the VBP intervention process and an outcome associated with it.
- Go to chapter: Integrative Athlete Assessment and Intervention: Team Case Study of Mind–Body Assessment and Biofeedback During Official Competition
Integrative Athlete Assessment and Intervention: Team Case Study of Mind–Body Assessment and Biofeedback During Official Competition
This chapter presents a validated multifaceted assessment and intervention protocol that has been used on hundreds of athletes over the last 15 years. It provides data and findings on athletes who have experienced the Carlstedt Protocol (CP), and recommends for the integration of procedures and methodologies that are vital to evidence-based applied sport psychology, and the credibility of the field of sport psychology/biofeedback and its practitioners. In addition to guiding biofeedback, the established athlete’s profile is a strong predictor of intervention amenability and compliance tendencies, pain thresholds, attentional control during competitive stress, coachability, and the placebo-nocebo effects. During critical moments, athletes possessing the most negative or disruptive constellation of primary higher-order (PHO) factors exhibit heart rate acceleration (HRA) prior to action, while those having the most facilitative or protective constellation continue to demonstrate heart rate deceleration (HRD).
This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of the book. The book presents information and approaches that are critical to high-standard evidence-based applied sport psychology. Evidence-based practice and empirically validated assessment and interventions have become catch-phrases in psychology. It exposes practitioners, educators, and students to an integrative, interdisciplinary, and systematized approach to athlete assessment and intervention. The book is also designed to foster interdisciplinary understanding, information sharing, and integrative approaches to athlete assessment, mental training, and outcome research. It focuses on the American Board of Sport Psychology-Carlstedt Protocol (ABSP-CP), a system of athlete assessment and intervention that since originally being conceptualized has been applied to hundreds of athletes. The book is replete with extensive case studies of actual athlete assessment and intervention, bringing to life the perspectives, models, methodologies, and procedures in the form of real data sets and their acquisition, analysis, and interpretation.