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The Journal of SPORT

Abstract

Many athletes and spectators believe that experiencing and controlling psychological momentum is a critical component to achieving success in sport (Perreault, Vallerand, Montgomery, & Provencher, 1998; Stanimirovic & Hanrahan, 2004). Nevertheless, little is known regarding why some individuals perceive psychological momentum differently than others. This study was designed to determine if optimistic thinking has a relationship with psychological momentum perceptions in sport. Female Division I NCAA volleyball players (N = 68)completed the Life Orientation Test – Revised (Scheier, Carver, & Bridges,1994), the Sport Attributional Style Scale - Short (Hanrahan & Grove, 1990b), and a psychological momentum assessment. The results indicated that the attributional style constructs of intentionality and globality were significant predictors of psychological momentum perceptions. Also, participants had greater disagreement regarding the momentum value of early and late points in a set than those in between. Future attempts to measure psychological momentum perceptions should consider a mixed methods approach along with more ecologically valid assessment protocols.

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