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Examining emotion and action patterns within Finnish elite junior ice hockey players
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Self-awareness based self-regulation of performance related states can be seen to play a central role in athletic success. According to the Individualised Zones of Optimal Functioning (IZOF; Hanin, 2007), performance related states can be explained in terms of hedonic tone and functionality. Yet, the perception (debilitative or facilitative) of those states is highly individualised and can be sport specific. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate ice hockey players’ perception of action and emotion patterns in relation to performance, indirectly increase self-awareness and suggestively provide strategies for self-regulation. Forty-six (n=46) Finnish, junior elite-level, male ice hockey players (Mage = 19.32) were asked to identify a challenging performance situation in their sport and evaluate it in terms of action components and performance related states. Previous evidence suggests that Multi-Action Plan (MAP; Bortoli, Bertollo, Hanin & Robazza, 2012) model is an effective tool for investigating individuals’ dynamics of perceived control and accuracy in sports, and the additive Psychobiosocial States Scale (PBS-S; Ruiz, Hanin & Robazza, 2016) can be used to analyze athlete’s functional and dysfunctional states. Participants identified four challenge-related core components and evaluated them in control and accuracy, reflecting to relative psychobiosocial states. Data was collected from four different games with respective, self-evaluated performance ratings. Results displayed within-individual differences between performance situations in terms of core components accuracy and control, psychobiosocial states, and overall self-evaluated performance. This suggests, that predictive validity of action components and psychobiosocial states can be transferred into the context of ice hockey. In generalisable manner, increased control and accuracy within individualised core components and higher functional states intensity and impact predicted better overall performance. Furthermore, idiosyncratic core components of action and individualized psychobiosocial states are highly related to perceived performance level. This indicates that MAP-protocol (Bortoli et al., 2012) can be used in preparation of task execution, also in reactive sports like ice hockey. Suggestively, increased subjective self-awareness in terms of action components and performance related states, can create a functional base for optimized task execution. Future research can focus on targeted action- or emotion-centred intervention methods with objective measures to enhance practicality. ...
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