Psychological skills and “the Paras”: The indirect effects of psychological skills on endurance [Abstract]
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Arthur, R., Fitzwater, J., Roberts, R., Hardy, J. and Arthur, C. (2015) 'Psychological skills and “the Paras”: The indirect effects of psychological skills on endurance' [Abstract], Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology Conference, 14-15 December.
Objectives: We examined the indirect effects of basic psychological skills (PS; i.e., goal setting, imagery, self-talk, and relaxation) on military endurance through enhanced advanced PS (i.e., attention control, activation, emotional control, negative thinking, and automaticity). Design: A field-based, cross-sectional design. Method: We collected endurance data from 159 male British Army Parachute Regiment recruits (Mage = 21.04 years, SD = 3.62) from three military-specific endurance events integral to Parachute Regiment selection test week, as well as pre-event fitness data. Participants completed an adapted Test of Performance Strategies (TOPS; Hardy et al., 2010) to report their use of PS during the events. Following confirmatory factor analyses on the modified TOPS we conducted multiple mediation regression analyses, using PROCESS (Hayes, 2013), to test the indirect effect of each basic PS on endurance through the advanced PS, whilst controlling for pre-event fitness. Results: None of the basic PS had a significant direct effect on endurance. Goal-setting, imagery, and relaxation all had positive indirect effects on endurance via activation, with goal setting also impacting on performance via negative thinking. Conclusions: These data provide some support for basic PS influencing performance via advanced PS. However, nuances within these results also indicate that future examination of advanced PS mechanisms should consider the basic PS used and the types of tasks being undertaken.