Home' Independence : Independence Vol 40 No 2 Oct 2015 Contents 68 INDEPENDENCE VOL 40 NO 2 OCTOBER 2015
emotional state can affect memory
and thinking, which in turn can have
a significant effect on skill execution.
Session two involved an introductory
activity that was designed to give
participants an opportunity to predict
the emotions they might feel during
a ‘friendly’ competition between
teammates during a training session.
They were not told that the official
(their coach) was instructed to cheat
and be deliberately unfair during the
competition. The activity was created
to elicit strong emotions that were not
what the participants were expecting.
After the activity, participants reflected
on the emotions they had predicted
they would feel during the activity
as compared to the emotions they
actually felt and the strength of them.
They were also given the opportunity
to predict how their teammates
would feel and reflect on how they
actually felt during the activity.
A key part of the EI intervention
involved designing and administering a
planning and reflection sheet. The sheet,
which was designed to fit on one A4
page, allowed participants to complete
some planning in four domains prior to
each game in an eight-game season of
rugby over nine weeks. These domains
were Skills, Tactics, Thinking and
Emotional State. The inclusion of four
domains was important as, without the
broader connection to helping them
perform well in their chosen sport, an
emotion-only planning and reflection
sheet may not have been given
credibility and support by the students.
The students ‘bought in’ because
emotion was being considered in an
accessible overall context of ‘let’s work
together to improve your performance’.
A-SUEIT pre- and post-tests were
carried out online with the assistance
of Swinburne University. The players
completed the tests in a classroom
environment on their own laptops with
the link to the online questionnaire
provided to them via email. Participants
were allowed 60 minutes to complete
the questionnaire (which also
included personality, coping and
resilience measures that were not
considered as part of this study); all
participants were able to finish the
questionnaire in less than 50 minutes.
It was intended that while both the
U16 A and B teams would complete
the pre- and post-tests, the U16 A team
would complete the weekly planning
and reflection sheet while the B team
would act as a control. In practice,
there was too much movement of
players between the teams to create a
clean control team. Further, there were
a number of players who completed
the pre and post-tests who did not or
were not able to participate fully in
the planning and reflection sessions
due to injury or promotion to the
1st XV. This resulted in a spread of
involvement in planning and reflection
from zero through to eight sessions over
the nine-week period of the study.
Over the course of the nine weeks,
the players spent 15 minutes before
training one afternoon per week
reflecting on the game from the
previous week and planning for the
coming week in the four domains.
They were asked to plan for each of
the following during the game:
· two technical skills that they would
like to execute well
· two tactics that they planned to
employ or focus on
· two thoughts that they would like to
bring their minds back to repeatedly
· two emotions that they would
like to experience or define
their emotional state.
The reflection phase involved the
participants rating themselves out of
10 on the goals they had set. They
were also encouraged to make any
observations that they wanted to
about their ability to realise success
against their goals, their performance
or their team’s performance.
To assess whether improvement
in EI had occurred, correlations
between the raw involvement in
the planning and reflection activity
scores (from 0 to 8) were calculated
against the EI change scores as
measured by the pre- and post-tests.
There was a significant, moderately
large, positive correlation between
student involvement and change in ERE
(.55, p<0.05) and UEO (.59, p<0.01).
That is, students who completed more
planning and reflection activities realised
a greater increase in their EI, in terms
of their ability to recognise and express
emotion (ERE) and also to understand
the emotions of others (UEO).
The study demonstrated to students
that using emotional information
to assist with decision-making in
sporting contexts can be fruitful.
One of the players during the study
commented after a game that he
could feel himself getting angrier at
the referee. He was able to notice the
emotion and then plan to direct it
into something positive – like tackling
hard and running straight and hard.
of the study was
that it became
the planning and
that some students
were not able
to transfer their
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