Self-regulation strategies to enhance performance in high-level ice hockey players : an application of the MuSt theory
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The importance of being aware of and reaching functional emotional states for optimal performance utilizing self-regulation can be seen as playing a key role in high-level sports. The purpose of the current study was to examine ice hockey players’ experiences connected with their optimal performance as well as identify and use self-regulation techniques to enhance perceived performance. Participants were recruited from a team playing in the top Finnish ice hockey league “Liiga”. The Multi-States theory (MuSt; Ruiz et al., 2021a) provides an integrated approach to increasing awareness of functional and dysfunctional emotional states, and action- and emotion-based self-regulation. The study was comprised of three phases. First, the participants completed a baseline survey, in which they identified and rated their core action components and psychobiosocial states in their previous optimal and suboptimal performances and assessed their self-efficacy in hockey-related strengths of their own choosing. Second, the participants completed a self-regulation intervention where they assessed their emotional experiences, appraisals, and self-efficacy ratings regarding their upcoming performance, as well as self-efficacy ratings post-performance. Lastly, the participants who took part in the baseline and all four game assessments completed a semi-structured post-intervention interview to evaluate and express how they had experienced the intervention. Results strengthened the notion of the MuSt theory that core action components and psychobiosocial states discriminate between optimal and suboptimal performances. Additionally, results suggest that the intervention was experienced as useful, and it was successful in increasing the participants’ self-awareness of their functional and dysfunctional feeling states regarding their performance. The study provided further evidence for the use of the MuSt theory’s practical application in a real-world setting. ...
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