Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2016) 15, 678 - 687

Research article
Enhancing Collegiate Women’s Soccer Psychosocial and Performance Outcomes by Promoting Intrinsic Sources of Sport Enjoyment
Scott P. Barnicle1, , Damon Burton2
Author Information
1 West Virginia University, USA
2 The University of Idaho, USA

Scott P. Barnicle
✉ PhD Sport and Exercise Psychology, West Virginia University, USA
Publish Date
Received: 10-08-2016
Accepted: 18-10-2016
Published (online): 01-12-2016
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This study examined the effectiveness of an applied mental skills training (MST) intervention utilizing mental skills to enhance intrinsic sources of enjoyment (ISOEs) as a means of promoting self-confidence, motivational style, and athletic performance, while also decreasing trait anxiety. The intervention project was designed to increase intrinsic SOE using a systematic and individualized mental training protocol, and then examine its relationships to mental skills and soccer performance. A Division 1 collegiate women’s soccer team was randomly assigned to treatment (n = 8) and control (n = 11) groups, equally distributed by academic year, position, and pre-season coach-evaluated starters and non-starts. Results revealed that the MST intervention significantly increased intrinsic enjoyment targeted psychological and competitive outcomes, both in practice and competition within the treatment group as compared to the control group. This study’s support for the impact mental skills training may have had on ISOEs, as well as other psychosocial outcomes and athletic performance can serve to highlight a mental skill often overlooked by consultants and coaches.

Key words: Sport Enjoyment, Sport Psychology, Motivation

           Key Points
  • Sport enjoyment is a pivotal part of athletic performance, and should be more accepted and utilized in sport psychology interventions
  • Applied sport psychology can positively impact athletes’ enjoyment, as well as athletic performance
  • Applied sport psychology interventions can be effective in collegiate sports, and should be more utilized and appreciated.
  • Intrinsic sport enjoyment is a vital component of an athlete’s success, both on and off the field.
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